Iced tea has been an American staple for a long time, and no one quite knows for sure when exactly the making of iced tea began. Iced sweet tea reminds many of summertime and family gatherings, and my family is no exception. My husband loves sweet tea, so I try to make it for him as much as I can.
Traditionally iced tea is made by making a concentrate or syrup on the stove top, then it’s poured into a pitcher with ice to dilute it down. There’s nothing wrong with making tea this way, but it can be easy to mess it up and end up with bitter tea.
You may or may not have heard of cold brew coffee. The idea is to let the grounds brew in cold water over a long period of time. The result is a smoother coffee without the bitterness that comes with brewing it hot.
The same idea applies to tea. It is possible to over steep tea (sometimes an extra 30 seconds will ruin a cup for me), but when you cold brew tea over steeping isn’t really a problem. And the result is a smoother tea without any bitterness.
What makes tea bitter are the tannins that are steeped out when you use boiling water. When you brew your tea in cold water, the tannins don’t come out as easily, leaving you with a nice, smooth iced tea.
To make your own cold brew iced tea, you will need a pitcher, a mesh strainer, water, and any tea of your choice.
Here is how to make your own cold brew tea:
- Fill your pitcher with six cups of room temp water (or however much your pitcher will hold).
- For each cup of water that is in your pitcher, add a rounded teaspoon of loose leaf tea (I used peach oolong, but you can use whatever kind of tea you want).
- Add as much or as little sugar as you want.
- Stir the sugar and leaves to make sure they are all submerged in the water and that the sugar is disolved.
- If you like, you can let the pitcher set out for a couple of hours before you put it in the fridge, or you can stick straight into the fridge.
- Let steep for 8-20 hours.
- Remove leaves by pouring tea through the mesh strainer into another container.
- Pour yourself a glass and enjoy!
- Choe, Jee. “How To Make the Best Iced Tea (Cold Brew It!)” Oh How Civilized, 15, June 2018. https://www.ohhowcivilized.com/make-best-iced-tea-cold-brew/