Are you wilting out there, tea lovers? Despite your best efforts to keep cool during these last few weeks of summer, do you find yourself watching Olympic swimming just because diving into a pool looks so darn refreshing?
We get it; we've been there. So if you're feeling stuck in a summertime rut — or your thighs are literally stuck to a vinyl seat somewhere and you can't get up to put on the kettle — we felt now was a good time for a quick reminder about cold brewed tea.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: Cold brew is easy to prepare and may surprise you with a slightly different flavor even though you're making it with the tea you use every day. How so, you ask? Simple: Steeping tea in room temperature or cold water draws flavor out from the leaves more slowly than boiling water, and doesn't "cook" the leaves in any way like hot water does. As a result, cold-brewed tea contains slightly less caffeine and acid than tea steeped in hot water, and the flavor is thought to be smoother and less bitter. We've had some tea lovers tell us they appreciate tasting our tea this way because it results in a purer, more mellow tea.
Are you going to love cold brew? We can't say for sure, but as Harold McGee wrote in The New York Times, prepare yourself for a different beverage entirely, and think of cold and hot brewed teas separate drinks.
Besides discovering a different flavor profile from your tried and true tea, one of our favorite things about cold brew is the fix-it-and-forget-about-it aspect. Put a sachet, teabag or loose tea in a jar with some water and leave it on your counter or in your fridge before you go to bed, and then enjoy it the next day. We know at least one person here in Colorado who leaves the house every morning throwing a sachet into his water bottle, and then sipping that brew all afternoon. His sachet of choice is our Organic Better Belly Blend, which is a great herbal choice. Once you get addicted to cold brew, you'll want to try it with black, green and white teas, as well as your favorite herbals.
A quick how-to: Either use the same ratio you'd normally use for boiling water and a tea sachet, or consider doubling up on sachets or teabags if you're going to drink it as iced tea, thus diluting your drink with ice. The guide for making a batch of cold brew with loose leaves is two large tablespoons of loose tea per quart of water, according to tea guru Bill Waddington of TeaSource.
Stay cool, tea lovers. And don't forget to tell us if cold brew becomes your new go-to beverage! Cheers.