How to Cold Brew Tea

5 from 11 votes
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Learn how to cold brew tea! Just two simple ingredients and an easy method are needed to make the perfect cold brew iced tea for a hot summer day. Enjoy the smooth and sweeter flavor of this cold tea.

A glass with cold brew tea and ice

If you’re new to the cold brew tea world, welcome. It’s a cozy and refreshing place to be! Cold brewing tea is so simple to make that I’m sure it’s going to be one of your new favorite drinks.

Recently with the summer heat, I’ve been enjoying a lot of refreshing drinks. And while I love fresh lemonade or an ice-cold frappuccino, sometimes I want a flavorful beverage that doesn’t require a juicer or a blender. So this cold brew iced tea is perfect for the occasion.

And if you’d rather have more caffeine in your cuppa, give this cold brew coffee a try. It’s just as simple to make but offers a smooth mellow coffee flavor.

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What Is Cold Brew Tea

Cold brew tea is a tea that is steeped in cold water over a long period. For regular tea, hot or even boiling water is usually used to extract the flavors within minutes. However, the hot water often scorches the tea causing it to release its bitter tannins.

Cold brew tea in a container

On the other hand, the cold brewing method relies on time and cold water to slowly extract the flavors. So the resulting brewed tea is less bitter and has a smoother and sweeter taste. This also means that this chilled tea is going to have less caffeine content than other teas. However, it doesn’t lack flavor or health benefits.

The Difference Between Iced Tea and Cold Brew

There is a difference between cold brew tea and iced tea. When making iced tea, usually regular hot tea is prepared first. Then it is chilled in the fridge or poured over ice and this is why it’s called “iced”.

But, as mentioned above, cold water is used for the preparation of cold brewed tea. You can then serve it as is, over ice, or even enjoy it warmed. Still, any type of cold steeping tea infuse will have a smoother flavor than its hot counterpart.

A glass bottle with cold brew tea

What You’ll Need for Cold Brew

  • Water: Room temperature water works just fine. It’s best to use filtered water.
  • Tea: I love using a few teaspoons of green loose leaf tea but use your favorite tea. You can also cold brew tea bags. Just keep in mind that loose tea leaves are usually of higher quality.
  • To serve: optional – ice cubes, fresh mint leaves or other herbs, lemon slices, sweetener (your favorite, though liquid ones like sugar syrup work better). You can also choose any other garnish that you want.

Can You Cold Brew Any Tea

Yes, once you learn how to cold brew tea, you can make any cold brew iced tea recipe. This means you can make iced green tea or other cold brewing loose leaf tea recipes – cold brewed white tea, cold brew herbal tea, and also cold brew black tea. The best part about making cold brew tea is that you can change up the flavor every time. Mix and match and see what you think!

Ingredients for cold brew tea

How to Make Cold Brew Tea

Learning how to cold brew tea is quick and easy – you will be drinking tea in no time.

First, you will need a glass container that fits in your fridge – a large jar, a bottle or a pitcher work best.

Another option is to use a french press or an infusion teapot – these are great when it comes time to strain the tea.

If using tea bags, it’s best to open them first and take out the tea.

How to Cold Brew Green Tea

This method works for any tea.

Place the tea leaves in the bottom of the jar and then add the water. Put the lid on and place the jar in the refrigerator.

Water and tea leaves in a glass container

Chef’s Tip: Adjust the amount of tea based on your preference. I recommend starting with the suggested ratio. Then you can increase the tea in the next batch. And if you find that the brewed tea is too strong for you, you can dilute it by adding extra water.

How Long to Cold Brew Tea

That depends on the type of tea and also on how strong you want it! Here are my suggestions on how long to brew tea in the fridge:

Green tea: 3-6 hours
White tea: 6 hours
Black tea (Assam), Oolong tea, Herbal tea: 12 hours

After the time has passed, strain the liquid to remove the leaves. Use a fine mesh strainer to filter the loose tea leaves easily.

Then enjoy a refreshing cup of tea with no bitterness. You wouldn’t even need to add honey or another sweetener.

Sieving cold brew tea in a bottle

How Long Does Cold Brew Tea Last in the Fridge

Cold brew loose leaf tea will last up to 4-5 days in the fridge. I recommend starting your next batch before your finish your current one – for an endless supply of refreshing iced green tea.

More Refreshing Drink Recipes

If you try this cold brew tea recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

How to Cold Brew Tea

5 from 11 votes
By: Samira
Learn how to cold brew tea! Just two simple ingredients and an easy method are needed to make the perfect cold brew iced tea for a hot summer day. Enjoy the smooth and sweeter flavor of this cold tea.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients  

  • 6 cups water
  • 1-2 Tbsp loose tea leaves green, black, etc.; adjust to taste

Instructions 

  • You will need a glass container that fits in your fridge – a large jar or a bottle works best.
    If using tea bags, it's best to open them first and take out the tea.
  • Place the tea leaves in the bottom of the jar and then add the water.
    Place in the fridge and let it steep. 
  • How long to cold brew tea? That depends on the type of tea and also on how strong you want it! Here are my suggestions on how long to brew tea in the fridge:
    Green tea: 3-6 hours
    White tea: 6 hours
    Black tea (Assam), Oolong teaHerbal tea: 12 hours
  • After the time has passed, strain the liquid to remove the leaves. You can use a fine mesh strainer to catch all the loose tea leaves easily. 
    Keep the strained tea in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

Instead of using a bottle, you can use a french press or an infusion teapot – these are great when it comes time to strain the tea.
You can adjust the amount of tea based on your personal preference. I recommend starting with the suggested ratio and then you can increase the tea in the next batch. And if you find that the brewed tea is too strong for you, you can dilute it by adding extra water.
Start your next batch before you are done with your current one. 
To serve: optional – ice cubes, fresh mint leaves, lemon slices, sweetener (your favorite, though liquid ones like sugar syrup work better). You can also choose any other garnish that you want.
Check the blog post for more tips!
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Shelf life: 4-5 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 0.02kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.01g, Sodium: 12mg, Potassium: 1mg, Calcium: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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