June 19 2017
Cold tea? We’d normally think of this when we return to a mug we made earlier, only to find that our cuppa has turned cold and bitter while we were preoccupied.
But brewing tea in cold water – or ice – can yield fantastic results. First popularised in Asia, most notably Japan, cold brew teas are served up and down the country as a refreshing remedy during the muggy, humid summers. One of the interesting things about cold brew tea is that a very different chemical process takes place to that of hot water. Higher temperatures encourage the leaves to release their many compounds and potentially bitter substances faster – however, the cold brew process reveals an entire new world of soft, sweet, grassy flavours with a rich touch to the palate.
One of our favorite teas here at The Gilded Teapot to use for cold brew Japanese organic Sencha Superior and is beautifully simple to make. The first method is add the Sencha to your teapot and fill it with ice cubes – once enough of the cubes have melted to fill your cup you can strain the infusion and enjoy. The other method is to add the tea leaves to cold water and infuse for 5-8 minutes. You can also re-infuse these leaves several times, so you can enjoy your cold brew throughout the day.
Here’s one of our favorite sunny day concoctions – a shaken Matcha cold brew finished with lime and mint. Matcha is a fascinating shade grown green tea upon which the Japanese tea ceremony is built – these soft, sweet leaves have been ground to form a fine powder which, when whisked into water, forms a vibrant, velvety infusion. While delicious as a tea in its own right, it pairs incredibly well with other flavours – in this instance, the grassy matcha with fresh mint makes for a deeply refreshing cup. You can use a cocktail shaker for this recipe, or simply make yours in a jar with a good tight lid.
Matcha Cold Brew Recipe
For each jar:
1.5 tsp Matcha
1 slice of lime
Handful of fresh mint
1 tsp sugar
1. Sift the matcha into a dish and pour on a little spring water. Give this a good whisk until it is nice and smooth with no lumps, and pour it into the jar. Add the mint leaves, lime slice and sugar (if you’d like it on the sweeter side) and give it all a good muddle.
2. Add the ice cubes to fill around 2/3 of the jar, screw on the lid tightly, and give it a good shake for at least 10 seconds.
3. Take off the lid and top up the jar with spring water. Stir and garnish with more fresh mint and lime to finish.
Variation: Looking for a cold brew with a bit of poke? You can easily turn this shaken tea into a Matcha Mint Julep tea cocktail- simply add a shot of bourbon to the Matcha, mint leaves and lime.