Tis the Season To Cold Brew

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If your go-to drink is a refreshing ice tea, a cold-brew tea is for you. And if it's not, a cold-brew might just change that. Cold brewing tea is typically an 8-10 hour process that slowly and delicately extracts the flavor of the tea leaving you with a light, less tannic finish. Because cold water is used instead of hot, the tea molecules aren't altered as much from their original state, and therefore the taste, if anything, is more true to the tea itself.

How do I make cold brew tea you ask: Use one bag of tea per 4 cups of purified water and put in the fridge for 8-10 hours or until desired strength. So stick a bottle or pitcher of water with your favorite tea in the fridge before bed, and you'll have a brisk, invigorating beverage to carry you through the next day. You can even add your favorite spices or fresh garnishes like mint, blueberries, raspberries or cucumbers. If you are going to use an herbal tea, or one that contains flowers or fruits, it's best to quickly boil the bag in a small amount of tea before adding it to the water and putting it into the fridge.

Another great thing about cold brewing is that it allows you to try your favorite tea in a different way. It magically shifts the flavor profile from what it would be if it was brewed hot and then cooled and watered down with ice. What's more, despite the nostalgia sun-brewed tea supplies to many of us, it's a safer way to make ice tea without the concern of unwanted bacteria growth. It also contains less caffeine than hot brewed tea, and therefore more can be enjoyed without the fear of being kept up all night long. You can even use it as a refreshing mixer for your spirit of choice!

Five Delicious Iced Tea Flavor Combinations

 

Nothing says summer time quite like dinner from the grill paired with homemade iced tea. To get an early start on summer, here are some tasty iced tea flavor combinations to keep in mind next time you have a barbecue, maybe even for Memorial Day!

Check out our roundup of five great recipes around the web for this summer's go-to drink. 

* Iced Calamansi Tea: Popular in Malaysia, this lime-inflected iced tea is a perfect late-afternoon refresher. (Table For 2 or More)

* Lemonade Mint Iced Tea: This minty take on an Arnold Palmer could this summer's poolside beverage. (Framed Cooks)

* Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte: If you need a caffienated pick-me-up with lunch, try this Korean-influenced cold latte. Topped with a dollop of whipped cream, it's almost dessert! (Girl Cooks World)

* Proper Iced Tea: If you have a French press, this classic iced tea recipe is for you. Brewed strong, this could replace your morning coffee on steamy summer days. (Something Edible)

* Sun Tea: Try steeping your tea in this energy efficient way. Sun tea brews while you're at work, so you can come home to a refreshing beverage. The tea will be ready to go within a few hours. Just pour it over ice and serve.

What's your favorite kind of iced tea?

Photo: stevendepolo on flickr