Want to make the perfect pitcher of iced-tea using the cold brew method? I’ve experimented with many different methods before I perfected it! I call it the “mostly cold brew” method because you do need one cup of hot water. Read on to see how to do it!
Earlier this summer, I was looking for ways to make iced tea without brewing cup after cup in my Keurig and letting it cool or sitting a glass jar out in the sun all day (where my dog will inevitably find a way to knock it down). I wanted to try cold brew, but I kept running into the same issue: the tea bags floated on top and took forever to sink down, so the tea took like 12 hours before it was ready.
Of course, there has to be a better way, right? Well, there is!
The Mostly Cold Brew Method for Iced-Tea
This is super simple, so I’m not going to write 800+ words about it. I’ll just get right to the point, then give you a few very quick extra tips.
- Tea bags
How to do it:
- Grab a glass pitcher and fill it about 2/3 of the way with filtered or spring water.
- Grab a decent-sized mug (you know, like the one you break out on those super groggy mornings) and place 10-12 tea bags inside of it. I use 12, but it depends on how strong you like your tea. You’ll want to either tie them together or just kind of twirl them so they stay together.
- Now, either pour hot water over the tea bags, or set your Kuerig to the 8oz cup and turn it on (obviously, with the mug ready to go).
- Let the tea bags steep for maybe a couple of seconds, then dump the water from the mug into the pitcher.
- Carefully (because they are hot) lift the tea bags out of the mug over the pitcher, then place them into the water. They’ll start to sink right away. Make sure you hold onto the tags and string.
- Fill the pitcher the rest of the way up with water.
- Either tape the tags to the side of the pitcher, or hold onto them while you secure the lid over them to hold them.
You’ll notice that the tea bags stay submerged. You’ll also notice that your tea is ready in about half the time as with the regular cold brew method! That one extra step of running hot water over the bags makes the difference.
Tips for success
- Use good tea bags vs. cheap store brands or dollar store bags. I use either Red Rose Original Black Tea or Lipton Tea Bags. If you want to get super fancy, you can use gourmet teas, but I have the best luck with those two. Red Rose is my first choice.
- Use a glass pitcher. It just tastes better for some reason. I got a cheap one at Walmart with a little spout, it’s perfect.
- DO NOT SQUEEZE THE TEA BAGS. It releases more tannins and can make tea taste more bitter. With this method, there is no reason at all to squeeze the bags.
- If you want to add sugar during the process, just add it after the 2/3 water but before you fill it the rest of the way up. I prefer to sweeten mine as I go, because I use Splenda and Jake uses real sugar.
- You can also add lemon or other fruits at any point up until you fill the jar the rest of the way (because at that point you’ll have no room!).
That’s about it, my friends.
Do you have any tips or tricks for making things like iced-tea? How about coffee? I haven’t mastered cold brewing that quite yet!