How to Cold Brew Tea: A Step by Step Guide

Looking for a way to cool off in the warmer months, while still enjoying your favorite teas? Cold-brew iced tea is a fantastic way to stay cool without forgoing the pleasures of good tea. Best of all, it’s a hands-off process - simply leave your tea to steep in the fridge overnight, and enjoy iced tea the very next day!

How to cold brew tea

Cold brewing tea is a breeze! Here’s our simple, step-by-step guide to foolproof iced tea.

1. Choose an iced tea

While you can make an iced tea out of any tea, some teas particularly shine when served cold. Fruit-forward teas are typically great choices that make light, refreshing iced teas. Dessert-like teas with flavors like vanilla, caramel, and chocolate are also good options, especially if you plan to enjoy them as an iced latte with milk and sweetener.

2. Choose a tea brewing vessel

The easiest way to cold brew tea is to use an iced tea pitcher with a built-in tea infuser. This makes it super simple to add tea leaves and water, infuse your tea leaves, and then quickly and easily remove the leaves when your tea is ready to enjoy.

If you don’t have a tea infuser pitcher, however, there are several other options that also work well. Other options include tea infusers or filters, which you can use in tandem with an iced tea pitcher or a smaller vessel. We also recommend using our urban tumblers for a single glass that you can take on the go!

3. Measure your tea leaves

The basic rule of thumb is that you should use one teaspoon of tea leaves for every six ounces of water in your pitcher or other vessel. For example, if your iced tea pitcher can hold about sixty ounces, use ten teaspoons of tea. This isn’t an exact science, so feel free to experiment in order to find the ratio that works best for you!

4. Add water

The next step is to add cold, filtered water to your iced tea pitcher. Because the tea will be infused over a long period of time, you want to use cold water instead of hot water so that your tea doesn’t get bitter.

5. Refrigerate your tea

We recommend refrigerating your tea overnight, or for at least eight hours. This gives the tea leaves time to slowly infuse and release their flavor. A great strategy is to place your iced tea pitcher in the fridge before you go to bed, then wake up to iced tea that’s ready to enjoy in the morning!

6. Enjoy your tea

You can enjoy your cold-brewed tea over ice, as the base for a tea cocktail, or even as an ingredient in a tasty tea-based popsicle! Cold-brewed iced tea is also a great option for iced milk teas like boba, iced tea lattes, Hokkaido milk tea, and Okinawa milk tea.

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Benefits of cold-brewing tea

Cold-brewing tea has several different advantages when compared to hot-brewing, then chilling tea.

Less caffeine

When you cold brew even highly caffeinated teas, the resulting tea will have less caffeine than if you prepare it using hot water. This is because the water temperature affects the caffeine content in the brewed tea, with colder water resulting in less caffeine. If you enjoy drinking iced tea but want to limit your caffeine intake, you may want to give cold-brewing a try!

Smoother flavor

Similar to cold-brewed coffee, cold-brewed tea has a smoother flavor. When traditionally prepared, iced tea can taste bitter thanks to the tannins present in tea. Cold-brewed iced tea, however, results in a mellower, sweeter flavor, without any of the tannic bite.

Easy to make

Cold-brewing tea may take a little more time than preparing iced tea using hot water, but almost all of that time is completely hands-off. Just infuse your tea leaves in cold water, leave your iced tea pitcher in the fridge for a few hours, and you’ll have perfectly-brewed, ready to drink iced tea!

Cold brewing vs. ice brewing

You may be familiar with cold brewing tea, but have you heard of ice brewing? The Japanese koridashi method involves brewing tea using ice cubes instead of cold water. Like cold brewing tea, ice brewing tea results in a mellow, smooth tea with a prominent sweetness and low astringency.

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How to choose an iced tea

While you can make an iced tea out of any tea, some teas particularly shine when served cold. Here are a few of our favorites to cool off with in the summer months:

Apricot Brandy

Organic apricot pieces and natural brandy flavor give this black tea blend a delicious full flavor and luscious sweetness. An aromatic and visually appealing blend, it’s also our best-selling flavored tea.

Summer Romance

Sweet papaya and strawberries blend with black and green teas for an intoxicating, exotic flavor reminiscent of fresh fruit and long summer afternoons.

Moroccan Mint

In Morocco, mint-flavored green tea isn't just a tradition, it's a sign of hospitality and friendship. Our blend is the finest Chinese gunpowder tea combined with exceptional quality spearmint. A lively and refreshing tea!

Mango Pear

White peony tea is blended with organic mango cubes, apple, and pear to create a beautifully delicate, fruity, floral tea with a light body and sweet, uplifting flavor. Low in caffeine, this tea will give you a modest boost and is perfect for a relaxing, rejuvenating afternoon cup.

Peach Rooibos

Our Peach Rooibos blends green and red rooibos with peach bits, blackberry leaves, and calendula petals for a sweet, fruity cup. Like biting into a ripe peach on a warm summer’s day!

Lavender Mint

We've combined two aromatic and soothing herbs for a refreshing blend that's quickly becoming one of our most popular herbals. Calming lavender blossoms complement organic peppermint, which is known for its digestive benefits and cooling properties. A fresh, lightly floral cup!

Blueberry Pomegranate

Blueberry Pomegranate is delicious fruit tea packed with flavor and beneficial properties. Pomegranate and blueberries add sweetness to tart, healthful hibiscus in this lovely, fruit-forward blend. One of our most popular herbal teas, Blueberry Pomegranate is perfect to sate a sweet tooth.

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