Iced tea has been popular for a long time, especially here in the Southeastern United States, but there is one method that has won my heart and made me discover the beauty, flavors and endlessness of possibilities of iced tea: cold brew.
Unlike infusing tea in hot water and then cooling it down with ice cubes, a process that may result in bitterness if over-steeped, or bland taste if diluted with too much ice, cold brew only involves one step: placing loose-leaf tea in cold water and waiting overnight.
The longer process brings out complex aromatic compounds, the delicate aromas and the natural sweetness of tea, thereby avoiding bitterness and generally lowering caffeine content.
The result is a sweet, flavorful and refreshing delight that only requires a little patience!
What do I need?
· A brewing vessel: cup, mug, carafe, tumbler, jug.
Clair Thé's glass tea pitcher is ideal to cold brew and keep a plentiful supply of iced tea in the fridge all summer long.
· A straining device: basket strainer, empty tea bags, jugs or pots that include a strainer.
· Loose leaf tea
How do I cold brew tea?
Check out Clair Thé's video tutorial. Otherwise, here are the step by step instructions:
· Measure your brewing vessel (I find it easy to measure in cups or 8oz increments)
· Measure the loose-leaf tea: same amount of recommended tea (see package or brewing guide on website tea description).
For example: for a 4-cup jug, you will need 4 times 1 tsp of tea = 4 tsp.
· Pour cold water over times the tea in brewing vessel
· Let steep 12 hours in the fridge (overnight works great)
· Remove strainer or strain into another vessel
Can I use sweetener?
At Clair Thé, our teas are high quality and very fresh and we find that the natural flavors and sweetness resulting from the cold brew method are enough.
However, it is up to each individual! Just remember that since you will be using cold water, sugar will not dissolve easily, and we recommend simple sugar syrup, agave or maple syrup.
What if something goes wrong?
Cold brewing is hassle-free and fool proof!
· If you steeped too long for your taste, just add some cold water
· If your brew is too thin, brew longer or add some loose-leaf tea and give it a few more hours.
What teas can I cold brew?
Any! But here are a few recommendations:
Moroccan Mint Sencha Koshun Emperor's Jasmine
Tropical Orchard White Kumari White Forest Bai Mu Dan White Peony
Orange Blossom Oolong Dong Ding Oolong
French Earl Grey Orange Burst Black Tea Mango-Berry Black Tea
Mango-Berry Rooibos Lemon Rooibos
Wild Berry Tisane Marigold Orange Tisane
Can I blend different teas?
Of course, the limit is your imagination. Here are my favorites (I use equal parts of tea):
Emperor’s Jasmine Marigold Orange tisane Golden Turmeric Chai Orange Rooibos Chai
Lemon Rooibos Verbena tisane Bai Mu Dan White Tea Monastery Garden
You can also add fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to your dry tea and cold brew as described. Juices are a great addition once the tea is cold brewed.
Bai Mu Dan White Peony white tea fresh peach cubes (peeled) a dash of peach juice.
Moroccan Mint green tea a few sprigs of fresh mint
Rwanda Rukeri green tea slices of lemon and cucumber
East Frisian Golden Tips or Assam Chota Tingrai black teas sliced lemon or orange
French Earl Grey black tea a dash of pomegranate juice
Wild Berry Tisane a few muddled fresh berries a sprig of basil