As the temperature rises and we come into the glorious sunshine months the tea appreciation doesn't have to stop. It can be hard to beat a big, cold glass of chilled tea and there is still a bit of technique involved to get the taste just right.

The question is... do you cold brew or ice your tea? The choice is totally yours but there are a few things to consider.

Iced tea is brewed hot, cooled down and served over ice.

Cold brew tea involves no hot water at all. You place your tea leaves or blend in the water and let it steep over time.

To help decide what is best for you, here's a few points about each method:

Iced tea

  • Can be used for any type of blend (herbal, black, green, oolong or white)
  • Easily absorbs any additional sweeteners (ie honey) during the brewing process
  • Needs less blend quantity amount per cup to achieve optimum flavour
  • Needs less time than cold brew to be ready for serving
  • Brewed blend/leaves are generally removed before the cooling process
Cold brew
  • Can be used for any type of blend (herbal, black, green, oolong or white)
  • Doesnt absorb sweeteners as well as iced tea but does impart more flavour from added fresh ingredients (ie. lemon slices, mint leaves)
  • Needs more time to brew to be ready for serving but can have a more intense flavour and taste with some ingredients. A minimum of 6 - 8 hours is best - overnight even better
  • Blend/leaves remain in the vessel for the entire process
No matter which method you use, you need to allow for more blend quantity per cup to brew with. In basic terms, you need to brew it strong. Iced tea ends up being diluted with the water in the ice or mixers and cold brewing doesnt always extract some flavours the same way a hot brew does.

Iced tea has the flexibility of taking any blend and turning it chilled. Some ingredients respond better to the heat of a hot infusion to impart the most flavour - things like hibiscus, peppermint, chamomile and ginger - but 100% still work with a cold brew.

Cold brew is fantastic for a gentle infusion and can take away the bitterness of some ingredients, especially green and black teas with strong tannins that dont respond well to extra long steeps with heat.

I recommend trying both methods with your favourite blend to see which suits your palette most in terms of end flavour results.

Try something new! If you havent tried doing a cold brew before - give it a go! Make it up before bed, have it work its magic while sleeping and enjoy a big glass in the sunshine when you wake up the next day. Easy!

For those that enjoy a more traditional black or green tea dont underestimate how delicious cold brewing can be. Dapper Duke (Earl Grey) cold brewed with fresh lemon slices and served in a big, tall glass over ice is one of my summer favourites.

Happy chilled brewing,

Jodie x

P.S Check out my most recommended iced/cold brew blends here.
Jodie Millhouse