Lala said

Cold drip tea?

Has anyone ever made cold drip tea?

It is where you have ice in a filter above tea leaves and as it melts and drips onto the leaves it makes a delicious iced tea. Supposed to be a sweeter profile than with cold brewing.

Just wondering if anyone has done this before and how you did it, ie. the set up? You can buy cold drip tea makers online, but I would like to try the tea before investing in the maker.

16 Replies
OMGsrsly said

I’ve just stuck the ice cubes directly on top of the tea leaves. I’ve tried in both a gravity infuser sitting on a mug so the liquid drips through, and a tea pot. They both work. You could use a funnel or a strainer, and put the ice above the tea leaves and wait for it to melt if you don’t want to place the ice directly on the leaves.

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ifjuly said

I haven’t done this myself, but you certainly don’t need to spend over $200 to do it (yowza!), unless you want to. I’ve seen the Mist iced tea maker in more than one spot and it’s about $30.

Like here:

Bonus, it’s cute.

EDIT: Oh, I think I’ve misunderstood how those work (seems they do fridge brew, not actual ice cubes dripping). Whoops. Sorry, ignore.

I do think temporarily rigging something up oneself with strainers/colanders and some way to float them over with rods or whatnot wouldn’t be too hard, and would let one try before they buy so to speak.

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I’ve only tried Shinobi-Cha, with gyokuro. Not my fave but then I don’t really enjoy Japanese greens lol

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Lala said

Thanks for the responses. I am going to try some experiments tomorrow and post the results.

For some reason I have reservations about putting ice cubes directly onto the tea (shinobi-cha) method. I have no idea why I have this reservation and I am pretty sure it is not based in fact, so I am going to give it a try. I will do one cup with ice cubes directly onto the tea and one cup with ice dripping onto the tea. I was able to rig up a little apparatus (that will probably fall over), of a large metal strainer than sits partially into a small metal strainer, that sits into a mug. The large strainer will contain ice that will drip into the small strainer containing tea, that can drain into the cup.

I feel slightly ridiculous that I am going to such length to simply make iced tea, but I am super excited to give this a try!

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Rachel J said

This sounds really crazy and awesome all at the same time. Definitely post back with your results!

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Lala said

This is going to be a bit of a long post. To start out I just wanted to explain the terms I use.

Iced tea – tea brewed hot then ice added to cool it down.
Cold brewed – tea put into cold water then left for a long time (ie. all day or overnight).
Cold dripped – ice melting and dripping over the tea to brew.

After a bit of internet research, the difference between hot and cold brewing is each provides a different flavour profile of the tea. Hot brewing “pushes” the flavour out of the tea leaves, and cold brewing “pulls” the flavour out. In general, I have found cold brewing produces a bit sweeter and less astringent tea.

Ok so I started my experiment this morning. I had two experiments going. I used Long Island Strawberry green tea by Victoria’s Teas and Coffees because I have cold brewed before and it was good. So I wanted to have something to compare this to.

Experiment 1. Tea leaves in a pot, and put ice cubes directly on top of the tea.

Experiment 2. A set up involving ice in a metal strainer, dripping onto tea in a metal strainer, dripping into a mug. The ice does not touch the tea.

1 hour in:
For experiment 1 with the ice directly on the tea, there was a very small amount of tea liquor produced. Not quite enough for a sip. I tried it anyway. I cringed. It was super strong and thick. Very strong, vegetal green tea. I felt like I was chewing the tea leaves.

Experiment 2, there was some ice melting but no tea liquor produced, almost like the tea leaves were just absorbing the water.

2 hours in:
There was more tea liquor produced in experiment 1. This time it smelled like delicious strawberries. Similar to the cold brewed version. There was just more than 1 sip of liquor. I stated it and still cringed. Not quite as strong but still thick. Very strongly green tea. The vegetal component is quite exaggerated. No strawberry or fruity flavour.

Experiment 2, there was just enough for a sip. Tasted exactly like experiment 1.

Still letting the ice melt at this point.

Lessons learned: It takes a long time; very little tea liquor is produced; experiment 1 and 2 produce the exact same tasting tea; I don’t like it.

Will keep everyone posted as things progress.

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Lala said

4 hours in:
Its still melting.

Both teas are still super strong tasting, may be slightly more palatable with more liquor though. Experiment 2, with the actual drip, may taste a bit creamier.

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Lala said

Well I am going to say my experiments were a fail.

I made a tasting note on this and momo suggested to try a straight tea such as gyokuro. I will post of here if I ever try it.

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Lala said

So I couldn’t resist trying this again. I took momo’s advice and I used some dragonwell green tea. I did not have any gyokuro. I had the ice dripping over the tea in a strainer, then the liquor draining into a mug. I didn’t want it to get too strong so I didn’t want the ice, tea leaves, and liquor to be all mixed together in a pot.

It actually turned out not too bad. The tea was very rich and buttery. Slightly sweet. Felt very thick.

I think this method would work best with straight teas, not flavoured ones.

Thanks for updating with how a straight green turned out! I have a bag of gyokuro that I need to drink before it loses its flavor, I might try it this way when I get a chance! :)

OMGsrsly said

I found that with the flavoured green I used, the first cup of ice that melted was super strong, but the second cup of ice that melted tasted amazing. I appreciate you updating with the results of your experiment!

ifjuly said

So appreciate your detailed notes. I love when people dare to experiment like this and share their results, even if they’re disappointing it’s so helpful!

Sil select said

good to know on the straight teas, though i’m not sure i’d have the patience to do this :)

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So I am trying this today with some of my gyokuro, I have a bunch of ice cubes in a strainer and on top of the strainer in my gravity infuser, and the tea is in the bottom of the gravity infuser, which is sitting on a cup haha. I think it will take quite a while..I’m already impatient lol, but I’d like to see what it tastes like :) thank you for the idea Lala!

Lala said

Look forward to hearing your results.

So after about 7 hours, I got half a cup of tea. It’s a light golden color, and definitely thicker liquor. I don’t really like the taste though haha, i think it might be because my gravity infuser is contaminated with ginger though lol, because it tastes like strong green tea with some ginger haha. Without the ginger taste, it’d probably be pretty good though, there’s no bitterness and definitely some buttery flavor. An interesting experiment that I might try again sometime, when I fully clean my infuser. Fun though! :)

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