The sky today is cornflower blue, instead of bright azure. When you live in the desert, you start making distinctions between one sunny, cloudless day, and another. I dislike the hot, bright weather, so sometimes I can’t resist making cold tea.
This inexpensive, but better grade bancha makes for a great everyday cold-brew. The countless flat, torn, but large leaves (high surface area) make for a very quick cold infusion: under a minute with a good swirl, definitely less than 5 minutes even when left alone. I also get multiple infusions from the same leaves, refilling the water halfway.
It’s mildly sweet, slightly roasty, and spinachy in flavor, not bitter, grassy, marine, or astringent at all. It’s not quite as thin or brisk as a black tea, but its lingering aftertaste is cooling, almost like a soft version of mint.
My favorite method for quick cold-brew is to pour the dry leaf straight into the glass before covering the leaves with layers of ice cubes, allowing the ice cubes to fuse together for a few minutes. When water is poured, the ice barrier keeps the leaves from the surface sip, but the leaves can still freely roam and expand underneath. By the time the ice melts, the leaves have already sunk to the bottom, where they’ll stay.
*Reached 4 cold steeps over 12 hours, from the same leaves, with the last steep still retaining a fair amount of flavor and coolness.