Summer cold brewing is one of the best ways to enjoy tea. Keeping the home cooler isn’t the only reason that cold brewing is a great idea though, it actually makes the tea slightly sweeter than it normally would be when using hot water.
This makes it the perfect choice for a cool refreshing tea to drink on your porch or make for the family on a hot day!
The question is: where to start?
How Do I Make It?
There are several methods to cold brewing tea, but the simplest one is to just put your tea in cold water and leave it in the fridge. Sounds too easy for it to be the optimal way, right? Well, it’s true!
Boiling a hot tea and putting it over ice will dilute the flavor by melting the ice. It is also much more difficult to pay attention to the time and temp of the water to eliminate bitter tea. With Cold Brewing you have no worries about bitter tea. Hot Brewing also makes it more caffeinated and slightly more bitter because the heat will release more of the tannins and caffeine in the leaves.
By sticking your tea in cold water, the process is much gentler and will make you a sweet and lightly caffeinated version of your favorite teas! We suggest using loose leaf tea in a diffuser to keep the leaves contained and to make the tea more flavorful.
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can just use a strainer to get all of the leaves out.
How Long Should It Take?
The cold brew method we like involves about 30 minutes in room temperature water, then moving it to the fridge for the night or about 8 hours. That’s it!
Since we only procure high-quality leaves at Zama Tea, you could easily reuse the leaves for a second batch. The only difference is you should let it have about double the amount of time in the fridge (about 16 hours) to get to the level of flavor as the previous batch.
How Much Should I Use?
The general rule of thumb is to use 8 to 12 teaspoons of leaves for every 2 quarts of water; this is going to be dictated by the strength of the tea and your flavor preference. The same goes for using tea bags, you’ll need to read the directions for cold brewing, as many now have them on the label or on their website.
A good thing to note is that sometimes you will be using a bit more tea leaves or tea bags using the cold brewing method than you would if you were making them hot. This is a small price to pay to taste your favorite tea in a different way. Plus, it will taste so much more refreshing than cooling a hot tea.
Other methods do exist, for example using ice to brew it in a cup, but it isn’t as efficient as the good old fashioned way in the fridge.
What Should I Use?
Loose leaf is our preferred method at Zama Tea, but tea bags are good too. As for which tea leaves to use, that can be a long answer. However, we have chosen a few types that everyone will enjoy.
Rooibos: Thanks to its naturally sweet flavor and lack of caffeine, Rooibos is the perfect choice for a late night cold tea after dinner or for thirsty kids in the day time. Kids can get extremely wound up with sugar, but adding caffeine to the mix will make them bounce off of the walls! This will give the kids the sweetness they want without adding sugar or giving them too much energy. We like it as a dessert drink for the same reasons, and it won’t interfere with your much-needed sleep.
Green: While Green Tea is considered more astringent and subtler than Oolong or Black Tea, it can be made into quite an enjoyable tea when cold brewing. We suggest using one with some fruit in it like our Apricot Green or the Blueberry Green Tea to give it the refreshing taste you want in a cold summer tea.
Black: Like the green tea, if you want something really delicious we suggest getting a tea blend with some fruit in it. The fruit will add a smoothness to it, and since it has a high caffeine content, it’s perfect for the hottest time of the day when the sun starts wearing us down. We like the Organic Mango Passion or the Organic Blood Orange the best for cold brewed Black Tea.
Almost any teas will actually do very well when cold brewed, but you should try to familiarize yourself with them before serving them to a bunch of thirsty guests. A few small tweaks can make any of your favorite teas a crowd favorite!
If you have any questions about our blends or our how to start cold brew our teas, give us a call at (714) 884-3449. Better yet, come by our shop at the historic Jabberwocky building located at 434 El Camino Real in Tustin, and we can show you our favorite diffuser for cold brewing!