Updated: Mar 15, 2022
For over a thousand years, the leaves of the tea plant, camellia sinensis, have been known to convey myriad health benefits and positive energetic effects - in addition to a world of flavors and aromas. The magical properties of tea have traditionally been extracted by brewing the leaves in hot water. But sometimes it’s just too dang hot to enjoy a piping cup of tea.
Chilled teas, such as Cold Brew or Iced Tea, are the answer, and Summer is the perfect time to try. Even tea purists can find a chilled tea they love, it’s just a matter of knowing which leaves lend themselves to which style of brewing. Tea brewing is the process of extracting chemical compounds from the leaf into the water. Using boiling water draws out more of those compounds faster, while using cooler water slows down the process and effects the resulting tea in different ways.
Cold Brew is a long, slow brewing of tea at cold temperatures, while Iced Tea is generally brewed hot and cooled down rapidly with ice. Both methods yield distinctly different results. As with all tea brewing, its a case of playing with the parameters and finding your perfect cup.
Delicate leaves, like Japanese Green Tea, may become bitter if “over brewed” (using water that’s too hot and/or brewing for too long), making them a good candidate for Cold Brewing. Others, like a good Dragon Well, retain their sweetness even if you’re not watching the clock, which means they can handle the Iced Tea method of over-brewing and adding ice.
Cold Brew Recipe:
4 grams of your favorite Callisto whole leaf tea
500 ml (about 16 oz or 2 cups) cold water
Add the leaves and water to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Taste the tea - if you think it needs more, leave for another hour or two.
When it reaches your preferred strength, strain out the leaves and enjoy!
Iced Tea Recipe:
Brew your tea hot as you normally would, but increase the brewing time by ~2x.
Pour into a cocktail shaker or mason jar, add some ice, and shake vigorously.
Pour the tea over more ice and sip as you please.
Depending on the tea, you may need to increase the amount of leaf or brewing time. See the Brewing Guidelines section on each tea's product page for our recommendations.
Cold brewing retains more of the original flavor and aroma, but some teas need boiling water to bring out their magic. Iced Tea can be ready when you are, and shaking yields a unique frothy texture.
Ready to try your own chilled tea? These leaves are a great place to start:
Silver Spring - try Cold Brewing this tea for a mild sweetness and silky texture.
Guan Yin’s Mercy - Cold Brewed or Iced, this tea preserves the roasted, toasted caramel flavor when chilled.
Taiwan Holiday - Ice this fruity & spiced Black Tea and drink it straight or use it as a base to add lemon, honey, cream, or other flavorings.
Pele’s Glow - the floral fragrance and notes of tropical fruit come through with this Cold Brew. Have a taste of Hawaii!