Cold brew tea is a delicious, refreshing drink to enjoy on those hot summer days. Simple to make, cold brew tea is perfect for quenching your thirst!
In this article, we’ll explain how to cold brew tea and why it tastes so good!
What is Cold Brew Tea?
While similar, cold brew tea is not the same as iced tea. Typically iced tea is made by steeping tea in hot water and then pouring it over ice.
Though it does need to steep for a longer time than when making hot tea, it is worth the wait. Cold brew tea is so tasty because of the way it’s made. When tea is steeped in hot water, the tannins in the tea make it bitter. Your cold brew will have a wonderful, smooth taste without the bitterness.
Cold brew tea also has less caffeine than tea that is steeped in hot water. Your cold brew tea will have about half the amount of caffeine than if you brewed it the traditional way.
Key Ingredients When Making Cold Brew Tea
It’s very simple to learn how to cold brew tea. All you need is water, tea leaves, a pitcher or jar, and a strainer.
Clean, fresh water is the starting point for making cold brew tea. Water that has been filtered will taste the best since it has chlorine and other chemicals removed. Your water can be cold or at room temperature.
You can use any kind of tea with the cold brew method. Start with some of your favorite kinds and then experiment by trying new flavors to see what you like best! We recommend loose leaf tea.
Pitcher or Jar
We suggest using a glass pitcher or jar since the tea can stain plastic. It’s up to you if you want to make a single serving–mason jars work great for this–or an entire pitcher.
Any glass pitcher will do, however, to make things even simpler, you can purchase one that comes with a tea strainer that sits inside.
If your pitcher doesn’t have a strainer, you can just use a regular tea strainer, a mesh sieve, or even cheesecloth.
Types of Cold Brew Tea
Black tea is very popular for making cold brew tea since this has the classic “iced tea” flavor that will be familiar to many. You can choose from caffeinated or decaf black tea as well as flavored black tea.
Herbal or fruit teas are also ideal for the cold brew process. Their fresh taste is great on hot days. Try peppermint for an invigorating tea or hibiscus for a more floral note. Citrus, peach, and berry teas also taste great cold!
Green, white, and oolong teas can also be used to make cold brew tea. Whatever type you choose, opt for a high-quality, loose leaf tea for the best flavor.
How to Make Cold Brew Tea
You’ll want to use about one and a half teaspoons of loose leaf tea for every cup of water. So if you’re using a 16-ounce jar, you’ll need three teaspoons of tea. For a 48-ounce pitcher, use nine teaspoons (three tablespoons) of tea.
Simply put the loose leaf tea into the jar or pitcher and fill it with cold or room temperature water. Place in the fridge and let it steep for about 8 hours. You can easily do this before bed and have it ready for you in the morning.
Once your tea has steeped, just strain it with either a tea strainer or sieve. It’s delicious just the way it is or you can add sweetener, fresh lemon, or mint. Pour over ice if you desire.
Any tea that you don’t drink right away should be kept in the refrigerator and used within a few days – though it tastes so good, it probably won’t last for a long period of time!
Does Cold Brew Tea Have Caffeine?
If using standard black, green, white, or oolong tea, your cold brew tea will contain caffeine. The cold brewing process results in the tea having about half of the amount of caffeine that would be present if steeped in hot water.
Black tea will have the highest amount of caffeine. Green, white, and oolong tea have lower amounts of caffeine, while herbal teas do not contain any caffeine.
What Are the Best Ways to Sweeten Cold Brew Tea?
We suggest trying the tea first prior to adding any type of sweetener. Since cold brew teas are less bitter, they have a sweeter taste than hot tea. You might find you like it just the way it is.
Simple syrup is a great way to add extra sweetness to your cold brew tea. It’s made by boiling equal parts water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once the mixture cools it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Alternatively, you can use sugar, honey, or simple syrup to sweeten your tea. Artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, or sucralose can also be used.
How Long Can I Keep Cold Brew Tea in the Refrigerator?
Your cold brew tea will taste better if you drink it when it’s fresh. However, in a sealed container, it will last three to four days in the refrigerator. After this time, it will start to lose some of its flavor.
Is Loose Leaf Tea the Best for Cold Brew?
Loose leaf tea will make the best-tasting cold brew tea. The large leaves provide a stronger, bolder flavor and a fresher taste. Now that you know how to brew cold tea, choose a high-quality loose leaf tea to make it.
Can I Use Tea Bags for Cold Brew Tea?
While you can use tea bags to make cold brew tea, it typically will not taste as great. We recommend using loose leaf tea for the best quality cold brew tea.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.