Reach for a Cold Brew
Most folks would agree that ice tea is The drink of Summer. With some simple prepping, gourmet ice tea can be done in a jiffy. However, it doesn't get any easier than a cold infusion with your favorite loose leaf! No kettle to boil, no sunny spot required for large jars, barely any effort. Just water and tea, infuser basket optional.
Although providing an incredibly refreshing beverage, cold infusion isn't necessarily the same cup you may be used to when brewing with hot water. The resulting liquor tends to be a bit lighter, as the tea is extracted more slowly. Some find a cold infusion less acidic with many more of the subtle flavors coming out, which lends to more excitement in the experience.
Cold method brewing techniques vary quite a bit and are fairly flexible. This is where you get to really hone in on what thrills your own taste buds. You can brew it by the pitcher or by the glass. Brew for a few minutes, a couple hours, or over night in the fridge. Leave the tea leaves in the brew or try an infuser basket to be able to remove the leaves at will. Here are a few ideas to experiment with in your cold brewing adventure.
- Time to play: try the tea infusion at 15 minutes in, then an hour later, then at a couple hours. Put in the fridge and see what it's like the next day.
- Cup by cup: simply use cold filtered water in a tall tumbler with some ice; add tea leaves and stir.
- Fresh additions: add some freshly cut herbs or fruit to the tea for additional flavor layers.
- Filter or no filter: A delicate, premium loose leaf can simply remain in the water without getting bitter, allowing it to fully open and infuse. Some hardier leaves may be a bit strong for that, so using a filtering system is more appropriate. Bag your own, basket it, press it, or strain it.
Most importantly, have fun with it! Just think, there are no rules; go crazy and enjoy! Let us know which teas are your favorites to cold infuse.