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Cold Brew Tea vs. Iced Tea: What’s the Difference?

Cold Brew Tea vs. Iced Tea: What’s the Difference?

Did you know you can cold brew tea just like coffee? That’s right — cold brew tea is a delicious and refreshing way to enjoy your favourite flavours. But you may be wondering what makes cold brew tea different from iced tea. Does it impact the taste of the tea? Which teas are the best for cold brewing? Get the answers to these questions and more below.  

How To Make Iced Tea 

The method of brewing iced tea is different from cold brew tea. First, you steep the tea bags (or leaves if you prefer loose leaf tea) in a small amount of boiling water for 3 minutes. For black and green teas, any longer may produce a cloudy, bitter tea. You can choose to steep herbal teas for longer, if you like – the flavour may even improve with longer steeping. Next, gently remove the tea bags without squeezing them out and add a larger quantity of cool or room-temperature water to the pitcher to balance the overall flavour. Finally, serve over ice – the resulting iced tea is perfect on the palate. 

Try our classic iced tea using Twinings Lady Grey. If you are interested in more adventurous flavours, try our Lady Grey Lime Cooler, Iced Green Tea with Ginger, or Cucumber Spritzer. 

How To Cold Brew Tea 

On the other hand, cold brew tea is an even simpler, one-step process because you don’t have to start with boiling water. Instead, you can steep your tea in cold or room-temperature water. There are several advantages to this method. The first is that it can preserve certain elements that are easily damaged or dispersed into the air, like the oils in peppermint and other aromatic plants. Another advantage to cold brewing tea is that it minimises some of the astringency you find in tea.

Many of us associate iced tea or chilled tea with a strong astringency, but there are many iced or cold brew teas which can be more delicate and nuanced without so much astringency. Using the example of peppermint, by making this tea in a cold brew fashion you will end up with less of the astringent tannins and more of the peppermint flavour. You’ll find a cold-brew tea of peppermint to be lighter with a more complex minty flavour. However, this typically requires 2-8 hours of steeping, often overnight, and should be consumed within 8 hours. For a shortcut, try Twinings Cold Brew tea. 

Another method of making cold brew tea is the Koridashi method, which originated in Japan. With this method, you sprinkle your loose tea leaves over a glass filled with ice. As the ice melts, the tea steeps. The point of this method is that the process of letting the ice melt is relaxing and contemplative, forcing you to slow down and take a break from your day. If you find the idea of a more intentional process of brewing tea appealing, you might be interested to know that in some cultures cold brew teas are even sometimes steeped in moonlight! 

Neither of these methods is ideal for the grab-and-go lifestyle many of us lead! If you don’t have time to wait for ice to melt, you can skip it (and the long steep in the fridge) and reach for Twinings Cold Infuse instead. Twinings Cold Infuse was created to steep in cold water in only minutes, so you can have a great-tasting cold beverage in a fraction of the time. Just drop an infuser into your water bottle and go! You can leave it in as you drink —  the longer your infuser steeps in the bottle, the more flavourful your drink becomes. 

What Does Cold Brew Tea Taste Like? 

You may wonder whether cold brew tea tastes different from tea steeped in boiling water. The answer is yes, but it’s a subtle difference. When tea leaves are brewed in boiling water, the heat releases not only flavour but also tannins, which lend slight notes of bitterness to the tea. With no heat involved in cold brewing, the chemical process is different, so the flavour is smoother, more delicate, and often sweeter. 

An Easy Way to Stay Hydrated 

Drinking water is a vital way to support your overall wellbeing. Twinings Cold Infuse offers a simple and fast way to liven up your water with some flavour, so you never get bored with hydrating! With a variety of flavours, you’ll look forward to reaching for your water bottle. 

Twinings Superblends Cold Water Infusions Immune Support – Raspberry & Hibiscus

Sip the sweet flavour of raspberry combined with tart hibiscus flavour. 

Twinings Superblends Cold Water Infusions Probiotics+ - Pineapple & Coconut

Dive into the tropical flavours of tart pineapple and sweet coconut. 

Twinings Cold Infuse Peach & Passionfruit

Ripe with sweet peach and tropical passionfruit flavours. 

Twinings Cold Infuse Strawberry & Lemon

Packed with sweet strawberry and bright lemon flavours with real apple pieces. 

Twinings Cold Infuse Lemon & Ginger

The classic pairing of lemon and ginger flavours gets even more refreshing — the perfect way to wake up your water. 

Twinings Cold Infuse Mango & Passionfruit

A unique blend of the tropical flavours of mango and passionfruit with red and white hibiscus, rosehips, and orange peel. 

Twinings Cold Infuse Watermelon & Mint

You can have summer any time with the mouth-wateringly fresh flavours of watermelon and mint. 

Try them all, and let us know your favourite on Facebook or Instagram!


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