When I was a young boy, my grandmother used to put tea in a pitcher and leave it out in the sun to steep. My twin brother and I would keep running outside every few minutes to check on the progress of this “sun tea,” as how she called it.
As I grew older and learnt more about tea and health, I came to realise that the idea was great, however, the execution was flawed (sorry, grandma!). Bacteria loves wet tea leaves. So, leaving them out in an ideal environment for bacterial proliferation is inviting disease and infection.
But, there is an answer – and it is extremely cool. Absolute cold, really: COLD BREW.
Cold brewing coffee is all the rage right now, but it is even easier, in fact, to prepare a pitcher of cold-brewed iced tea. But, take note that you don't steep in hot water and then cool it down.
You see, when you use hot or boiling water to steep, you extract a lot of tannins which makes your tea bitter. If you chill this tea, the bitterness is even stronger.
By using cold water to steep, the tannins are kept at bay resulting in a smoother and sweeter taste, without needing a lot of sugar.
Ready? Here are the steps!
How to Cold Brew Iced Tea
1. Just add tea leaves to the bottom of a pitcher and pour cold water over them.
The general rule is using one teaspoon per cup. You can also use 5 tablespoons loose tea or 10 teabags of 4-8 cup container.
Suggestions: Mix black tea and herbal tea, black tea or green tea, or black tea and fruit-infused teas plus mint tea. Just avoid anything too overpowering in the mix.
2. Cover, and keep in the refrigerator (this is the important part) for at least 6 hours, much better if you can as much as 12.
Don't worry, it will stay smooth and refreshing, even if you forget about it after 24 hours.
3. Strain and serve. That’s it!
Even better, because the leaves are never shocked by the hot water, the tannins – the bitter stuff – aren’t as prevalent, so it is much more refreshing.
If you like sweet, it would be nice if you can prepare a sweetener. Just dissolve equal parts sugar and water and add to the tea once you are ready to serve.
And of course, make sure to use our elegant teaware to make your dreamy iced tea!