Your Cold Brewed Iced Tea Questions Answered!
Last month Tranquil Tuesdays launched our new cold brewed iced tea offering at the Beijing Farmers’ Market, and we are so excited that customers are enjoying this refreshing drink option during the hot summer months. We’ve loved the positive feedback we have received and would like to answer some frequently asked questions:
1. How is the cold brewed tea different in terms of the brewing process?
Hot water also cooks as it extracts, forcing chemical reactions that transform some of the extracted substances into other things, and driving some aroma substances out of the liquid. Cold water, in contrast, extracts more slowly and selectively, produces a simpler extract, and doesn’t change the original flavor substances as much.
2. What are the nutritional differences between hot and cold?
In cold brewed iced tea, there are more free-type catechins (a type of antioxidant polyphenol), less ester-type catechins and caffeine in comparison with hot brew. (For more detailed information refer to the Taiwanese research paper “Studies on the Physicochemical Components and Sensory Quality of Cold-water Steeped Tea” written by 毛正倫.
3. What are the benefits of cold versus hot?
Cold brewed tea has less caffeine, is relatively easier to brew, and the process of cold brewing does not alter the original flavor of the tea (except to offer an innovative and refreshing way to enjoy the unique flavors of your favorite tea).
4. What are some of the distinctive tastes of the cold brewed iced tea?
In general, the cold brewed teas taste more subtle and smoother with less acidity and astringency. After experimenting with all of our personally sourced teas, our favorites to cold brew are our Phoenix Honey Orchid Oolong, Iron Goddess of Mercy (Tieguanyin) Oolong, and Mao Jian Green.
5. Is cold brewing tea a new idea or an old idea? Where does it come from, historically and culturally?
Its Chinese cultural roots can be traced back to a traditional folk song from the western Hunan province that describes a man’s slow and aromatic enjoyment of cold brewed tea, and this method of brewing has recently gained popularity in Taiwan. A few weekends ago at the Beijing Farmers’ Market, an old Taiwanese lady shared with us her experience of brewing cold tea every summer and enjoying it with her close family and friends.
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