How to Cold Brew Tea in 3 Easy Steps

How to Cold Brew Tea in 3 Easy Steps

As the temperatures rise, iced tea is the perfect refreshment to cool down. There are various ways to make iced tea, but my personal favorite method is to cold brew it.

Why, you ask?

First of all, cold brewing tea is perhaps the easiest way to make tea. Yes, it does take a bit longer, but all the good things in life are worth waiting for, am I right?

Even more importantly, the cold brewing method makes a perfectly smooth – and even sweeter – cup than traditional hot brewing. This is because this slow and gentle technique prevents tannins – the natural components that make tea bitter and astringent – from being extracted from the tea leaf in the same way they would be when brewed hot.

How to cold brew tea in 3 easy steps

  1. Combine 1.5 teaspoons of loose leaf tea in 1 cup of cold or room-temperature water in a bottle or pitcher. (Bottles with built-in infusion baskets work best, IMO.) Use the conversion chart below if you’d like to brew larger quantities.
  2. Cover and place in refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
  3. Strain tea leaves using a sieve or mesh strainer. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Yep, it’s that easy, folks!

A few pointers on cold brewing…

  • You can cold brew any kind of tea from roasted oolongs and breakfast blacks to Japanese sencha and jasmine-scented green tea.
  • Filtered water is the best water to use when cold brewing tea, as it has the best flavor.
  • Glass containers are best for making and storing cold-brewed tea, as they do not stain or leach aromas like plastic ones do.
  • You can store cold-brewed tea for up to four days in the refrigerator.
  • There’s about half the caffeine in a cold-brewed tea than tea steeped in hot water. (Because the caffeine is not fully extracted.)
  • If you prefer sweeter tea, consider adding a bit of store-bought simple syrup (or make your own by heating equal parts sugar or honey and hot water until the sugar or honey dissolves.) You can also experiment by adding a bit of frozen fruit or fresh herbs to your tea when serving it.

Conversion chart

The rule of thumb for making cold brew tea is to use 1.5 teaspoons of tea for every cup of water.

1 cup
1.5 teaspoons loose leaf tea
2 cups
1 tablespoon loose leaf tea
4 cups
2 tablespoon loose leaf tea
8 cups
4 tablespoons loose leaf tea


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