Every year, tea devotees anxiously await the newest white and green teas. When those teas arrive, they are usually infused hot. But lately the devotees are resorted to icing those teas – often with rather mixed results. As ones who appreciate these teas and all the work that goes into getting them from those tea plants to your cup, we thought a nice bit of advice would be helpful and keep a lot of that tea from being tossed away as unpalatable.
First things first. We want to pay homage and thanks to a certain red teapot named Lucy and her owner for their article here on their methods for getting the most out of cold infusing fine teas. We agree, too, that some vendors tend to tell you to use more dry tea leaves than you need. Even if you intend to do more than one cold infusion from the leaves, using too much dry tea leaves will result in an overly strong or even bitter beverage.
Second, we differentiate between cold infusing your tea and making iced tea. Our infographic will illustrate the differences.
Step by Step
Cold Infusion is just a matter of adding some tea leaves and fresh water to a container that you can set in the refrigerator for awhile.
Making iced tea means heating water, adding tea leaves to a steeping vessel, pouring in the hot water, steeping, and straining into a container with ice (the container should be one that can also go into the refrigerator).
Chilled tea is steeping tea as normal, letting it cool a little, pouring it into a container and putting that in the refrigerator.
Some claim that by infusing using cold water you don’t get any bitterness from the green and white teas that you would get using hot water. It seems to depend on the tea quality. Start with premium teas, use your normal amount, and do some experimenting. You may find that you only need to use a portion of the tea leaves you usually would, or you may need to use more.
Happy sipping (and chilling).