We’ve been getting this question a lot: what is the standard recipe for making cold brew tea?
So here it is.
General Guidelines For How to Make Cold Brew Tea
- put loose leaf tea in your container of choice (a jar, water bottle, etc.)
- add cold water. use 30-50ml cold water for every gram of tea (make sure to use good quality filtered water for best results)
- then refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight
That's it !!
Although these are the general guidelines, to be more specific you just have to use 1.5-2x the amount of loose leaf for a cold brew than you would use for a standard hot brew.
Cold Brew vs. Iced Tea
So what is cold brew tea exactly? And yes, there is a difference between cold brew and iced tea!
If you are a coffee lover, you may already know the difference between the two and why many people prefer cold brews (and why they cost more).
To make iced tea we usually make a potent hot brew and mix it with a big amount of water (potent so it doesn't get watered down by the ice).
Generally, the potent hot brew would have a lot more bitterness and astringency, You wouldn’t want to drink it on its own.
On the other hand, when we do a long extraction using cold water, the components that are extracted from the tea are a bit different.
In other words, not as much catechins are extracted (these constitute to the bitterness) and we are left with a clean-tasting, sweet, and flavorful brew. And in addition, it retains more antioxidants!
You can try it at home by comparing both side to side and decide what you think. Perhaps you’ll actually prefer iced tea. Either way, let us know in the comment section!
Tip for Your Own Cold Brew Tea Recipe:
Have you ever had leftover already brewed tea leaves (for example after gongfucha) that didn’t quite get used to their fullest? Happens to us all the time! You can use those same leaves to make cold brew tea. It might not be as flavorful anymore, but it's still an excellent way to use the leaves instead of just throwing them away (click here to see some other tips on reusing brewed tea leaves!)
Additionally, you can add some cut up fruits or other herbs to make a more flavorful concoction!
One last thing. As with all teas, both cold brew and hot brews, these are just general guidelines, and the best resulting brew will always vary based on the likes of the consumer. So experiment and experiment with the amount of loose leaf and how long to leave it in the fridge for (maybe 24 hours? Up to you!)