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Cold Brew Teas
November 7, 2018

Cold Brew Teas

On hot and sunny days (basically Singapore all year round), a cold drink of tea can help cool you down. But what’s the best way to make iced-tea? In this post, we’ll break down the different ways of making a cool drink of tea, and give you tips on what to do.

In making cold brew tea (whichever method you choose), you can also add other ingredients to make your tea even yummier! For example, passion fruit pulp or berries to make your fruit teas pop, or even alcohol for some tea cocktails!

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This is the most fool-proof method, and the one that requires the least amount of time. Make tea the way you usually do, and add ice. The only downside to this method is that for more delicate teas (such as high-quality green and white teas), using water that is too hot may result in bitter teas. In addition, adding ice into hot water will dilute the flavour of the tea.

#teapasar tip: First, you should always make tea stronger than normal, if you plan to add ice to add. Second, make sure not too oversteep! Lastly, let the tea cool to room temperature before you add ice to it, reducing the amount of dilution that will result.

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Popular in the American South, sun tea is a way of brewing tea where you let the sun do the work for you. In this method, steep your tea in room-temperature water, and leave in direct sunlight.

Sun tea may be preferable to cold brew tea, as it takes comparatively less time to make (three to four hours for sun tea, compared to eight to ten hours for cold brew tea). However, making sun tea involves leaving your tea in direct sunlight, and on very hot days, you run the risk of bacteria growth.

#teapasar tip: We don’t really recommend sun tea, but if you want to try it, use boiled water that has been cooled to room temperature to make steep the tea in, in order to reduce the risk of any nasties!

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Cold brew tea has been gaining in popular in recent years, and it’s little wonder why! Cold brew tea is made by putting tea leaves in cold water, and leaving it in the fridge for at least eight hours (time varies for type of tea). The result is a smooth, refreshing drink of tea. If you tend to use water that is too hot, or you often oversteep your tea, cold brew tea can help solve that problem! Cold brew tea involves slowly drawing the tannins of the tea out, instead of ‘shocking’ them with hot water, resulting in a smooth liquor. 

This method can be used for any type of tea – it works extremely well with green teas, and we’ve had excellent results with flavoured black teas as well! That said, cold brew teas take a very long time to brew, and requires you to plan ahead.

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Left: Chilled Jug Strawberry-Ginger, Sonnentor ($16 for 16 teabags). Right: Cold Brew Green Tea, Ito En ($12 for 10 teabags)

While you can make cold brew tea using any tea on hand, here are also brands like Sonnentor and Ito En, who have a range of teas made specifically for cold brewing. These teas are formulated so that you can enjoy a cup of cold brew tea in as little as ten minutes!

#teapasar tip: Make cold brew tea just before you go to bed – when you wake up, the tea will be ready! Also, use three times the amount of tea leaves in order to get a better flavour. More delicate teas like green teas and white teas require about 8 hours, while black teas can be cold brewed for up to 10 hours for a great flavour, without the astringency, and tisanes can be brewed for 12 hours. Do experiment with your teas to find the optimal steeping time!

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This is different from the iced-tea in method one, because you won’t need hot water for this. Place ice over tea leaves, and when the ice has melted, your tea is ready! This method is fantastic for good quality green teas.

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Left: Top Grade Dragon Well, Tea Chapter ($40 for 50g loose tea). Right: Organic Yakushima Houjicha, Hachimanjyu Tea ($25 for 100g loose tea)

We recommend Tea Chapter’s Top Grade Dragon Well and Hachimanjyu Tea’s Organic Yakushima Houjicha. The former is a pan-fried green tea produced in the West Lake of Hang Zhou, and has a refreshing aroma of roasted chestnuts or beans. The latter is a houjicha grown, harvested and processed in Yakushima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its natural beauty, and available in limited quantities. Hachimanjyu Tea is a plantation in Japan, and due to the use of JAS organic-approved methods, the farm has never used pesticides or artificial fertilisers since its opening! This particular tea’s harvest date was in Spring, April 2018.

#teapasar tip: Use this method for special teas with very delicate flavours. It’s also fun to do when you have a friend over – after adding ice to your teas, add a few drops of water to trigger the melting process and start chatting. Once you’ve finished catching up, you should have a nice cup of ice-cold tea ready to drink!

We hope that this post has inspired you to try making your own cold brew teas. It can be a refreshing change from the usual piping hot cup of tea.

Alternatively, if you rather skip all the waiting, try Gryphon’s Cold Brewed Sparkling Tea series! You can enjoy new twists of their popular blends, such as Pearl of the Orient with Lychee, and Osmanthus Sencha with Passionfruit ($6 per bottle). Both available at Level 3 NomadX, Plaza Singapura. See you there!