I have used up my black teas and most of my Earl Greys as iced tea this summer. Now I am ready to move on to bringing my green teas under control. I plan to make a gallon of green iced tea each time.
Midwestern black tea is easy. Boil water add tea. Walk away. Remember it an hour or so later and pour a stout batch of tea. Do not add sugar. Seriously, that’s how we do it. Hot tea I handle much more precisely.
Green usually requires more attention even iced. Below boiling water and timed steeping. I can handle a mug at a time. Not sure of best way to handle a large amount.
I thought about cold brewing but I have no experience with the method. Whether hot or cold steeped do I use 2g per cup which is aprox 16 tsp/gallon? Brewing hot tea, the leaf can almost always go more than once. Should I use less leaf and pour multiple steeps together?
Ideas on what works?
I make iced tea by cold brewing in the fridge. I have a few different cold brew vessels of different sizes. For caffeinated tea I use a 32oz or 1 liter (not sure which) Handy Steeper from Lupica. I place four teaspoons full (using a Teavana Perfect Teaspoon which is actually a little bigger than a teaspoon) in the filter and fill with filtered water. Then I let the tea brew overnight. This method has worked for me for black, green, oolong, and even ripe puerh. I have never tried it with sheng. It is almost impossible to over brew the tea this way. The only thing is if you want sugar added to your tea you need to make a liquid sugar, very easy.
That’s rather fancy. I don’t make much iced tea (short summers) but when I do I simply drop some longjing into a regular 1L pitcher of water and leave in the fridge overnight.
I’ve never had much luck fridge-steeping green teas (they went bitter), although I love them iced. Will be interested to see what works best for you, which I shall promptly copy!
You could probably go the route of making a tea concentrate with less water and more tea and cut the tea each time with additional water. It would thin out the bitterness you might encounter with green tea if you steeped it with the normal amount of water and you could probably cold brew this method if you want a similarly hands off approach. I would look at how some make a chai concentrate and modify it accordingly.
There was a discussion on this in a FB tea group I help run not long ago (International Tea Talk). I’ll summarize a few recommendations from there and cite the link. As for my own recommendation I wouldn’t use green tea for iced tea, but would go with light oolong instead, since the flavor profile is slightly nicer and the tea is more forgiving. If the idea is to use up existing green teas (as it seems to be) that won’t help.
One recommendation is to use 15 grams per gallon for cold brewing, and another is to use an ounce instead (28), essentially double the other. It would relate to taste preference and also method. The lower proportion recommendation was for using an 9 hour room-temperature steep and the other for the same time in the refrigerator. When I cold-brew leaves to get the last out of a tea I’ve infused a couple of times already the starting temperature does make a difference, along with the proportion, and depending on the tea I’ll either use room temperature water (placed in a refrigerator for a day) or slightly above that, luke-warm water. Cold brewing will offset the astringency in green tea once you get the proportion, temperature, and timing right but for me light oolong would probably work better. I’m not sure it would work using rolled leaves placed in room temperature water though; I’d expect you would need to help them open first with an initial hotter water infusion, or you might come back to partly unfurled leaves a day later. That discussion link: