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, depth of flavors and playfulness 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.
· A straining device: basket strainer, empty tea bags, jugs or pots that include a strainer.
· Loose leaf tea
How do I cold brew tea?
· Measure your brewing vessel (I find it easy to measure in cups or 8oz increments)
· Measure the loose-leaf tea: same or 1 ½ 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 1-1 ½ tsp of tea = between 4-6 tsp.
· Pour cold water over times the tea in brewing vessel
· Let steep 8-12 hours in the fridge.
· 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
· If it tastes too good and you are running out of the cold brew too fast, if you left the leaves in the brewing vessel, just add water and give it a few more hours!
What teas can I cold brew?
Any! However, here are a few recommendations:
· Green tea: Morrocan Mint, Sencha Mobata and Emperor's Jasmine Teas
· White: Tropical Orchard White Tea
· Oolong: Orange Blossom and Dong Ding Oolong Teas
· Black: French Earl Grey, Orange Burst and Mango-Berry Black Teas
· Rooibos: Mango-Berry Rooibos
· Fruit teas: Wild Berry and Marigold Orange Tisanes
Be creative and mix different teas for added pleasure (use equal parts of tea):
· Emperor's Jasmine Green Tea + Marigold Orange Tisane
· Golden Turmeric Chai Black Tea + Orange Rooibos Chai.
You can also add fresh fruits and/or juices to your cold brew:
·Sencha Mobata + a dash of peach juice
·Kenya Kangaita or Ceylon New Vithanakande or Assam Dinjoye Black Teas + sliced lemon or orange or fresh berries