“We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a public service announcement”
Just days a go I had my blog schedule for January 2015 all planned out, but seriously this cold brew tea ‘thing’ is just so good I had to write about it! Those of you who follow the Supper of the Suburbs Facebook page and my instagram will have already seen just how ‘in-love’ with this new concept I am.
We’ve all heard that green tea is fantastic for you and that green tea powder (matcha) and white tea are even better than that! The health benefits of herbal tea are numerous but what if I told you there was a way of getting even more health benefits out of your favourite drink? It would seem a little strange right? But just by switching the hot water for cold water and changing the brew time from 3 minutes to 3 hours you have a drink that’s even better for you than regular herbal tea!
Now I’m sure a few of you are already scoffing at the idea of waiting 3 hours or more for a cup of tea…but let me lay it out for you. It’s really simple and easy to add to your routine.
How I came to love cold brew tea
I hadn’t heard of cold brew tea until I stumbled across the Cold Tea Brew Bottle from Whittards at Christmas. I had been looking for some fun and funking herbal teas to add to my amazon wishlist in time for present buying season and saw this sexy green bottle. I was intruiged, had a google and discovered that although there wasn’t much out there on the internet, it seemed interesting and worth giving it a go. So I added the bottle to my wishlist and forgot about it.
A couple of weeks later, and what should be waiting for me under the Christmas tree, but the Cold Brew Tea Bottle from Whittards just like I had wished. (Lucky me!)
When I’m feeling sluggish and bloated, green tea is my go-to drink. So when the excesses of Christmas were over I filled my cold brew bottle up for the first time. The bottle is essentially a large glass cylinder with a rubber (maybe silicone) top. In the top is hidden a tea strainer so you don’t get any bits in your drink. I filled the bottle to the marker with cold water, added 7 tsp of my favourite loose leaf tea and popped it in the fridge overnight giving it a good 8 hours to brew overnight.
Come the morning, I had a large bottle of what is essentially iced-tea waiting for me. The bottle is easily portable and has a secure stopper so I could take it everywhere with me.
It’s now firmly in my routine that the bottle goes in the fridge before I jump into bed, it comes with me on the tube to work and then sits on my desk all day keeping me hydrated, energised and feeling fab.
Cold brew tea is also sweeter and more rich in flavour – water that is too hot, or steeping tea for too long can make it bitter but you get none of this acrid after-taste with cold brewed tea. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe this will…
What are the health benefits of cold brew tea?
Now here’s the part where I give a disclaimer – I am not a scientist, biologist, nutritionist or similar professional so this is based on what I’ve read on the internet or it is my own personal experience. My sources here were The Teaspot.com , The New York Times and Prevention. If you want to find out more you can have a read – and if you have any problems with what I’ve said you can take it up with them!
Firstly, almost all of the top website on the subject state that cold brew tea is higher in antioxidants than hot brewed tea – and there is some evidence to suggest this is especially the case in white tea which already has a pretty high level!
For those of you concerned about caffeine levels in your drinks, it has been said that cold brew tea also releases less caffeine than the hot brewed variety.
Depending on what it is you are cold brewing you may find other benefits like better weight management, increased focus and a speedier metabolism.
For me the benefits have been clear, I definitely have more energy, feel much less bloated, my skin is clearer and it has seemed to help (rather than hinder) my attempts at weight loss so I am a happy bunny!
Other benefits of cold brew tea
If the health benefits didn’t sell it to you perhaps these extra points will:
- Cold brew tea is so easy you don’t even have to stick the kettle on!
- It can be brewed anywhere at any time – even on the go you just need water, loose-leaf tea and a bottle.
- Cold brew tea is cheaper than buying bottles of Lipton’s iced tea.
- Cold brew tea is good for the environment – no disposable plastic bottles going to landfill, uses less (no!) electricity, and the leaves are compost-able.
- You can mix it up with any combination of flavours you want.
Iced tea recipes
White tea, green tea, oolong, yerba mate and a whole host of other teas can be cold brewed – so pick your favourite and use this as your base.
As I’ve mentioned, cold brew tea is much sweeter, mellow and full bodied than tea that is traditionally brewed. This makes it perfect for icy summer time drinks and even cocktails! The more I fall in love with cold brewed tea, the more I want to experiment with tea based drinks so watch this space for cold brew tea recipes.
For a simple recipe in the meantime, why not add fresh fruit to your favourite fruit based herbal tea for a natural infusion.
Here’s all the kit you need
This wasn’t a sponsored post, so I thought I’d offer a couple of suggestions as to where you can buy a cold brew tea bottle. In the UK it would seem your only option is actually Whittards who sell their cold brew bottle for £20. Hario do an identical one for £25.
Alternatively just do it for free in a mason jar like Lifehacker did – because who doesn’t love mason jars?!
So there it is! My little guide to cold brew tea.
If there are any cold brew tea lovers already out there who read this blog do let me know! If you’re a newbie and decide to come over to the cold side with us I’d love to hear too so please leave a comment.
Happy cold brewing!