Have you tried cold brewing your iced tea? How did it go?
I recently tried cold-brewing and was pleasantly surprised. It obviously takes a lot longer than traditional brewing, but there are some compelling reasons to give it a shot:
(1) Cold-brewed teas taste sweet and smooth. This is because cold water extracts a different chemical balance from the tea than hot water. Chemically speaking, this means there are fewer catechins and less caffeine. In terms of flavor, a reduction in catechins and caffeine drops out the bitterness.
(2) Cold-brewed teas are safer than sun-brewed teas. Unlike sun tea, cold-brewed tea does not encourage the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria.
Here’s a recipe I toyed with. You can modify the tea, ingredients, etc. to your taste, but check it out.
You’ll have to use more tea than you normally would when brewing hot, particularly if you are using medium to large leaf tea.
The following recipe makes 1 quart of iced tea:
Handful of fresh or frozen mixed berries
6-8 tsp. of loose leaf tea of your choice (black, green, rooibos, etc.) – I usually use 1 1/2 -2 tsp. for every 8 ounces of water
5 thin slices of cucumber
5-10 ice cubes
optional: fresh mint
Steep the tea in a large pitcher of water using a tea filter sac, tea ball or any infuser of your choice. Add the berries and cucumber and stir well. Place in your refrigerator, cover and chill overnight. The flavor will increase the longer you leave it. After chilling, pour into glasses filled with ice and add fresh mint.
Curious if any of you have tried or regularly cold-brew your tea.
I cold brew a lot. I will try any tea cold brewed. It is pretty hard to mess up a cold brew, but I have found I do not like hibiscus in cold brews. I usually brew anywhere between 4 and 24+ hours depending on how strong I want the tea.
Depending on the tea I generally use 6 tsp for 64 oz.
Whoa, I have to try that fruit/cucumber cold brew recipe! Thanks! I’ve actually never tried cold brewing before but planned on trying it soon because it is getting pretty warm outside :)
I hadn’t realized there was less caffeine this way. That’s great to know!
I don’t really do iced tea, but I’ve sometimes done it in summer. It’s a good way to use up the things that I don’t get drunk otherwise. I’ve tried it both with cold brew and with a traditional brew cooled down over ice, and I much prefer the cold brew. I found the latter to have a certain astringency to it no matter what I did, and with my experiences of sweetener in tea of course no amount of sweetener could fix it. (For some, sweetener in flavoured tea enhances the flavouring. For me, sweetener in any tea enhances only astringency.)