The Herb Stop Blog
How to Cold Brew Tea - Tips, Tricks, and Favorite Teas
Nothing beats a cold, refreshing drink on a hot summer day. Understandably, many of us enjoy reaching for a cold, delicious glass of lemonade or water over a cup of hot tea.
However, you can easily transform your favorite tea into a delightful, refreshing cold brew that keeps you cool. Today, we’re sharing how you can make cold brew tea, our favorite choices for cold brew tea, and the exact difference between cold brew and iced tea.
Cold Brew Tea vs. Iced Tea
Let’s start by clearing up a common misconception - cold brew and iced tea are not the same!
While both beverages are cold and made from tea leaves, they can vary significantly in taste due to their different preparation methods.
Cold brew tea is usually sweeter and smoother than iced tea. Many iced teas taste bitter, which is why many of us reach for sugar or a sweetener when drinking them. However, cold brew usually has a crisp, clean aftertaste.
It’s believed that this is due to the difference in preparation. Iced tea is prepared by pouring hot water over the tea leaves. While this extracts flavor from the tea leaves faster, it often creates a more bitter taste. Cold brew is made with cold water alone, so the tea has more time to steep, and the compounds in the tea are released slowly, creating a softer, less bitter flavor.
Cold brew is also simpler to make. Since iced tea uses hot water, you must be more accurate with how much tea you use, your water to tea ratio, and the timing of the brew. Cold brew tea is a “set it and forget it” kind of tea recipe, where you set your ingredients up and let them work their magic!
How to Create the Perfect Cold Brew Tea
You can make any tea you’d like into a great cold brew tea. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the many tea flavors out there, we recommend starting with fruity or minty tea choices, which are especially refreshing on a warm day.
- Pick your favorite tea and read the steeping instructions.
- Measure the appropriate water-to-tea ratio (see below) and add it to your favorite infuser or Loose Leaf Tea Filters.
- Add any fresh herbs, spices, flowers, or fruit slices, for a beautiful effect and added flavor. We like adding mint or sage, rose petals or lavender flowers, and spices like cardamom, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Steep and refrigerate for at least eight hours.
- Remove tea pouches or infuser before serving.
- Garnish with a fresh fruit slice, and enjoy!
Water to Tea Ratio for Cold Brew Tea
There are several options for water-to-tea ratios, depending on how much time you have, how much tea you want to make at once, and your preferred strength.
- Regular strength: 2 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea in 2 cups of water.
- Extra strong: If you like a potent cold brew, add extra tea or reduce the water to get a punchier flavor. Start with two teaspoons of loose-leaf tea for every six ounces of water.
- Having a party or making a batch of cold brew tea for the week? Use four servings of tea for every four quarts of water for regular strength. For a strong cold brew, use six to eight tea servings for every four quarts of water. Make ahead in a beautiful pitcher and enjoy. We recommend adding some beautiful flower petals or fruit to add visual appeal to the drink.
Tip: Our Loose Leaf Tea Filters can make the cold brew tea process less messy. Rather than using a traditional infuser, fill several Loose Leaf Tea Filters (Empty Tea Bags). Place in your pitcher with water to steep for eight plus hours, then fish them out with a spoon or tongs and serve. Our tea bags are 100% recyclable, unbleached, and won’t leave any loose tea in your pitcher.
Best Herbal Teas for Cold Brew
You can make a cold brew tea from any of your favorite loose-leaf teas. However, cold brew shines with certain teas and flavors, notably ones containing flowers and leaves, which easily release their flavors and compounds into cold water.
- Passion Fruit & Mango Herb & Fruit Tea: This bright, juicy tea is a wonderful choice for making a cold brew or iced tea. If you enjoy sumptuous mango, raspberry, rosehips, cinnamon, apple, and sweet hibiscus, you’ll love this choice!
- Watermelon Supreme Herb & Fruit Tea: This quintessential summer tea is the perfect choice for cooling down on a hot day. Naturally caffeine-free, juicy, and sweet! We recommend adding a bit of lime or mint to enhance this tea’s incredible flavor.
- Peaches & Oranges White Tea: Try our delightful Peaches & Oranges White Tea for a lightly caffeinated choice! An absolutely delicious summer tea packed with flavor from Georgia peaches and navel oranges. This tea also makes a great mocktail drink!
- Raspberry Green Tea: A fantastic choice for someone looking for a sweet, fresh taste and plenty of antioxidants and caffeine from the green tea.
- Lavender Flower Tea: If you’re looking for a relaxing, aromatic tea, we can’t recommend this one enough. An excellent choice for quieting the mind and relieving stress at night. Makes a great addition to other cold brew teas as well.
- Cherry Rose Rooibos Tea: This rooibos tea is not only packed with nutrients, but it has a delightfully sweet, mellow, and floral flavor sure to delight. A great caffeine-free choice!
- Ice Wine Black Tea: Our Ice Wine Black Tea is made from luxury black tea, white tea, and Ontario Ice Wine, which is created from grapes that aren’t pressed until they are frozen, making them extra sweet. This dessert wine has a decadent flavor sure to please the palette.
Enjoy experimenting with different teas to create your favorite cold brew! You can even combine multiple types of tea in a large batch to make your own unique flavor combinations.
Thank you so much for reading! If you’re interested in learning more about delicious drinks you can make from loose-leaf teas, check out our piece on Herbal Mocktails That Wow! Fruity, Warm, and Rich Mocktails You’ll Love, which is filled with delightful, cold drink ideas.
Natalie & Leilah