You don't need to heat your tea to brew up delicious cup of iced tea. Here's a couple of methods you can use.
Search Cold Brew Iced Tea online and you'll find a slew of how to articles - for good reason. It's a fail proof method for brewing and the tea, by and large, holds its flavour. We recently converted to cold brew when preparing tea for our Farmer's Market booth and we love it but we still hot steep our cups to go. We've tried the cold method in the store but you really need at least 10 minutes per cup which is too long for the average take out client.
To Cold Brew a pitcher:
- Take 8 to 12 g which is about 3 tsp (4 tsp for fluffy leaves) of tea per liter (32oz) of water. A quart is a bit larger so be more generous with the tea
- Add filtered cold water (filtered is key, you'll really notice your water taste with cold brew)
- Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour but six hours minimum for the optimum taste. Steeping longer won't cause it to get "stronger" in terms of bitterness - it will just deepen the flavour.
To Cold Brew a cup:
Ideally you'll have an "on the go" tea tumbler that you can seal and shake. We add 1 tsp of tea to 8 oz of cold water. I use my Urban Tumbler which allows me to add ice in the bottom as well. I let it sit for at least 10 minutes, shaking several times and....that's it!
To Hot Brew a cup of Iced Tea:
- You'll need to make a concentrated tea. We put 1 tsp. of tea per 8 oz. We steep for the requisite time per the type of tea. We fill a cocktail shaker with ice, pour the hot tea over, shake it up, pour it into your glass then top up with more ice. As the ice melts, you get the perfect ratio of tea to water! If you want to add sweetener (honey for instance) make sure to put it in your cocktail shaker first, then add the hot tea, give it a stir, then add the iced and shake away.
If you want a pitcher, we don't recommend hot brewing as there is no need but if that's your style, just follow the ratio of tea to water above for larger containers.
Best Teas for Cold Brewing:
You can cold brew any tea but white, green and Oolong tea, in particular, shine with this method.
You'll get a higher antioxidant punch from your white tea when you cold brew it vs. steep it the traditional way. A study conducted in 2010 at the Marche Polytechnic University in Ancona, Italy uncovered this surprising result.
Your green tea becomes much less finicky with cold brewing. You'll no longer have to fret over time and temperature to ensure a smooth cup - no more bitter green.
Oolongs are such richly flavoured teas that you won't need much to unleash their individual, delicious taste. We're bringing in a summer Oolong from Taiwan in early July specifically for cold brewing.
In terms of "non tea" plants, Rooibos and Yerba both stand up nicely.
Finally, organic is the way to go if you choose to do an herbal infusion - you want plants that have been steamed and processed before you attempt to cold brew and non- organic herbs have not typically been through this step. If you do go with non-organic, give them a quick hot bath before you begin.
Enjoy your summer sipping and let us know how it goes...post pictures to our Bluemountainteaco Instagram account for a draw July 15th. You could win 100g of your favourite iced mixer!