Stop putting ice cubes in your hot tea and make cold brew teas the right way with our guide on everything cold brew!
Now, you’ve probably seen and heard a lot about cold brew coffee, so we believe that its caffeinated compatriot got more recognition too. Cold brew teas will be a godsend during those balmy and boiling days in Singapore.
Originating in 17th century Japan, the method was used by the Japanese who brewed their tea leaves in cold river water as they believed that hot water burns the tea; destroying its flavour and natural benefits in the process.
Cold water allows more of the tea’s natural flavours to be extracted over an extended period of time, resulting in consistently smoother and less bitter tasting tea. Despite its flavour not being as intense as hot tea, cold brew tea can be just as complex, aromatic and full-bodied—leaving a refreshing and sweet finish that will linger on your palette long after you’ve had your last sip.
Aside from taste, cold brew tea is also a total treat for your body. Brewing tea with cold water causes less tannins to be steeped out so antioxidants are retained better and less caffeine is released, allowing cold brew tea to function as an effective detox that can be enjoyed at any time of the day without the fear of a sleepless night.
A cup of cold brew tea is so much more than putting ice cubes in your hot tea. Don’t even attempt this, unless you’re looking for a glass of tea that would bring little satisfaction. Naturally, the two most important ingredients are cold water and your preferred tea leaves, and all you need do is steep the leaves in cold water for about an hour, before refrigerating it overnight. Then drain it the next morning to enjoy!
As for the amount of tea leaves to use, a tablespoon would be ideal for a litre of water, but it is ultimately up to your own taste preferences and the type of tea being used. As a guide, we’ve curated the best teas to use for your cold brew.
Oolongs are optimal for a brew that’s darker and for notes of honey, while the vegetal taste of green tea is mellowed out for a fresh and clean cold brew. Delicate white tea leaves offer a light and floral aroma, but black tea will most likely be your biggest enemy in creating the perfect cold brew due to the higher levels of tannin extracted; giving the drink a dry, non-refreshing finish.
You could even increase the complexity of flavours in your cold brew with slices of your favourite citrus or a sprig of fresh mint leaves!
And practice makes perfect, but if your initial batches of cold brew tea are not up to mark, we recommend jazzing it up with a dash, or two, of alcohol because like in other aspects of life, getting a little tipsy can certainly function as a silver lining in many hairy situations. Just a tip to remember though, the lighter the tea, the lesser the liquor.
But, if you want to save yourself the trouble of making your own, you can still get your cold brew tea fix delivered to your doorstep from these local breweries:
1. BOOTSTRAP BEVERAGES
Freshly brewed in their microbrewery in Singapore, Bootstrap Beverages is an e-commerce store specialising in all things cold brew. They currently carry two types of cold brew tea, Rooibos Orange Tea, for a lightly sweet and herbal brew, and Hojicha Tea, for an earthier taste.
For more information, please visit bootstrapbeverages.com.
2. CANDOUR COFFEE
Inspired by Melbourne’s specialty coffee scene, Candour Coffee has been serving up quality blends for the past four years. They’ve recently also jumped on the cold brew trend to create more than 10 types of cold brew coffee and tea. A standout from their selection would be the Cold Brew Lychee Oolong, for capturing the right notes of fruity, floral and roasted.
For more information, please visit facebook.com/CandourCoffee.
A homegrown brand, 1°C aims to educate consumers on the health benefits of drinking cold brew tea through their handcrafted products. Using only natural ingredients, they’ve managed to create three unique cold brew tea flavours: Blue Pea Cold Tea, for glowing and healthy skin, Basil & Mint Cold Tea, as a remedy for nausea and nasal congestion, and Beetroot & Cardamom Cold Tea, to lower your blood pressure.
For more information, please visit 1degreec.com.sg.