Cold brew; is the latest way to make the absolute most out of many of our favourite teas and infusions. However, this method of preparation and why it is so special is still fairly unknown. Here we hope to explain the mystery!
First of all, what is "cold brew"?
Cold brew is a method of making teas and herbal infusions in low-temperature water. The purpose of this is to bring out the more subtle flavours and aspects present, but sometimes drowned-out when teas and infusions are hot-brewed, whether eventually served hot or cold).
New, unique dimensions and aspects to teas and infusions.
Because the leaves, flowers, herbs and spices in these teas and blends are never "activated" by the heat, very strong flavours are softened allowing more of the underlying natural notes and flavours to shine; in some herbs and flowers this can change the flavour completely - for example changing chamomile flavours to apple-honey!
In tea, this change is even more pronounced as the oxidation that produces the familiar "tea" flavours does not take place (or at a very reduced rate). This virtually eliminates bitterness in tea and results in delicate, sweeter, and often more complex infusions which are extremely pleasing to the palate and surprising in the range of flavours and aromas that can be achieved.
Sugar-free, fat-free, calorie-free, guilt-free!
Cold brew teas and infusions are almost too good to be true on this front! Because of the lack of heat, almost all teas and infusions produce a naturally sweeter cup that is great even for those with a sweet-tooth and without any need to add sugars or sweeteners!
Many cold brewed blends are naturally sweet enough for even the most ardent sweet-tooth and therefore a great, refreshing alternative to fruit juices and soft drinks. Even better, as they are brewed in water, they are a great way to keep up with your recommended daily water intake without compromising on flavour!
Leave the leaves in all day!
We know that when brewing teas, removing the steeped leaves after a specific amounts of time prevents over-oxidisation and bitterness in teas, which often occurs if the leaves are left in for too long!
Not so with cold brew teas!
As the leaves are never heat-activated, they can be left in as long as you like and will continue to produce and develop flavour long after the 60 minute steeping time with no spoilage of the lea leaves, or any other herbs, flowers or spices in the infusion.
This means that you can keep topping up the same glass, bottle or jug of tea indefinitely - just keep adding cool water to the container for a constant supply of delicious cold brew!
A variety of ways to use!
As the infusion remains cool at all times it is completely portable and therefore lends itself to us in a variety of ways!
Cold brew green teas contain all of the same vitamin c and antioxidants as in the standard preparation, and are great for hydration at any time of day. This makes them ideal companions to the gym and even sporting events and refreshment tables.
The infusions also lend themselves well to being served with ice, herbs and fruit and so make delicious and alluring cocktails and mocktails with a grand variety of flavours to compare and contrast - the combinations are endless!
Being naturally soft and sweet; cold brew teas, but particularly caffeine-free infusions, are excellent alternatives to traditional sweet drinks for children without the need to add sugars or any kind! Put on the menu at a children's party the infusions will disappear quickly, but that's no problem because it can be topped up at any time just by adding cold water and reassuringly sugar free!