The Important Tip To Know Before Brewing Iced Green Tea

Not all teas are brewed the same. Some fare better with a big old teapot and hot water, while others like Pu'er are steeped in traditions of gong fu cha brewing for a culture-rich infusion. Green tea is an excellent choice for iced tea, but once you choose your preferred loose-leaf tea, remember this important preparation tip: hot brew it. This small yet pivotal step will determine whether your sencha sings with floral notes or turns unpalatably bitter.

While cold brewing green tea has its merits such as producing a smoother, less acidic beverage, hot brewing often proves superior. For one, it's simpler — your green tea steeps in a matter of minutes whereas a cold brew requires hours of steeping to infuse the water. Secondly, and most importantly, you avoid sipping on bitter iced green tea. Now, you may be wondering, isn't cold brewing the admitted formula for less bitter iced green tea? The answer is it should be. But those long, endless hours of green tea steeping away in cold water can make the final beverage bitter. So while cold brewing preserves the fresh floral essence of green tea, the lengthy time it requires may counter this effect.

The right temperature for brewing iced green tea

Despite the application of heat being a better alternative, one of the best tips you need to brew the perfect cup of tea is to avoid water temperatures that are too high. Don't jump from the frying pan into the fire by skipping the cold brew method for one using extremely hot water when handling loose-leaf green tea — this breeds a potentially worse scenario. If the water is too hot, it extracts the compounds that make green tea bitter in excess and destroys its delicate flavors. The result is an overly strong brew that's unpleasant to sip. To avoid this, use a water temperature high enough to just extract the tea flavors without making your iced green tea bitter.

The perfect temperature for this ranges between 140 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the most accurate way to achieve this is by using a thermometer, we don't expect you to whip one out every time you make your glass of iced green tea. Instead, you can let the water boil before transferring it into a Pyrex glass to cool down for about 5 minutes, and then it's ready to use for brewing. But you don't even have to wait that long. Alternatively, you can watch for small bubbles as the water heats up and as soon as they begin to rise to the surface of the water, you know it's at approximately 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and ready for brewing loose-leaf green tea.