Smooth, refreshing cold brew iced tea is simple to make and perfect for porch sipping. Here's my tried-and-true cold brew tea method!
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It's hot out there, y'all. And sometimes, plain water just does not cut it. Cold brew tea to the rescue! I love the flavor of cold brew tea. It's less bitter than tea steeped in boiling water. And it has less caffeine, which means more hydration.
How to Cold Brew Tea Safely
Cold brew tea is different from sun tea, and that's no accident. In fact, you brew this tea in the refrigerator.
Maybe you've brewed countless batches of sun tea or countertop tea and been fine, but it is a dice-roll from a food safety perspective. You're keeping those tea leaves in the temperature "danger zone".
Ever since the year that I got food poisoning three times (I KNOW!), I have become a stickler for safety.
So! Brew that tea in the fridge and sip safely.
Do the Brew
Making cold brew iced tea is so, so easy. It's really as easy as steeping hot tea, you just have to be more patient. I like to set my tea brewing before I head out to run errands. When I get home: tea time!
All you need to do to make cold brew tea is throw 2 tablespoons of loose tea into a diffuser (or use 2 tea bags). Set the tea into water, stick it in the fridge, and walk away.
The recipe below makes four cups of tea, and you can modify it easily to make as little or as much iced tea as you want. Since it takes a couple of hours to brew, I feel like four cups is a nice amount. This pitcher lasts me and Darrol Henry two to three days.
Why Cold Brew Tea?
Steeping your tea in boiling water is faster, so why bother making cold brew iced tea that takes two hours? There are a few things I like about making my iced tea this way:
- You brew in your serving container. I really dislike washing unnecessary dishes, y'all.
- You don't have to wait for it to cool or dilute it with a bunch of ice. Once it's ready, it's ready. You can pour over ice or drink it straight up.
- It tastes better. Like cold brew coffee, cold brew iced tea has a much smoother flavor than steeped tea. I rarely need to sweeten it.
- It has less caffeine. I love tea, but I try not to drink too much caffeine, so cold brew is perfect !
Cold Brew Iced Tea Recipe
- 2 tablespoons loose tea - or 4 tea bags
- 4 cups water - at room temperature
- Put tea into a tea infuser or wrap it in cheesecloth, and submerge it in your water. You can do this right in the pitcher you’re planning to store the tea in.
- Put the pitcher into the refrigerator. Most teas brew up in around two hours. It might be a bit more or less, depending on the type of tea you are using. The big exception that I’ve run across is hibiscus tea. This one only needs around 30 minutes – it brews up so quickly!
- When your tea has reached your desired strength, remove the infuser, and stick the pitcher into the fridge. Serve chilled or over ice.