It’s summer, it’s hot and my new obsession is cold brewing tea! It’s the easiest “recipe” in the universe and completely worth the minimal effort.
I first got the idea for this while I was breastfeeding and needed to drink what felt like gallons of water everyday in order to stay hydrated. After about 3 months of standing impatiently at the sink filling my glass from our slower than molasses filtered water spout only to get a sometimes warm glass of water, I decided that I need to fill in mass and refrigerate. With no pitcher in site, I grabbed a couple of mason jars complete with lids – perfect for a single serving of grab and go water without the environmental impact of a water bottle.
As I lined the jars up on the counter, the sun was streaming in through the window glistening off the jars. Sun tea instantly popped into my mind. I grabbed a variety of bags mostly herbals like chamomile, mint* and a few bags of green tea. Just as I got the lids sealed. My napping son woke up wailing, so instead of heading outside, I simply threw them in the fridge and went to grab him.
A few hours later, I looked in the fridge and my teas were ready. They were delicious. I normally can’t stand green tea with out a bit of something sweet but this was so smooth that I had no interest in adding any sugar!
So I did a little research and found out that besides being “all the rage” especially with coffees, cold brewing or cold steeping tea has tons of benefits that actually make it healthier than the traditional method of hot steeping tea in boiling water:
- Cold brewing creates a smoother less bitter tasting tea.
- Cold brewing creates a tea lower in caffeine.
- Cold brewing creates a tea higher in antioxidants.
Wow! More antioxidants and I love the flavor of cold brew green tea without any added sugar. I’m in. Here’s a very cool video by explaining the research from a recent study published in Food Chemistry: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cold-steeping-green-tea/
How to cold brew tea:
In a jar with bottle with a tight fitting lid, place 1 tea bag of per 12 oz of water. Fill with clean filtered water at 75ºF or below. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to several days. Enjoy.
*Note: Mint can lower milk production in lactating women. It’s good to avoid it while breastfeeding.
Sources: E. Venditti, T. Bacchetti, L. Tiano, P. Carloni, L. Greci, and E. Damiani. Hot vs. cold water steeping of diﬀerent teas: Do they aﬀect antioxidant activity? Food Chem., 119(4):1597-1604, 2010.