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Cold Brew Your Tea For Summer

As the Summer heats up, cold-brew tea offers cool refreshment, a fresh set of taste experiences, and easy preparation.

If you've only ever steeped your teas with hot water, cold-brewing offers a new and refreshing set of experiences. Many drinkers often note cold-brewed teas have smoother textures, sweeter tastes, and lower levels of astringency. When cold-brewed, teas like tieguanyin offer all these advantages along with their floral aromatics.

Additionally, an initial studies suggest that cold-brewing teas may increase the release of beneficial catechins and reduce caffeine levels.

How to Brew

Cold-brewing is quite simple. There are 5 things you need:

1. Tea
There are differing opinions on how much tea to use, but most recommend using more leaf than you would for regular hot water brewing. Start with 1.5 times the amount of tea you usually use. While cold-brewing tieguanyin is popular in places like Taiwan, almost any tea can be cold-brewed. Try cold-brewing Darjeeling teas, Chinese green teas, like mao feng, or Jasmine green tea pearls for a refreshing summer drink.

2. Water
Add water at your desired temperature. Some people start with warm water (65 degrees C) to fill about 1/5 of the vessel, then fill the rest with room temperature water. Adding a little warm water speeds the steeping process, but changes the final outcome. Other people use only ice water.

3. Steeping Vessel
A transparent glass teapot is ideal for watching the tea steep. Observing the color change of the water will help determine when the tea has brewed to the desired strength. As you experiment with the tea leaves and water, a smaller tea pot (like our gongfu mug) will let you find that right ratio and see the color change during brewing.

4. Cold
Sometimes ice cubes are placed atop tea leaves in a filter basket, allowing the ice to slowly melt and trickle through the tea leaves. In most cases, placing the bottle of leaves and water in the refrigerator is the best option. If the tea leaves are already in the water, the tea will brew more consistently.

5. Time

The time needed will depend on the amount of tea leaves, water, and desired strength of the brew. The consensus view is to leave the tea to brew in the refrigerator overnight.

Keep cool,

Wan Ling Tea House
Great Taste Awards Winner 2011 and 2012

Research References (Chinese, with English translations)

Studies on the Physicochemical Components and Sensory Quality of Cold-water Steeped Tea

Quality evaluation of cold and hot water extracts of green tea and their antioxidant properties

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