In a recent blog about white tea, we promised we’d write about cold brews. Not ones to break a promise…here we are! So, first up…
What is cold brew tea?
You’ve heard of iced tea, right? To make iced tea, you brew your tea using traditional steeping methods and then add ice. While iced tea is a great way to enjoy the benefits of tea during the hot summer months, making your iced tea can be inconsistent and largely depends on how long you leave the loose tea leaves to steep.
Cold-brew, on the other hand, is much simpler to make. The loose tea leaves are steeped in cold water (or room temperature) and don’t come into contact with heat in the brewing process.
When cold brewing, the loose-leaf is steeped for an extended period, so the entire process is time-driven rather than temperature driven. Cold-brew has become increasingly popular due to its smooth taste. We can thank the longer, slower flavour extraction for that! Those into slow food would love this addition to their repertoire of things to serve at your next weekend get together.
Brewing with cold water creates a different chemical balance than when brewing with hot water, so the result is less bitterness, caffeine and tannins.
Both cold brews and iced tea are refreshing and delicious when made correctly.
It was the Japanese who first began cold brewing as they felt hot brewing damaged some types of loose leaf tea’s natural benefits and burnt the tea. The tender Rujani Signature White and Silky Silver Needle are such teas which would benefit from cold brewing.
The health benefits we’ve already learnt about are maintained when cold brewing. What’s more, cold brews contain less caffeine yet more antioxidants than the traditional hot tea we’re used to.
Now that we know a bit more about cold brew tea…
How do we make cold brew tea?
The best thing is you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen!
- Your favourite Rujani loose leaf tea (you can even have fun mixing different teas and organic herbs, fruits or flower petals)
- A jar/jug/bottle that has a cover
- A strainer/infuser/tea filters
- You don’t even need a kettle!
- Put 5 tablespoons of your chosen loose leaf tea/s in a jar/jug/container
- Add water (preferably filtered). Generally what works is 60% water to 40% loose leaf tea. We’ve found this to be approximately one tablespoon per cup, which equates to about one and a half times more tea leaves than when making traditional hot brew tea.
- Cover and refrigerate. If using white or green tea, steep for 6 to 8 hours and 8 to 12 hours when using black tea.
- Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the tea (or a cheesecloth-lined colander). Or pull out your tea filter or infuser.
- Pour into a jug and add four more cups of cold water to dilute the cold brew concentrate OR add 8 cups of water at step 2 to skip this dilution process.
- Serve over ice.
- Accompany as you please with a syrup/lemon wedges, or even add fresh herbs or fruit during the steeping process.
Your cold brew tea can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days!
Loose leaf tea always works best and provides the best flavour. You can even re-steep to make batch no. 2, which may be slightly lighter in flavour.
With its longer steeping time, naturally sweet, flavoursome and aromatic loose leaf teas work best. At Rujani we recommend our Bai Mu Dan Bliss white tea for cold brewing. Popular among white tea enthusiasts, our Bai Mu Dan Bliss is a mild tea that releases a pleasant peony floral aroma. It is best enjoyed in the evenings, or as a cold brew on a sunny day.
Your cold-brew tea is sure to be aromatic and taste sensational! Let us know how you go and leave a comment below on your cold brew recipes. So, experiment and enjoy. Cheers!