There's nothing better on a warm summer day than a cool, iced tea. How you brew it can make the difference between a bitter tasting cup, and one that is seductively sweet and refreshing.
Hot brew or cold brew?
There are two main ways to make iced tea: either hot or cold brewing. Hot brewing usually involves adding boiling water to tea leaves or a tea bag, letting it cool, and adding ice. This works well when you need iced tea quickly but the result can be bitter and uninspiring.
As any iced tea expert will tell you, cold brew is the way to go. Infusing tea leaves in cool water extracts their flavors in a slow gentle way, releasing less tannins and so leaving very little or no bitterness. The result is a very smooth and refreshing tea that can be quite a revelation.
How to cold brew (to make 4 glasses)
- In a teapot or jug, combine approx. 12g. of good quality loose leaf tea with one litre of cold, filtered water. (The rule of thumb is about 2-3g per 250ml)
- Secure lid and place in refrigerator. Leave it in the fridge to cold brew overnight for 8-12 hours.
- Remove teapot from refrigerator and strain the tea through.
- Serve on ice or keep refrigerated in a sealed bottle until ready to drink. It will keep for 2-3 days.
Best teas to cold brew
You can cold brew any tea you want. Black tea is perhaps the most common tea to serve iced. We found that more delicate light, floral teas gave us especially delicious results. Some of our favourites include:
- Winter Frost: a bit of frost in the sun is just what’s needed on a hot day. Our Winter Frost from the Nilgiri Hills in South India makes a fruity floral cold brew that has a light honey sweetness.
- White Yeti: cold brewing this delicate white tea from Nepal brings out its soft sweet flavours to make a clean refreshing cup.
- Glacier Green: this crisp green tea from Nepal is another perfect antidote to a hot day. When cold brewed this tea has a grassy flavour with a smoky, nutty aroma. We'd recommend brewing this one for no more than 8 hours.