Cold brewed tea is fairly straight-forward. It just takes a little extra time for the leaves to infuse into the water without heat. It’s totally worth waiting though as the flavour imparted this way is almost entirely void of any bitterness (tannins released by heat are the cause of astringency in hot tea).
Cold brewed teas have deep, subtle flavours – often quite different to what get by making hot tea and then cooling it – and are great without sweeteners or added flavours of any kind.
The Japanese method is totally romantic and involves allowing ice to melt gradually over the tea leaves. When the ice has mostly melted, the tea is ready to drink.
It’s a lovely thing to watch over an outdoor meal on a sunny day but get it started half an hour or so beforehand to enjoy it with your food.
Japanese chilled tea would usually be made using green teas like Sencha or shade-grown Gyokuro but we find this method also works well with a high-grade loose leaf black tea.
We use a tablespoon of tea for around 1 litre of ice and find that making ice from spring or filtered water yields a clean, fresh tea.
Alternatively you can brew tea in cold water in the fridge overnight. This will yield a comparable result to the above method – a deep, subtle flavour without the bitterness of hot tea. Be sure to do it in an enclosed container or bottle so that other aromas from the fridge aren’t absorbed into the tea. A bottle with a filter in it like our Sora Tea Bottles mean you can grab them straight from the fridge as you head out the door and enjoy your chilled tea throughout the day.