How to Make Cold Brew Iced Tea With Tea Bags
Cold Brew Iced Tea Instructions
We'll get right to the point. Cold brew iced tea is the easiest method to make iced tea, but certainly not the fastest. If you're in a time crunch, by all means, brew up a cup of extra strong tea (less water, more tea, NOT MORE TIME or it will be bitter) and pour over a glass of ice. But, if you're thinking ahead, cold brew iced tea will become your go-to. Why? Keep on reading below, but for now, we'll share the Embrew method of making incredible cold brew iced tea, which is geared toward our specific tea bag formulations.
We recommend to our customers that any Embrew tea bags can be cold brewed, but some we feel perform better than others. Here's what you need and the really simple steps:
12oz of filtered or mineral water per tea bag
Any cup, jar or pitcher depending on how big the batch
12 hours in the refrigerator
We also recommend that you use the cold brew method with a used tea bag that was just infused for a hot cup, but you don't necessarily want to re-steep the bag for another cup of hot tea right away. In that case, follow the same ratio of water to tea bag and add some extra sweetener like simple syrup, dissolved honey or sugar and stir it after it's done cold brewing . Our tea bags are formulated for a larger cup so that you can get multiple uses out of one bag.
12 hours is the sweet spot for cold brew iced tea time. For herbals, you can leave the tea bags in for extra steep time, but for any traditional teas, our research shows that anything over 12-15 hours seems to bring forward a slight bitterness that we are trying to avoid with this brew method.
Why Try Cold Brew Iced Tea?
It's just so dang easy! The concept of a sweetened tea bag with the sweetener already inside was created by us so that you don't have to add anything yourself. With cold brewed, sweetened tea bags, it just couldn't get any more efficient.
Another reason is that the taste is much smoother with less bitterness since the tannins that are normally released with hot brewing methods are much less prevalent in cold brew. It's really hard to mess up a cold brew iced tea, so play around with what you like best. You can't go wrong.
The Best Tea Bags For Cold Brew Iced Tea
There are a lot of great blends for cold brew iced tea, but we certainly have a preference on what we think tastes better compared to the hot brewed cup. Some flavors stand out when they are warm and fade into the background when iced, revealing new lovely and subtle flavors. Our favorite Embrew tea bags for cold brew iced tea are:
- Cocoa Berry Black: this flavorful wake-up blend is naturally high in caffeine from the black tea, cacao, and coffee fruit. Plus, it has refreshing, subtly sweet notes of blueberry and maple, perfect for a balanced glass of cold brew iced tea.
- Jasmine Honey Green: cold brewed green tea is one of the absolute best in terms of flavor, and there’s no risk in ruining it with scalding hot water or from steeping it too long. We recommend brewing this tea in the refrigerator to bring out its robust earthy and floral jasmine notes, reminding us of a quaint little tea shop in the countryside of China.
- Creamy Honey Oolong: If you haven't tried an iced oolong, you must! This particular oolong is on the green side, so has a natural creaminess to it that is a total crowd-pleaser. The honey in this blend adds a light sweetness to the buttery texture and goes with a variety of summer cookout foods like tomato cucumber salad, shrimp kebobs and especially grilled corn on the cob.
- Strawberry Yaupon Hops: Our Spring seasonal, when in stock, is perfect for cold brew iced tea. A recent customer review said it best: "This tea is delicious! It’s not too strong and gives you just the right amount of strawberry. Not the sugary fake strawberry flavor, but an earthy natural flavor. I love the smell! Takes me back to when I would U-Pick strawberries as a kid!" - Andria
- Summer Peach Rooibos: Our Summer seasonal, available during the hot months, makes an awesome cold brew iced tea and has no caffeine. The peach flavor is subtle and makes a perfect cold-brew option to sip on poolside.
Lighting Round: Cold Brew FAQs
1. Can you use regular tea bags for cold brew?
Yes, you can use our regular tea bags to make cold brew. Our pre-sweetened tea bags are purposely made to be larger than your average store bought bag, making them perfect for re-steeping or whipping up a batch of strong cold brew.
2. Can you put tea bags in cold water?
Yes, you can put tea bags in cold water to make cold brew. If you opt for this route, which we dub “the easy method,” just allow yourself enough time for the bags to steep in order to get a robust, strong brew—we recommend steeping for 10-12 hours.
3. What is different about cold brew tea bags?
Cold brew tea bags are often a bit larger and have more tea leaves in them so that they can produce a strong batch of tea without steeping in boiling water. However, our tea bags are already larger than the average tea bag so they’re great for making cold brew either as a re-steep or a first batch.
Cold brew iced tea is so refreshing, especially during hot summer months. But we also highly recommend kicking it up a notch with a thirst quencher like this summer peach rooibos cocktail. Or, comb through a handful of our other favorite cold brew cocktail recipes—perfect for your next get together or summer barbecue.