Staff Picks: Comfort CuppasMarch 20, 2020
Looking for new ways to make iced tea at home, now that you’re home…all the time? We recommend trying the cold brew method! Cold brewing tea at home is an easy way to batch out iced tea, and it is at once delicious, cost effective, and so, so easy. To cold brew, you need the following items: 1. Your favorite tea 2. An infusing pitcher, or a way to separate tea leaves from the pitcher when you’re reading to serve the tea 3. Room temperature or cold water How Do I Cold Brew Tea? As with preparing a hot cup of tea, we recommending using 1 heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8oz of water when cold brewing tea. This rule goes for every type of tea except for black tea. Because black tea is fully oxidized, it releases far less tannins than any other tea when you cold brew vs a hot brew; this means it doesn’t produce as strong of a flavor as it would if you prepared it by steeping it hot and then icing it. We recommend tossing in an extra teaspoon of loose tea on top of the regular amount you would normally use (so if you are looking to make 16oz of cold brew iced tea, use 3 heaping teaspoons of tea rather than 2). How Long Will it Last in the Fridge? If you are using a pitcher with an infuser insert, you can get multiple infusions out of a tea that's been cold brewed, up to 2-3 infusions within a 48 hour period. Just kept adding more water when the water level gets low, allowing the leaves to re-steep for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Once you’ve re-steeped the same leaves multiple times, we recommend removing the infuser insert and enjoying your remaining cold brew. As long as you don’t add any sweeteners, cold brew tea will stay good in the fridge up to a week. Note: some teas cold brew better than others, so you will have to experiment to see which blends lend themselves best to multiple infusions. White teas, green teas, and oolong teas cold brew exceptionally well. Some cold brew superstars that our staff is currently loving: White Coconut Dulce, Tropical Breeze, Tie Guan Yin, Lemon Ginger Oolong, Maté Brio, Key Lime Sublime, and Lemon Drop. However, most teas cold brew well, so you can’t go wrong starting with your personal favorite teas! How Does Cold Brewing Tea Affect Flavor? As mentioned above, when you cold brew tea leaves, less tannins are extracted from the tea leaves than when you brew using hot water. This means that for white, green, and oolong teas, cold brewing the tea leaf can bring out flavor profiles you may not taste otherwise, and will result in a slightly sweeter taste. Less tannins extracted also means that you are in no risk of over steeping your tea, and it will not get bitter. The longer you steep, the more full-bodied the flavor. Personally, my favorite way to have white, green, and oolong iced tea is through cold brew preparation. My current favorite cold brew teas is our Coconut Pouchong. The depth of flavor I get from a cold brew extraction is wild compared to a flash chill method. The pineapple in the blend is much more pronounced, and I even detect citrus notes. Cold Brewing: More Health Benefits? Not only does cold-brewing tea result in a wonderful extraction of flavor from most teas, it may be better for you than you than hot tea. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, there is evidence to suggest that cold infusing your tea preserves the beneficial molecules (antioxidants and others) in the tea leaf, protecting them from degradation. This study purports that heat can damage and degrade these molecules, and that even flash chilling your tea (steeping a concentrated amount of tea, and then immediately icing it upon completion) can result in greater health benefits than drinking it hot or waiting for it to cool, because the molecules are exposed to heat for a shorter period of time. So that means if you decide to cold brew that Jasmine Silver Needle you have in your tea cupboard, you will get maximum flavor and maximized health benefits associated with white tea. White teas are some of our favorite to cold brew. You can infuse the leaves multiple times, and you’ll get a wonderfully rich, nuanced flavor from each extraction. Like same can be said of cold infusions of Green and Oolong teas. What’s the right tool for the job? We have a number of steeping options for you to cold brew at home. A few of our favorites for making a pitcher to keep in the fridge are our 66oz Takeya Pitcher, Cold Brew Carafe, and Infusion Iced Tea Pitcher And if you’re not sure what teas to cold brew first, we recommend our Cold Brew Getting Started Kit. It comes with a 66oz Takeya Pitcher and 5 teas that cold brew perfectly! Happy cold brewing, our tea friends!