The weather is heating up and the idea of drinking hot tea might not be as appealing right now as it would be on a cool day so you might be in the mood for a nice cold glass of tea. Of course, there’s the traditional way of making iced tea, boiling water, pouring half as much needed water to twice as much tea in a pitcher, over-steeping it then adding ice to fill the pitcher to dilute it. But there’s a better way. One that will reduce the amount of tannins released, making your tea less bitter.
Cold steeping tea is similar to cold brew coffee in that you make it using only cold water, no need to boil the kettle. While it is cold, it’s not the same as iced tea; you won’t be adding any ice to dilute it. But it is cold and refreshing, making it the perfect beverage for cooling off on a hot summer day. Not only that, you can make it in almost any flavor you want.
Cold-steeping does take a little more time than iced tea so prepare it a day ahead, but you won’t run the risk of over-steeping with this method. And some teas that you may not enjoy hot because of a bitter taste, are much better when cold-steeped.
Ready to give it a try? Here’s what you’ll need:
- A pitcher
- Your favorite tea or blend of teas (loose-leaf provides the best flavor)
- Cold Water
- Added flavoring if you’d like – fruit, fresh mint, and spices are great options
Here’s how to make it:
Use 2 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea to 2 cups of water; if you want more tea, add more leaves accordingly. Place the tea leaves in the pitcher and pour the water over them. While you can use an infuser, allowing your tea leaves to float freely will provide a better flavor. If you’re adding additional flavoring, add that to the pitcher as well.
Cover the pitcher and put it in the fridge to steep. Steeping times vary depending on the type of tea:
- Black Tea – 8-12 hours
- Green and White Tea – 6-8 hours
- Oolong Tea – 8-10 hours
- Herbal Tea – 12-14 hours
When you’re done steeping, taste it to make sure you’re happy with the taste. If you want it stronger, continue to steep. If it’s too strong, simply add more water. Once it’s to your liking, pour it through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the tea leaves.
Now all you need to do is pour a glass and enjoy!