When it comes to tea, one thing is sure; it is either hot and cold. Its preparation is pretty straightforward and standard, especially when it comes to tea, infused in hot water. That is actually how tea is usually made, but its cold version is pretty famous too. Iced tea is a pretty common variety of tea making, however, it only includes tea brewed regularly which is then cooled down with ice. But, there is also another way to enjoy tea that does not include hot water or ice cubes; you can also cold brew your tea. If you’re raising your eyebrow in wonder, we understand. Many people haven’t heard about this method, and those who have, think it’s the most complicated thing ever. It’s called cold brewing.
Well, cold brewing is actually extremely simple. And, it is also becoming increasingly popular with tea and non-tea lovers. Chances are that, if you’re reading this, you are either new to cold brewing or you want to learn more. Either way, in the following paragraphs we are going to look at the cold brewing method, as well as how you can cold brew green tea. So, let’s get going!
Cold Brewing Explained
Cold brewing, whether coffee or tea, includes making your drink with cold water, instead of hot water. In the case of cold brew tea, there is no hot-water infusion, and unlike regular tea making, cold brewing takes much longer. This might be one of the main reasons why people think this process is complicated, as cold brewing takes hours. Steeping in cold water can take up to 8 hours, however, the process is rather simple. The reason it takes so long for the tea to steep in cold water is pretty self-explanatory. There is no hot water to infuse the leaves and encourage flavor, color, and aroma to release quickly. Instead, tea leaves are extracted much slower, and in turn, require several hours to complete the infusion and extraction.
It is important to regard the length of steeping as a sacrifice you’ll have to make to enjoy a better flavor, aroma and overall experience. Hot-water infused tea requires time precision and can be rather bitter in taste. When dried tea leaves come in contact with hot water, their active ingredients are being transformed, something you can refer to almost as cooking.
Cold brewing makes the tea sweeter, smoother and less bitter. In the case of green tea, which is known for its unique bitter aftertaste, we can say that the bitterness completely disappears with this method. Due to the length of steeping, tea releases its antioxidants and flavor in a more raw and organic way; by not being exposed to heat, tea leaves retain their components in an original form, as well as completely uncorrupted aroma and flavor. The slower the process of brewing, and the colder the water, the purer and more flavorful green, or any tea, as a matter of fact, will be. So, in order for you to make a perfect cup of cold-brewed green tea, we are now going to into the very method, step by step.
Step by Step Cold Brewed Green Tea
Apart from the hours of waiting to get your tea, the method of cold brewing tea is simple, as aforementioned. Some people find it even easier and more forgiving than regular tea making. Green tea has proven to be one of the best choices for cold brewing, due to its outstanding flavor and taste, as well as the abundance of antioxidants that get to release during the process. So, before we get into the very process, you must first choose your green tea and gather other things you’ll need; let’s say you decided to go the classic road and you decided to use Japanese Sencha green tea, or even Matcha. Regardless, you will also need;
- A pitcher, jar or any larger, glass-made container,
- Green tea of your choice; we recommend Japanese Sencha, Chinese Dragon Well, and Matcha; either way you should be using loose leaf green tea (or powdered if Matcha),
- Cold water, of course,
- You can also add lemons, fresh herbs, fresh or dried fruits, spices, and sweeteners; this is completely up to you and your preferences.
So, now that we have everything we need, here’s how you will cold brew your green tea, step by step;
- The first step includes taking 2 heaping teaspoons of your favorite green tea and adding them to a pitcher or a jar. You may also put your green tea into a tea infuser, or a filter, but it is better to just let it flow freely in the container. This way, tea leaves will be extracted more effectively, allowing all the flavors and aromas to release fully.
- Now, it is time to pour in the cold water. Add 2 cups of cold water into the container of your choice; this amount of water equals to the aforementioned amount of tea. If you want to make more than simply add more tea and water. If you want to make a stronger cold-brewed tea, add more tea and less water.
- At this point, you might also want to consider adding more flavor to your cold-brewed tea. Consider adding herbs, spices or fruits, as well as sweeteners according to your own preferences. Before adding any sweeteners though, you should know that cold brewed green tea is naturally sweeter and has no bitterness to it.
- Not it’s the time to let the tea steep. Cover your jar, pitcher or container, and place it in the fridge. Since you’re steeping green tea, it should take between 6 and 8 hours for the tea to cold brew fully. The best way to prepare cold brewed green tea is right before you go to sleep. This way, the tea will brew overnight, and you will have freshly brewed tea right in the morning.
- Once the steeping is done, it is time for the final step. At this point, you should have cold brewed green tea. Makes sure to taste it and see if you’re okay with the flavor. Add more cold water if the tea is too strong, or sweeteners if you want it more flavorful. Either way, this is the time you strain the tea to remove the leaves. You can enjoy your tea straight, or you can serve it over ice. Feel free to experiment and adjust the flavors to your liking.
Benefits of Cold Brewed Green Tea
Green tea, in general, is known to be one of the healthiest beverages in the world. Regular green tea consumption can help prevent heart disease, cancer, can reduce body weight, improve metabolism and much more. Now, does cold brewing reduce the health benefits of green tea or increase them?
Well, cold brewed green tea offers a completely different set of health benefits compared to the benefits it offers when brewed regularly with hot water. First of all, there is much less caffeine in cold brewed green tea, which is great if you enjoy green tea but are, for example, allergic to caffeine or you want to avoid caffeine-induced jitters, stress, and nervousness. Because it is brewed in cold water, green tea does not release caffeine (or not as much), which makes it a perfect before-bed drink or a drink you’d have when relaxing after a long day.
Moreover, cold brewed green tea does contain more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea. According to studies conducted by Italian researchers, hot water actually destroys catechins (a type of phenolic compounds that are usually ascribed antioxidant activity). Cold water, on the other hand, helps the green tea release all these catechins or antioxidants without destroying them. This way, you get more from your green tea, which turns out to be even more beneficial for your health when cold brewed. The increase in antioxidants in green tea now means that it is much effective in fighting off diseases, improving and boosting metabolism, providing anti-aging properties and making you feel, overall, better and healthier.
Now that you know everything about cold-brewed tea and how it is done, it’s time do give it a try. Cold-brewed green tea is a great way to expand your drink preferences, try something new, and maybe discover a new favorite drink. Or, if you’re looking for a way to improve your health and do something good for your body, you should be definitely making cold-brewed tea as soon as possible. Whatever it is that you want to achieve, always make sure to enjoy your cup of tea. Use it as a perfect excuse for some me-time, or as an excuse to gather friends and family; either way, making and drinking tea is a great way to relax and unwind. Enjoy!