Iced Tea: Cold Brewing vs Hot Brewing

Temperature: it makes a huge difference, even in iced tea.
Iced Tea: Cold Brewing vs Hot Brewing

We've shared both methods with you because both are great for making iced tea, and both definitely have their benefits. And if you've not made both before to compare the differences, you're in for an eye-opener below as we discuss the pros, cons and different tastes of hot vs cold brewing your iced tea base.


Temperature: it makes a huge difference, even in iced tea 


Yes, believe it or not, those two glasses contain the same tea, and nothing else. One was brewed at the 'normal' temperature (i.e. as close to boiling as we can get it out of a kettle) for five minutes, the other was brewed in cold water, in the fridge, for 12 hours. 

The pros of hot-brewing | It's quick and easy to make, it makes a great base for cocktails because it has strong flavours to work with any spirits

The pros of cold-brewing | It can be enjoyed straight up if you're not big on super-sweet drinks, it's very easy to prepare, it gives you a crystal clear drink that's quite visually pleasing for some, it takes only minor adjustments (i.e. the addition of lemon & sugar) to make it the perfect taste for you.

The cons of hot-brewing | It's still advisable to cool the tea down (lest you melt too much ice in the next stage and water your drink down), so there's a little wait for that. It's creates a very strong, cloudy base that really needs the sugary, tart lemon/honey combination, so it's not drinkable straight up, and you might require a surprising amount of lemon to counteract it.

The cons of cold-brewing | Time being the most obvious one, as it requires at least 8 hours' planning, some of us prefer a very punchy drink and this base might be a little on the light side for that.

The wild side of cold-brewing | We don't have an official kombucha recipe for you here (and don't advise you keep the cold brew for longer than 48 hours after you make it), but here's a story from the history books for you. In 2018, we tried to make a bottled version of our iced tea, using this very blend, but it kept turning into kombucha within a few weeks (despite pasteurisation), so we shelved that idea, and decided that simpler is better. If you want a good iced tea, make it yourself at home using rolled, whole leaves, and not only do you get to choose just how you like it, but you get the added benefit of no sneaky scobies at the end of the bottle!

So now you know a bit more about both sides, give each method a try and let us know which you prefer. We can't wait to hear what you think - and as always, send us your brewtime shots to be in with a chance to bag yourself £5 Brew Coins.

Happy Brewing!


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