How to cold infuse loose leaf tea
Cold infused tea is becoming very popular indeed in recent years. And it’s easy to understand why. What better to cool down on a hot day than a refreshing tea drink?
And you’ve probably seen the cold infuse “tea” bags in the supermarket. Colourful boxes with pictures of all manner of fruit on the outside. And somewhere maybe a mention of “tea” on there too. Perhaps. Maybe. On some of them. Somewhere. Possibly.
What is cold infused tea?
Well, Cold infused tea, as complicated and technical as it may sound, is simply tea infused in cold water rather than hot water. An iced tea will usually be prepared by steeping the leaves in hot water and then cooling before, or by, adding ice. But to cold infuse you simply add the tea leaves to cold water and leave.
Of course we generally steep white tea at 70°C, green at 80°C, and definitely black tea at 100°C etc. In fact I remember the exact Y10 physics lesson where we were asked “why can’t you make a cup of tea on Mount Everest?”. Cue discussion about the impact of pressure on water boiling points and the need for 100°C water to infuse tea.
Yadda yadda yadda…
But tea DOES infuse at temperatures lower than these. And it does it bloody nicely thank you. It doesn’t do it quickly, and the flavour is different. But different isn’t necessarily bad! And good things come to those who wait, right? (Right!)
Don’t get us wrong, we wouldn’t necessarily go cold infusing a bag of Yorkshire Tea, or even our Batch Breakfast, for that matter (though actually, now we mention it…), but light, naturally sweeter loose leaf teas like our Phoenix Mountain Black Tea, Mao Feng Green Tea or Honey Orchid Oolong tea (amongst many others) make phenomenal cold brews, as does our Sassy Blush blend, in particular.
How to Cold Infuse Tea (Video)
What equipment do I need?
You don’t need any special gear to cold infuse tea. You can use the exact stuff you’d use for regular tea preparation, whether that’s a teapot or mug with infuser basket or strainer built in, a flask, whatever. Literally, whatever! You can cold infuse tea in a jug, a mug, a pan, anything! So long as you can strain the leaves.
We like to use tea infuser flasks – essentially a flask with a removable filter included to ensure you don’t go getting a mouthful of leaves when you sip! This means you can enjoy your cold infused tea on the go. Just throw the leaves in and leave the house.
But if you don’t have one, fear not. Just infuse in advance and strain into a regular flask when you need. Simples.
How long does it take to cold infuse tea?
By steeping at a lower temperature – and cold water from the tap is generally around 20°C – the tea will of course take longer to infuse, but it will infuse. And it will infuse nicely. Left in room temperature water you should expect your drink to be good after as little around 20-30 minutes – not that long really!
If you want a super refreshing cold drink then we recommend popping it in the fridge as soon as you add the leaves to the water, and you’ll want to infuse for a good couple of hours. Overnight is a great way! Just pop your leaves in before you go to bed, pop it in the fridge and
And you should be left with a softer, rounder infusion than hot infusing. The tea might not be as “strong” but it will be delicious as you will be getting a different flavour profile from that you get when you shock the leaves with scalding hot water.
Cold infuse tea bags
Cold infuse tea bags are made to very quickly infuse in cold water, and they do this by ensuring a very large surface area – i.e. by powdering the leaves.
Most cold infuse tea bags you find are fruit flavoured teas or tisanes, rather than quality teas. But you don’t have to settle for low quality tea and dried fruit flavouring to enjoy a cold, refreshing tea drink!
You just need a teeny tiny bit of preparation and your regular tea leaves.
The benefits of cold infused tea
The benefits of cold infused tea or similar to those of any other tea in terms of health, but some added benefits are:
- You can enjoy it as a super refreshing cold drink on a hot day
- It is a superb, healthy replacement for sugary soft drinks that you might drink during the day. You’ll find cold infused tea naturally sweeter as you won’t get the bitterness you might get from burning the leaves in a hot cuppa.
- You still get your caffeine buzz and L-Theanine hit, allowing you to keep alert yet calm to get you through the day.
- If you want you can really explore and make your own wonderful blends! Add fruit like strawberries and spices like cloves or star anise to make beautiful flavoured cold infusion mocktails (or add alcohol to make cocktails! See our Meet Me At Sunset prosecco tea cocktail recipe for instance…)
- Cold infused teas taste AWESOME!
Is cold infused tea good for you?
Now here’s a question we get asked regularly.
And I guess we have to be careful in the answer.
If you’re cold infusing pure tea, like any of our loose-leaf teas or blends, then unequivocally the answer is “Yes. Cold infused tea IS good for you!” (if regular tea is good for your body)
But it’s not always that clear cut. All we would say is that if you’re buying a pack of cold infused tea bags then please check the packaging to ensure you’re not consuming a lot of sugar, flavourings and additives in your “tea”.
You of course also have to take into account your body’s response to caffeine and any other considerations you take into account when choosing whether to drink tea or not.
But in terms of cold infusing as a preparation method, it sure doesn’t take away any of the fantastic health benefits of tea.
How to make cold infused tea
To cold infuse tea you will need:
- Your tea leaves
- Some cold water
- EITHER a mug, pot, glass, infuser flask, regular flask or any other (ideally non-plastic) receptacle big enough to hold the liquid.
- A fridge (optional)
Step 1: Add tea leaves to receptacle
Step 2: Add cold water to receptacle
Step 3: Leave to infuse for around half an hour (room temperature) or a few hours (fridge) until you’re happy with the flavour*.
Step 4: Drink, enjoy & feel refreshed!
*Your first go with any tea will be a bit of an experiment. Some teas will be great after 20 minutes, some might need 40. Test it and the 2nd time you’ll know!
Batch Teas we’d recommend for cold-infusing
Whilst many of our teas are delicious cold-infused, we particularly recommend these:
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