A soft, elegant and floral brew that brings to mind a spring garden in bloom.
Cold brewing is a great way to enjoy tea during summer, and explore tastes in a new playing field. You can cold brew any tea you like - from Japanese green teas to Chinese & Taiwanese oolongs to Indian black teas, and so forth. Interestingly, the taste can actually differ from when the same tea is brewed hot.
I particularly love this method for Baozhong oolong, because of its sweet, floral notes, which are enhanced when brewed cold. Read on to learn about the shift in flavor profile, and how you can cold-brew at home.
The Origins of Cold Brewing
The practice of cold brewing tea originated in Japan, where people would soak tea leaves in cool river water and let it brew for a period of time. They believed hotter temperatures would destroy the natural benefits of the tea leaf.
While this is debatable, we do know that brewing at a lower temperature extracts lower levels of tannins and caffeine (as long as the brew time is not excessively long), while still releasing desirable flavor compounds. This leads to a smoother, less astringent, yet flavorful brew, and presents an exciting new avenue for you to explore the nuances of your teas.
The Tea: Baozhong
Baozhong is a lightly oxidized oolong tea from Taiwan that I absolutely adore. When brewed hot, it releases a powerful aroma of gardenia flowers, vegetal notes of green beans, and a satisfying, buttery mouthfeel. Something interesting happens when you brew it cold though.
The vegetal side of the tea and its buttery texture become hardly noticeable, while the sweet, floral notes really shine. As a result, we are left with a refreshing and floral cup - the gardenia aroma really penetrates the palate, with almost no astringency, and a crisp, clean finish.
Incredibly delightful to sip on, this cold-brew is hard not to finish in one sitting! If you are someone who enjoys delicate, floral teas, I recommend trying this tea cold-brewed.
How To Cold Brew
When it comes to cold brewing, you don't need much equipment. We like to use Hario's cold-brew bottle, because it simplifies and adds elegance to the process, but you can also use a mason jar or pitcher and a strainer.
Add 12g of Baozhong tea leaves (around 4 tbsp) to 750ml of room temperature water. This is equivalent to around 1.5g per 100ml. Then refrigerate for around 8 hours. Once it's ready, strain and serve. You can then re-brew another 2 or 3 times to get the most out of your leaves.
Tip: Serve the tea in wine glasses to really elevate the tasting experience, and swirl the liquor to further appreciate its aroma.
Are there any teas you like to cold-brew? And how does the taste differ (if at all) from the hot brew? Feel free to share below! ♥
Tea featured in this post: Baozhong