How to cold brew tea. Definitive guide and recipes

What teas can be cold-brewed?

First of all, I have to have a quick rant. I have seen these iced tea bags and teas popping up all over. Boy, do I have good news. You can cold brew ANY tea!!!! Japanese, green, fruit, herbal, oolong, chai, black, earl grey…yep. Mango black tea cold-brewed in oat milk….absolutely! Most commercial iced or cold brew offerings are overpriced and often packaged in loads of plastic! So here is the low down on how and why to make your own. The good news is, it's super simple, very cheap and you need no special skills or tools. 

Why cold brew?

Cold brewing does take slightly longer than making hot tea and then icing it, or buying a bottle of ready to drink iced tea from the shop, so why should you bother

  • Using loose leaf tea you get a 100% whole natural product
  • Gives you the same nutrients as hot tea
  • More hydrating than water alone
  • Much cheaper than buying bottled iced tea
  • No kettle boiling is better for the planet (and your bills)
  • No plastic bottles polluting the earth
  • Green tea is sweeter and smoother when cold brewed
  • You can decide how much sugar and sweetener you want to add
  • No artificial colours, sweeteners or flavours
  • Made exactly as strong as you like it

How to cold brew

All you need is tea, a container and time. If you find you are making it a lot you may want to buy a specific jug and a strainer sure comes in handy but you can start today with what you have. You can even use your yea pot if you like.

  • Add 4-5 teaspoons of tea to your container (a glass or metal jug or bottle is best). If you plan to serve over ice add a little more tea as the ice will dilute the tea.
  • Add 500ml of water. If you are feeling experimental you can use milk, sparkling water, plant-based milk or even lemonade!
  • Cover and leave to brew for 6 - 12 hours in the fridge. I often make mine as I am making my bedtime cuppa.
  • Remove from the fridge and strain to serve. You can simply pour it into your water bottle to sit at your desk or pour it into glasses with ice and garnishes like mint or fruit. 
  • If you want to add sweetness a simple syrup is best as it is already liquid. Honey, jam, fruit puree, agave syrup or artificial sweeteners can also be used if you prefer, just shake or stir well to incorporate.

As you can see, there is a world of experimentation you can explore all summer long. Most cold brew teas will last 3 days in the fridge so make up a batch if that is easier for you. I asked the team which teas they love cold brewed the best so here is the lowdown from the Tea…m

Dan enjoys the Kukicha just cold brewed on its own, he is a purist.
Adrian likes the Caramel kiss cold-brewed with milk and a touch of honey, indulgent!
Steve likes the spearmint green to take out on his run, very refreshing.
I love the earl grey green with a slice of lemon
Adam drinks the Virgin pina colada with sparkling water for a sweet treat.

So there you are, now you can slip into summer as your best-hydrated self! Remember you can cold brew any tea, and in many different ways so get experimenting and don't forget to share the results with us!
 

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