Can You Steep Tea In Cold Water? (Cold Brewing Tea)

Cold Brewing Tea

Can you steep tea in cold water?  You can steep tea in cold or warm water, I assure you. Cold-brewed tea is the name given to tea that has been steeped in cold water.” Black, oolong, green, and herbal teas can all be cold-brewed. 

To learn how to make your own energizing glass of cold brew tea at home, keep reading. 

What Is Cold Brewing Tea?

  • In the slow and gentle process of cold brewing, tea is steeped in water for many hours in the refrigerator. The best-iced tea can only be made with cold brew tea. It takes a long time, but it’s also the simplest method for making iced tea.
  • The tannins that make tea bitter aren’t steeped out of the tea as they are in hot water, so cold brewing results in a sweeter, smoother tasting beverage. So, no more iced tea that is too bitter!
  • Cold brewing is the ideal beverage to prepare in the sweltering summer because it doesn’t use hot water.

Love iced tea? Try making my Thai Iced Tea.

Can You Steep Tea In Cold Water?

Yes, you can steep tea in cold water. Compared to cold brewing coffee, cold brewing tea is much less well-known, but it does exist. They are essentially the same and can also be found under the names sun tea and fridge tea.

It takes a very long time to brew cold tea compared to hot tea. Depending on the type of tea you use, it can take anywhere from 6 to 16 hours.

Additionally, the flavor of cold-brewed tea differs from that of hot-brewed tea in that it is more subdued, significantly less bitter, and generally smoother. More on that later.

You can add sweetness and other flavors, such as a few berries or a sprig of mint to give the dish some freshness.

Since I believe you’ll also be interested in learning how to make cold-brewed tea, let’s start there. Green tea will be the focus of my discussion, but you can use this method with any type of tea you like.

Why Cold Brew Tea Is Important?

It is so easy to use this approach. It might even be simpler than letting your tea steep in hot water, according to you. This is so that you can avoid accidentally over-steepening by using cold water.

In fact, you don’t have to worry as much about the number of tea leaves or how long you steep the tea because it is more forgiving. For instance, a lot of people have told me they don’t like green teas, and usually, that’s because the water is too hot or the leaves are steeping for too long. As a result, the beverage becomes extremely bitter.

If that’s the case for you as well, cold steeping delicate teas like green tea would be a great way to give it another try.

How Does Cold-brewed Tea Differ From Hot Tea In Flavor?

There will always be a difference between hot and cold brewed tea.

This is due to the fact that hot water quickly and efficiently extracts more tea tannins. Herbal teas are exempt from this issue, as is the case with all “true teas.”

All tea, herbal or not, tastes very differently when it is brewed hot and allowed to cool. They have a somewhat flat or hollow flavor, as though there isn’t much aroma left in them.

In actuality, your tea’s flavor and aroma do eventually fade. Your tea will have the longest shelf life if it is stored properly, which will guarantee this.

Additionally, it means that the aroma of hot tea will fade after a few hours.

In comparison to hot brewed tea, cold brewed tea will taste more delicate and subtle. Even with green tea, which is notorious for flaws, the bitterness will be all but gone.

Fruit- and floral-infused teas will taste fantastic and be especially zingy. For instance, adding lemon zest to hot tea will make it taste like warm lemon, which is pleasant. But a lemon that is ice cold? How cool is that?

Since the flavor of cold-brewed tea won’t be identical to that of hot-brewed tea, you may need to train your palate to accept it. Additionally, if you make mint tea in this manner, be careful because it can make your throat sore.

Tea made with cold water contains some caffeine as well. Your tea does contain caffeine, but it won’t steep as well if there’s no hot water to help the caffeine dissolve more quickly.

Since cold brew coffee requires at least 8 hours to fully release its flavor, it will steep out. In addition, coffee has almost twice as much caffeine as tea, so its effects will wear off in less time than eight hours.

How Long Does It Take To Make Cold-brew Tea?

