Easy Cold Brewed Iced Tea

Cold Brewing takes the best parts of tea and makes it simple

When one adds hot water to tea leaves, tannins are released which can cause things like bitterness in tea. Many times to get the most complexity from a brew, it needs to be steeped for longer. This can be a problem for certain teas which can become bitter after steeping for more than a few minutes. While this can be partially remedied by brewing tea gongfu style (high volume of leaf to low volume of tea for short steep times), it isn't as effective as cold brewing. Cold brewing minimizes the bitterness by adding lukewarm to cold water to dry leaves and steeping it for days or even weeks. Honestly you can leave a fine needle tea or ya bao to cold steep in the fridge for a month and it will become more complex and interesting than anything brewed hot.

Purple Kick is a 2021 purple sheng from Yunnan Sourcing. When brewed hot it is excessively bitter. It's overwhelming to the point where almost nothing else can be tasted. However when cold brewed it is complex, fascinating, and has only a vague metallic bite.

Oothu Black Flowery Orange Pekoe is a broken leaf black tea from Davidson's organics. When brewed hot, you can taste poor storage, weak flavors, and an embarrassing lack of complexity. When cold brewed it is soft, sweet, with more complexity, and the poor storage is less obvious.

This is a silver needle style "Wild Forest Tea" from Vietnam. I got it from an amazing tea farmer (@tam_hy_tra on instagram) who grows it on his commune. It is hands down the best silver needle I've EVER had. Basically every tea snob I've exposed this to feels the same way. There is a deeper and more intricate complexity in a cold brew of this tea than any hot preparation.

And after you cold brew a tea, you can pour the finished brew through a strainer into a clean bottle. I prefer wine bottles, but you can use juice bottles, milk jugs, or cool ornate glass wear. Just make sure to rinse any gross bottles with white vinegar (or even Hydrogen Peroxide if you don't like using vinegar) and then clean water after scrubbing them a bit.

So how does one cold brew a loose leaf tea?

  1. Procure a 1-2L pitcher that has a lid with a built in strainer.

I prefer 2 liter borosilicate.

This one is my favorite:

Apexstone 2 Liter 68 Ounces Glass Water Pitcher with Lid and Handle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PRTRL9Y/

I used to use plastic but over time they absorb odors and if you brew anything oil scented, that is absolutely never coming out. You’re just going to be living with that until you eventually sell it for $0.50 at a garage sale or your partner throws it away behind your back because it’s been sitting in your pantry for months collecting dust.

  1. Measure out 15+ grams of dry tea.

Let your heart be the measuring cup. I like to do 20 grams, but the more you add, the more potent it is going to be. I'm not saying to add an entire cake, but I mean it's your life.

  1. Fill the pitcher up to volume with room temperature water and at least an inch at the top for the tea to expand.

Trust me, you want that room because anything in cake, needle, or pearl form is going to spread out and you don’t want the pitcher to overflow and leak everywhere.

  1. Put the pitcher of tea into the fridge and let it steep for 3+ days. In a rush, do a minimum of 2 days.

I do at least 3-4 days for something with a complex profile and 6+ days if you want a kick.

I've cold brewed some teas for weeks or even a month.

  1. After the proper amount of time has passed, either serve directly from the pitcher or pour into clean bottles through a funnel and cap so you can keep making more cold brews with your pitcher or gift it to friends.

I LOVE trading or gifting cold brews to my friends and at least a quarter of my fridge is cold brews in wine bottles at any given point in time.

You can add herbs, flowers, and spices to salvage a bland tea.

Look! I added Roses!

Now that the men have stopped reading:

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can impart a floral and slightly vegetal flavor. Honestly sometimes dried roses taste like dill when reinfused.

Mix in Dried Fruit

to add sweetness. They go really well with floral mixes. I personally like using strawberries, lycii, and blueberries.


can make herbal mixes taste a bit like white tea. Actually the mix in the middle tastes like white tea, but it's actually just herbs! I picked out ingredients that tasted like the notes I picked out in white teas.

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Want to make your cold brew pink or purple with sparkles and super gay rainbows? Click here!

If you want to color your teas: hibiscus turns them red, butterfly pea flowers make them blue, both together will make them purple, and sparkles are the herpes of crafting and I refuse to use them in anything.

Someone made a list of doctors in the United States who will tie your tubes with no questions asked. If you click the link above, it will take you to google sheet. You do not exist to bear the children of conservatives, abusive exes, and rapists. Fight the power and f*ck SCOTUS.

Posted: 08/15/2022