Doing my first cold brew method. Need help!
Since summer’s coming on and I got a big ice tea pitcher for christmas, I thought that maybe I’d try doing my first cold brew method. I followed instructions I found on the internet (steep in the refrigerator for 8 hours) and after 8 hours passed I look into the refrigerator and all of the tea flavor has sunk to the bottom half of the pitcher. So here are my questions:
1) Is this supposed to happen and I need to stir it?
2) Since it’s a black tea (yunnan gold) does it need more time
3) Even though I filled up the strainer it came with to the top, it could still need more tea?
I’ve never seen that happen before, but then I don’t follow any particular instructions either. I tend to just put some leaves in a filter bag, close it tight and leave it in a pitcher of water in the fridge over night. I don’t take it out until I’ve finished the pitcher, which takes generally a couple of days. I’ve only done it with fruity teas though, so I don’t know if black teas are any different.
I would just give it a good stir and taste it first. If you find it too week, put the leaves back in. When you do it in cold water everything happens so slowly that I don’t think you could over do it.
It’s all good, no need to stir, leaves don’t react and expand in cold water the way they relax and unfurl in hot water. As they slowly release the flavor, it usually has a tendency to sink at the bottom. Tea does tend to «float» in cold water, so there’s no harm in stirring the leaves, I do stir in the strainer a least once to make sure it releases as much flavor as possible. Depending of the size of the strainer, the leaves do compress eventually in the process, so stirring them does help.
I steep an average of 12 hours for my own personal taste, it all depends of your own. The best way is not to follow instructions too much, just use as a guide, but do experiments of your own, as you go along, you’ll know how to «play», when to steep shorter or longer, put more or less leaves depending of the type of tea you cold brew.
Hope that helps a little, have fun :-)
I agree with just playing around. I cold brew most of my teas for 12 hours. But some herbals I have brewed for over 24 hours. And some whites and blacks I have brewed for as little as 4 hours. Just taste test as you go along. I usually use 6 tsp for a 64 oz pitcher.