Tea is commonly seen as a hot drink that you make when you want to warm yourself up. However, you can also get a range of cold teas that are extra refreshing on a hot summer's day. These are designed to be a bit sweeter than normal tea, offering a fantastic alternative to typical cold drinks. - like sugary sodas.
For the most part, everyone knows how to brew a cup of tea. Nevertheless, when dealing with cold brews, you probably have a range of questions. Do you use hot or cold water? How long do you let the tea steep? Can you add ice? It's easy to make yourself think this is more confusing than it actually is! So, we've put together a quick guide that will answer all your questions about cold brewing tea.
What type of tea do you need to use?
This is a big question as some people assume you need to use loose leaf tea in cold brews. On the contrary, it makes no difference if you use loose leaf tea or tea bags. Just like regular tea, there will be a slight change in the brewing methods, but that's really all you have to worry about. If you use loose leaf tea, it requires more effort as you have to strain out the leaves after the tea has brewed. The advantage of tea bags is that you simply take them out when you're ready!
Can you brew tea in cold water?
The 5-minute brewing method
Let's get into the actual brewing methods for cold tea! This first one is the easiest of all as all you require are a tea bag, some cold water, and a fridge. In essence, you follow a simple three-step process:
- Put your tea bag in a glass
- Add cold water and put the glass in the fridge/freezer
- Wait for 5 minutes to let the tea brew
After this, you can take it out of the fridge/freezer, remove the bag, and start sipping. If you want, you can add some ice cubes to the tea to make it even colder, but that's entirely up to you. The trick with this method is ensuring you have very flavorful tea bags or you won't get a very strong flavor from the brew. Opting for one of the wonderful Southern Breeze Cold Brew iced tea bags could be a great choice here as they’re perfectly designed for this method.
It's a popular method amongst people who are maybe in a rush or don't want to wait for their tea to be ready. You could make it in a bottle and bring it to work if you want - or make it before dinner for a refreshing drink with your food. The options are endless, which is why this is such a popular brewing method.
The longer cold brewing method
Next, you have a method that's very similar to the previous one, only drawn out over a much longer period. Here, the first two steps are exactly the same - though you can also substitute loose tea for a tea bag. The difference comes in the final step, where you place your tea in the refrigerator for multiple hours. It should sit there for up to 6 hours to let the tea steep and release all of its unique flavors.
Effectively, this method provides you with a stronger flavor in your cold brew. It is also preferred by people who use loose tea, as loose tea steeps better over many hours than tea bags. The other advantage of this is that you can brew a large bottle or jug of tea, and it will keep for a good few days while retaining the flavor. So, if you have the time to do so, it could be a brilliant idea for you.
Also, another good idea is to play around with these first two methods. If you try method number one, and you want to get more flavor from your cold brew, give this method a try instead. You can also tweak the brewing times - perhaps brew for 3 hours instead of 6 to get a more intense flavor than the 5-minute method, but not too strong.
The hot water method
Our Family Size Sweet Tea Bags are ideal for the hot water method. We have a very simple recipe, just add two tea bags to a large pitcher, followed by 2 quarts of boiling water. From here, let the tea steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong you want it. Remove the tea bags, chill the pitcher in the fridge, then serve with ice! We’ve got a variety of different flavors available in our family range, including original, peach, raspberry, lemon, and decaf.
There you have it; three different ways to cold brew tea! Now, if you're looking for some sweet and flavorful tea bags like blackberry iced tea, mint iced tea, peach tea, or mango iced tea Southern Breeze can help you out! We have a range of phenomenal flavors to choose from, offering tea bags that are specifically designed for cold brewing. They'll provide ample freshness on a hot day, letting you sip on some cold tea in your back garden. Plus, all of our iced tea bags work with the 5-minute brewing method, so you don't have to wait for your delicious drink!