3 Different Methods of Brewing Iced Tea
There's nothing as refreshing as a cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer day. But what is the best way to brew iced tea? Here are 3 different methods and their advantages.
1. Flash Chilled
Brew your tea hot at the same temperature and time as you normally would, except use twice the tea leaf to water ratio. So for a black tea brewed western style you would use 3 teaspoons of tea per 8 fluid ounces of water. This will yield a tea that is twice as strong as normal. Stir in sweetener if desired, then pour the tea over ice.
This is our preferred method of brewing tea if you want to drink the tea now. The iced tea will have a very fresh and vibrant flavor.
2. Cold Brew
For cold brewing it's best to make a large batch at one time. Place the tea leaves in a pitcher with room temperature water. Use the same leaf to water ratio that you normally would for brewing hot tea western style. So if you are cold brewing 48oz of black tea, you would use 9 teaspoons of tea. Put the pitcher in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours then enjoy.
You can use a pitcher with a strainer built into it so the tea leaves don't come out into your glass when you pour. Cold brewing yields a thick, smooth iced tea since the cold water doesn't extract as many tannins as hot water that can make tea bitter. Cold brewing is best if you want to enjoy the iced tea the following day, since it does take time.
3. Refrigerating Hot Tea
This method is very common, however we suggest you stay away from it if you want good iced tea. This is where you brew hot tea normally and then put it in the refrigerator. What's wrong with this? When the tea is kept at a high temperature at length, as it would in the lengthy cool down period, the hot water extracts compounds from the tea leaves that then oxidize in the water over time. This leaves you with an iced tea that is bitter and stale tasting.