How to Cold Brew Tea
Making Iced Tea just got easier: Cold Brew Tea.
We recently added a few teas to our collection that are just as tasty served cold as they are hot. And since we’re bringing in even more delicious Iced tea blends this summer, let’s talk about cold brew!
After some great feedback from our customers about great our herbal teas and fruits teas are iced, we thought we would share the hands-down-best way to make Iced tea. We’ll also talk about why we prefer cold-brewing tea over the recently popular “sun tea” method, and how “sun tea” can also be dangerous.
So what is cold brewing tea?
Cold brewing tea is the process of making iced tea without boiling water. It’s our preferred method because of how easy, quick, and delicious it is. Because cold brew does not involve hot water, it eliminates any chance of getting that bitter, burnt-leaf tea taste. A better and easier iced tea? Yup!
This process first became popular in Japan and was believed to release more of the tea’s natural flavors. Many tea connoisseurs believed that the hot water was scorching the delicate tea leaves, and decided to cold brew tea for a truer taste. This steeping method takes slightly longer than a traditional hot-to-cold iced tea, but we’re sure you’ll find the wait worth it!
Is cold brewing difficult? Some would say the hardest part about cold brewing is deciding which tea you want to try next. While you can’t go wrong with most herbal and fruit teas, we love cold-brewing black and green teas as well. We’d recommend starting with your favorite of the Dollar Tea Club tea.
How to cold brew tea
Cold brewing is simple. Like really, really simple.
You may have seen iced teas for sale at your local grocery market- after making this recipe you’ll wonder why anyone would pay for overpriced pre-made iced teas. Also, since you’re in control, you can decide how sweet you’d like your tea. No more “too sweet” “not sweet enough”, “bitter” teas.
So what’s the catch? It takes a few hours to naturally steep (good news: all you have to do is wait!).
Pro tip: prepare your cold brew at night so that you have a ready-to-drink batch ready in the morning.
What you’ll need:
- Your favorite Dollar Tea Club loose leaf tea (herbal teas & fruits teas recommended)
- Infuser, Tea Filter, or Spice Ball
- Mason Jar (or any container with lid)
- Cold Water (preferably filtered)
Cold Brew Tea Recipe
- Measure out 2-3 teaspoons of tea for every 8 oz of cold water you plan to make. Most pitchers are 32oz and require 10-12 tsp of tea. If you have an infuser or tea filter, use for tea. Don’t worry too much about measuring out the perfect amount of tea- we’ll show you how to adjust later on.
- Add loose tea or infuser/tea filter to Mason Jar or container and fill with cold filtered water.
- Stir for 20 seconds, ensuring all tea leaves are wet and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but no more than 10 hours.
- Remove tea from Mason Jar/container & enjoy.
In a rush? Cold brew needs 1/2 the time to steep at room temperature.
Adjusting & perfecting the flavor
My cold brew is too weak: add more tea to your pitcher and steep again. We recommend adding 1/2 the amount used in step 1 and letting it steep for an additional 6 hours.
My cold brew is too strong: dilute with some cold water. Tip: need to serve more cold brew than your pitcher can hold? make it twice as strong and dilute with water while serving.
My cold brew is not sweet enough: add honey or sugar for a sweet kick!
Want a refreshing twist? Freshly squeeze 1/2 a lemon into your pitcher and enjoy!
Cold-brew vs Sun Tea
Sun tea is a popular trend when it comes to making a batch of iced tea without having to use hot water. This is a method of making tea that is usually done in the summertime. People enjoy watching as rays from the sun help steep their tea. While this process allows for a much milder tea beverage, it can also be dangerous.
Making sun tea involves allowing the tea leaves to steep in the sun for 5 or 6 hours. Leaving food or drinks out for an extended period of time at uncontrolled temperatures can cause bacteria to accumulate. Bacteria grows much quicker in warm, damp conditions than it does in a controlled setting like a fridge.
We prefer cold brew because even though it may take a few hours longer to achieve full flavor, it is a much safer process. The peace of mind knowing that bacteria is not growing in our cup makes cold brew a win!
Is cold brew better than the “over ice” method?
Another common method of making cold tea beverages is brewing a cup of hot tea, and then pouring it over ice. This is a great way to get a quick glass of cold tea whenever you want it, but the flavor just doesn’t compare to what you get with cold brew tea.
When you make hot tea, the kettle often heats the water to a hotter temperature than you need to make the tea. This presents the risk of burning the tea leaves. When this happens, the tea’s flavor is off you won’t get the full benefits from the beverage. Even without burning the tea leaves, the flavor-body in a cold brew is very different from a hot-to-cold iced tea.
White tea and green tea leaves especially are very delicate and can be quick to bitter under hot water. For that reason and others, we’ve switched entirely to cold brewing our teas. Cold brew is a great way to drink tea and experience the full flavor benefits, and only takes a bit longer than the hot pour method.
How long does cold brew stay fresh?
In an airtight container, cold brew tea will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Note that any tea leaves should be removed within 24 hours or the beverage may be too strong to enjoy.
Which tea should I use?
When you make cold brew, you can use any of your favorite teas, but here are some that we recommend:
Jaysen @ezeekat shows us how to Cold-Brew Tea with Dollar Tea Club Blends.