With summer just around the corner, proper daily hydration is becoming more important. We are big fans of chilled tap water, as readers of this blog already know. For people who want to add flavor to their H 2 O without adding sweeteners, caloric or artificial, cold brew tea is an interesting option.
While iced tea is usually full of sugar, there are a few bottled teas you can buy that are unsweetened. Brewing your own tea is a much cheaper and potentially healthier option. And cold brewed tea, for those who haven’t tried it, is a time saving twist because you don’t need for the boiling water to chill.
From a chemical perspective, cold brew is different than hot brew. Any contact of water with tea leaves, hot or cold, starts a process that releases various particles into the water, including flavor, antioxidants, and caffeine. Hot brewing adds another chemical process because the heat changes the chemical properties of some of those particles. Hot brewing also accelerates the process of diffusion.
We recently sampled a few bags of Twining of London Cold Brewed Teas and were very pleased with the results. We used ice cold water to brew a bag and measured about 5 minutes before taking the picture above. The beverage was surprisingly rich with flavor. If you have more patience, you can throw a tea bag or two into a pitcher full of water and leave it overnight in the fridge.
Most flavored teas include some sort of tea and then a bunch of added flavors. Beware though that ”natural cherry flavor” does not necessarily mean the flavor was extracted from cherries. It simply means the flavoring was extracted from a natural substance.
Bottom line: We highly recommend cold brew teas as a refreshing alternative to caloric iced tea.
Do you cold brew?