Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cold Brewing Tea

Does anybody cold brew their Iced Teas? 
I recently started to do so (this spring & summer) and I've realized that for Lance and I it is the best way to go.
Cold brew tastes so much better to us, it last longer and it is easier.
It really easy just add tea leafes in your pitcher, pour in cold water, a stick it in the fridge for a while, that simple!

I had 2 main questions about cold brewing before I started so I did a little reading online about cold brewing and founds lots of useful information. 

My first question about cold brewing of was -How long should I cold brew my black tea?- from my online reading I found many different brewing times and overnight seemed to be popular with lots of folks so that's the time I started with.

My second question was -should I use a Glass pitcher rather than a plastic one?- I know that's really all just a matter of preference but I still wanted to know what other people liked to use.
I discovered that most people prefer Glass over Plastic, I experimented with that also and I agree Glass container for some reason Does IMO make a tastier tea, but we have several plastic tea pitchers and my glass thing is a huge gallon jug with a small opening and it's not easy to get the leafes out, So we use a plastic pitcher still.
I'll be buying a glass pitcher soon.

A few months ago I saw a post on Steepster about over steeping cold brewed teas and I saw a reply that said Upton's Tea Imports recommends steeping blacks a minimum of 4 days So I went to Upton's site and found the article "A customer shares his cold-water iced tea method" in their General Tea Information section(I'm including that link on the bottom of this post).
In that article this customer states that 4 days was the minimum for cold brewing Black Tea and that you won't get the full flavor before then, he also said that the flavor would still get stronger after 4 day and it will be drinkable up to 7 days.
I at first thought No Way! but I tried it myself with Black Tea and from my experience I found his advise to be good and useful.

I only tried the 4 day brew a few times because although it tasted good it wasn't very practical for us for 2 reasons.
First and main reason is because We drink lots of tea and between the two of us we can drink an entire pitcher in one day sometimes specially if company stops by.
Second reason is that I'm too impatient to wait for 4 days every time lol 4 days is too long to cold brew a tea that we would just drink all up on the 5th day lol.
If i was patient enough to wait 4 days each time then for us to always have a pitcher ready to drink that would mean many pitchers of tea sitting in the fridge at one time cold brewing and that's just too much we don't have room for all of that. 
I will still brew some for 4 days from time to time probably just not often.

After reading this on Upton's site and trying it myself it brought up another question for me, Can I re-steep?
It just made sense to me that if I could leave it to cold brew for 4 days straight but overnight is sufficient for us then maybe I can just brew it overnight, drink it the next day and re-steep it overnight again a few times. 
I decided to just go ahead and give that a try and see what happens, What happened was it worked quite well and the second cold brew was tasty also.
Now We don't even strain the leaves anymore they just sit in the pitcher and I keep filling it back up and doing it over again, we use the same cold brewed leafes sometimes 3 or 4 times, after about the third time I usually ditch the leafes and start over unless I feel that it can go one more time. 

That's the way we cold brew our tea now, it don't get nasty or funky or anything it taste good all the way through. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has tried to re-brew and cold brewed tea.
This is just for black teas for us, but I've also cold brewed raw puerhs twice, Cold brewed tea taste really good.

So, Do you cold brew? How do you Cold Brew?
Please comment and let me know :)

P.S, we drink iced tea here all year round so cold brew is not only good for summertime but for anytime :)

Here is the Upton's link for "A customer shares his cold-water iced tea method"

Here are a few more links about Cold Brewing :)


  1. I make large quantities of tea to sell at Farmers Markets and Special events in my area. I make the tea in 5 gallon buckets. I don't like hot water brewing but don't like cold water brewing either because of the time it takes. I simply don't have a refrigerator big enough to hold up to 10 five-gallon buckets.

    I have found warming the water to about 160 degrees really speeds up the brewing process.

    I have been told that the tannic acid in tea requires heat in order to be released from tea. By cold brewing, you minimize the acid release.

    People rant and rave how good my iced tea is.
    thanks for the post!