You can cold steep teas for as little as 2 hours or as much as 12 hours and longer. The idea is to try cold-steeping teas for yourself. Regularly taste your tea to see where it is at and decide if you like the flavor profile.

The only drawback to cold steep tea is the waiting period, but if you simply leave your tea in the fridge to steep for an entire night, you can easily get past that. The following morning, a cool drink will be waiting for you, cutting down on your waiting time. Yay!

Cold Brewing Tea

How Much Tea Should I Use For A Cold Brew?

Let’s do the math now, all right? Let’s multiply all of that by the size of your pitcher if you were to use the standard of 2 teaspoons of green tea for 250 ml/8.5 oz of brew.

For a cold brewed tea, you would assume you need 8 teaspoons of tea leaves if you’re using a 1 liter/ 33.8 oz pitcher. The most sensible course of action would be this.

But, remember that tea reacts much more slowly to cold water. Therefore, if you use the same amount of tea as you would for hot brewed tea, the result will be different.

I recommend using 12 teaspoons of tea leaves for 1 liter/33.8 oz, and diluting the brew with additional water if it ends up too strong for you. You’ve found your ideal leaf-to-water ratio if it’s perfectly acceptable.

In short, using 3 teaspoons for every 250 ml/8.5 oz of water will ensure that your tea will match your hot brew. You’ll need to brew the tea even stronger if you’re going to serve it over ice cubes.

You will require 45 teaspoons of loose leaf tea for a gallon of water. It’s simpler to keep track of 15 tablespoons.

We all prefer our tea in different ways—stronger or softer—and I have no idea how you prefer yours.

Remember that these measurements reflect the fact that I like my tea very strongly. Therefore, feel free to add less tea than what I’ve suggested here if you know you prefer lighter tea.

How Do You Make Cold Brew Tea?

Cold-brewed tea requires a little more time to prepare, contains less caffeine, and has a milder flavor because there isn’t any heat to aid in drawing the benefits of the tea from the leaves. 

To make your own iced tea at home, follow these steps: 

  • Pour loose tea leaves into a pitcher. Although we advise using two teaspoons because cold brew tea tends to be milder, you can use the traditional ratio of one teaspoon of leaves for every cup of water.
  • Fill up the pitcher with cold water.
  • After covering it, let the pitcher sit at room temperature for about an hour. 
  • For about 12 hours, put the pitcher in the fridge. 
  • The tea should be strained to remove the leaves. 
  • Pour over ice and take pleasure in! 

After your tea has finished steeping, you can add more cold water to the pitcher to make it weaker if you feel it is too strong. After a 12-hour steep, if you still feel your tea needs more strength, place it back in the refrigerator for a little while.

You could also experiment with adding different sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup (yes, really!!), fruit juice, brown sugar or even regular white sugar. Though you’ll need to stir more to dissolve your sweetener in cold tea than you would in warm or hot tea because the tea is cold.

Expert Tips

  • Since the tea is already chilled, adding ice is not necessary, but doing so will help the beverage stay colder for longer.
  • Every type of tea has a different cold brew time. In general, it is more difficult to cold brew green tea. If not prepared correctly, it may taste bitter, so always consult brewing manuals. The simplest teas to make are black tea, oolong tea, and herbal teas because they can be made more easily and should be cold brewed for 12 hours.
  • Instead using a strainer, the easiest way to cold brew tea is in a cold brew maker since you can just take out the infuser instead of straining the tea into another container.
  • Make and store your tea in glass containers. Plastic frequently stains and emits odors.
  • By starting a fresh brew 1-2 days after the previous one, you can keep cold brewed tea in regular rotation.
  • Tea that has been cold-brewed can be kept for up to 4 days in the fridge.


When making cold brew, it is nearly impossible to overstimmer the tea leaves, so experiment with the ratio of tea to water and the steeping time. Fortunately, cold brewing tea is a simple, reliable method for making tea. 

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