Cold Brew – the Only Way to Make Iced Tea!
There’s probably no better remedy to the sun, sweat and swelter of mid-summer than a tall glass of ice-cold tea. We are very supportive of any such beverage, but we’ve done a LOT of experimenting lately at home and farmers markets, and we figured we would give you a couple of tips to help take your tea from good to OUTSTANDING.
The first one is pretty straightforward but by far the most important. Cold-brew your tea! Don’t make hot tea, then wait for it to cool down, put ice in it, etc. Making hot tea cold accentuates the tannins, acids and other bitter compounds that come out of the tea when made with scalding hot water.
Instead, just slam your tea into some clean, cold (or room temp) water, throw it in your fridge for 6-16 hours, filter the tea leaves out and you’re ready to go.
Here are some other tips and recipes:
- Use a little extra tea so that when you pour it over ice, it maintains its strength. We recommend 6 grams per cup of water.
- Black tea can/should steep much longer than green tea. Most black teas need at least 12 hours but could use up to 16 hours depending on how strong and astringent you like it. Most green teas need MUCH LESS time in the water. Start with 6 hours and go from there. Green tea can get bitter and funky tasting if steeped for too long, but if done right, can be amazingly delicious, refreshing and you’ll be amazing at the floral, fruity complex flavors you’ll taste.
- Get creative with your tea! Cold brewed tea is great on its own, but since it’s a bit mellower than hot tea, can take other flavors well. Try different citrus fruits, lavender, vanilla, or our favorite—make a shrub. Here is a recipe for one of our favorites: http://www.thejoykitchen.com/recipe/strawberry-shrub
- Tea. Cocktails. Cold brewed tea is amazing in cocktails. Here is a good link below–but your best bet is to just ‘google up’ (as my mom would say) a couple of your favorite cocktail ingredients (i.e., “gin lavender tea cocktail”) and you’ll probably find something perfect. http://www.elledecor.com/life-culture/food-drink/g2981/tea-cocktails/
Hunt us down at a farmer’s market this summer to taste for yourself—and we’d love to hear your favorite cold brew tea recipes and cocktails, so give us a shout!