In the hot summer, everyone enjoys drinking cold-brewed tea. With a wide variety of Chinese teas available, how should you choose the right tea for cold brewing? And how should you brew it? Let’s share some insights below:
1.Principles for selecting teas suitable for cold brewing:
Choose teas with lower fermentation levels, such as green tea, white tea, partially oxidized oolong tea, black tea, and floral teas. These teas have higher amino acid and sugar content, making them more soluble in cold water and resulting in a sweeter and fresher taste when cold brewed.
Generally, choose teas with high freshness, strong aroma, and a refreshing taste.
Teas with lower fermentation levels are suitable for cold water steeping, while teas with higher fermentation levels are suitable for hot brewing followed by chilling.
2.Recommended teas for cold brewing:
Green tea: Green tea is fresh and aromatic, and its bitterness is reduced when cold brewed, highlighting its sweetness.
Recommended teas: Biluochun, Longjing, Huangshan Maofeng, Enshi Yulu, Japanese Sencha, Japanese Gyokuro, and other well-known green teas are all suitable for cold brewing.
White tea: For cold brewing, Baihao Yinzhen (Silver Needle) and Bai Mudan (White Peony) are recommended because they have a higher freshness, with prominent aroma and sweetness.
Black tea: Black tea is naturally sweet, but not all black teas are suitable for cold brewing.
Recommended teas: Dianhong, Yingdehong, Dajiling, Ceylon, and other high-aroma black teas, as well as Honey-scented black tea.
Not recommended: Zhengshan Xiaozhong (Lapsang Souchong) is more suitable for hot brewing.
Oolong tea: Oolong tea has a rich and captivating aroma, but it is not easily brought out when cold brewed. Therefore, it is recommended to choose lightly roasted oolong teas with pronounced aroma for cold brewing.
Recommended teas: Dongding Oolong, lightly roasted Tie Guan Yin.
Highly recommended: Fenghuang Dancong.
Not recommended: Wuyi Rock tea (Yancha) is better suited for hot brewing to bring out its flavor.
Dark tea: Compressed teas require hot water to loosen the tea leaves, and the taste when cold brewed is generally average. Additionally, freshly produced raw Pu’er tea can be too stimulating, so they are not recommended for cold brewing.
Herbal tea: There are various types of herbal teas available. Popular choices include Jasmine tea, Osmanthus Longjing Osmanthus Black tea, and Peach Oolong tea, all of which are good options.
3.Cold brewing methods:
Conventional cold brewing method: Take 3g of tea leaves for 500ml of mineral water, give it a gentle shake, and then refrigerate it in the fridge before consumption.
Ice-melting cold brewing method: Add an appropriate amount of ice cubes to a cup, put in 3g of tea leaves (adjust according to personal preference). After the ice cubes melt, filter out the tea liquid and enjoy.
4.Cold brewing time:
Researchers have experimented with brewing Baihao Yinzhen for 1 to 15 hours using water at temperatures of 4°C, room temperature, 50°C, 80°C, and 100°C. From the experimental results, as time goes on, the extraction of tea polyphenols, caffeine, and amino acids in cold-brewed tea gradually approaches that of hot-brewed tea.
However, it is still advisable not to steep cold-brewed tea for too long. The recommended duration is 6 to 8 hours.
People with a weak constitution or poor gastrointestinal health should avoid cold-brewed tea.
In summer, pay attention to food hygiene, and it is best to consume cold-brewed tea within 24 hours.
When preparing cold-brewed tea, ensure the cleanliness of tea ware and hands.
When refrigerating cold-brewed tea, use a sealed container to isolate odors and prevent bacterial growth!