As temperatures rise, so does our desire for cold, refreshing drinks. Whether we are hosting a garden party, relaxing at the lake, or craving a fresh treat, iced tea is a popular summer drink! Because tea is a delicious drink that you can also enjoy cold. We show you how to prepare iced tea easily at home and explain the difference between iced tea and cold brew tea.
Iced tea or cold brew: what is the difference?
Tea is more than just a hot drink. In summer, we enjoy the full-bodied taste of tea as cold brew or iced tea. Comparing those two brewing methods, it comes down to one big difference: you can either brew tea leaves with hot water and then let them cool down on ice cubes, or you can brew it with cold water and let them steep for some hours. So the difference between iced tea and cold brew is the water temperature while brewing. Some teas are more suitable for one method than others.
How to make iced tea: Easy iced tea preparation at home
To make iced tea, first, brew your tea leaves with hot water as recommended, but a bit stronger than usual. That means you use only half the recommended amount of water. After the regular brewing time, pour over plenty of ice cubes, and wait until they blend. The ice cubes cool down the tea quickly - so you can enjoy your summer drink after a few minutes. This method is sometimes called “flash brew” because iced tea preparation does not take too long. You can refine your iced tea with fruit, mint, or honey, according to your preference.
What makes iced tea so irresistible
The fast preparation makes iced tea so popular. This refreshing drink is ready in just a few minutes. On top, you can use any tea to make iced tea. The classic iced tea version is usually based on black tea. White and green teas are delightful if you want to try something surprisingly new. We also recommend preparing fruit and herbal iced tea. While infused with hot water, the tea quickly releases its aroma into the water. Just be careful with black and green tea: do not let them steep too long, or your iced tea might become bitter!
Did you know …?
The story of iced tea dates back to 1904 during the World's Fair in the USA. Due to the hot temperatures, the British tea merchant Richard Blechynden briefly added ice to his tea to make it more appealing to guests, which surprisingly became a huge success. Today, iced tea is one of the most popular summer drinks, mostly in a sweetened version, but that is entirely up to you.
These iced teas by PAPER & TEA are irresistible: SANDY FEET JOY N°835 is a delicate white tea with cinnamon, apple, and cardamom, PERFECT SUNBURN N°838 a caffeine-free by nature fruit iced tea and WONDERFUL SHORT NIGHTS N°839 a green tea blend with bergamot oil.
How to make cold brew
Many coffee lovers are already used to cold brew. More and more tea drinkers love this preparation method because you can also easily brew tea cold. For your cold brew tea, pour cold water over the tea leaves, and let them steep for a few hours. We recommend either white tea, green tea, black tea, and oolong for your cold brew. Herbal teas need a “hot flash” before cold brewing. Just cover the tea leaves with a bit of hot water to sanitize them, then add cold water.
Either let your tea extract for 15 - 20 minutes at room temperature or for refrigerating teas, we recommend the following infusion times:
White teas: 6 - 8 hours
Green teas: 3 - 6 hours
Oolong: 3 - 10 hours
Black teas: 6 - 8 hours
Herbals (after hot flash): 6 - 12 hours
Why we love cold brew
Cold brew tea has its origin in Japan. In Japanese, this brewing method is called Mizudashi (‘Mizu’ for “water” and ‘Dashi’ for “infusion”). This cold infusion process is gentler because notable bitter compounds take longer to extract in cold water. So the full-bodied tea flavors have plenty of time to develop in your cup. In the end, patience pays off: with the cold brew method, you get a smooth and milder version of your favorite tea.