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Introductory Guide to Cold Brewing Tea

Cold brewing tea eliminates the need for adding heat to the process, and any tea (black, green, white, etc) may be brewed using this method.

Cold-Steeped Gyokuro Kin Green Tea

The process of cold brewing, or cold steeping, is quite simple. We've provided step-by-step instructions to get you started below. But first, let's talk about why someone may wish to cold steep their tea over traditional steeping using hot water.


Why Cold Brew?


There are a number of benefits to selecting the cold brew method to steep your favorite teas:


Cold brewing is a great way to make a large amount of cold tea all at once. Since the tea leaves are added to a large pitcher for steeping, one can produce several cups of tea all at once. Who doesn't enjoy a cold cup (or two or three) of tea on a hot day?


By eliminating the heat in the process, cold brewing is a much more forgiving way to steep. Anyone who has ever forgotten about a hot steeping cup of tea only to return and find it very astringent and bitter knows what we mean. Cold brewing offers a method of preparing tea without the fear of over steeping.


Cold brewing yields a less caffeinated cup of tea. Since much of the caffeine is released from the leaves when heat is applied, there is less caffeine released when the leaves are steeped in cold water.


The resulting tea using the cold brewing method tastes slightly different than when prepared using the traditional hot-steep method. When the leaves are placed in hot water, many tannins get released which have an astringent and bitter flavor. With cold brewing, the flavor from the tea leaves are extracted over a much longer period of time. The result is a smoother, less bitter and astringent cup of tea.


The resulting tea is often described as having a slightly sweeter taste when cold brewed, which can be great for those trying to reduce their sugar intake and prefer more sweetness in their tea.


Step-by-Step to Cold Brewing Tea


What you will need:

  • Pitcher, jar, teapot, or other steeping vessel

  • Cold water

  • Tea leaves

  • Refrigerator

Getting started:

  1. Scoop the needed amount of tea leaves into the steeping vessel. As a general rule of thumb, 1 tsp of loose-leaf is recommended for each 8oz cup of tea. For more delicate, less dense teas like white tea, more may be suggested. Check your package for recommended amounts. For a stronger cup of tea, use a bit more tea leaves per ounce of water.