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Iced Tea vs. Cold Brew: A Refreshing Debate with Cured Leaves Tea Co.

Iced Tea vs. Cold Brew: A Refreshing Debate with Cured Leaves Tea Co.

As summer temperatures climb, many of us reach for a refreshing sip of iced or cold brewed tea. That first sip just dances on your tongue, delivering a wave of freshness and flavor that cools the body and rejuvenates the soul.

But did you know that iced tea and cold brewed tea are two different methods of making tea? The two terms are often used interchangeably, but the two brews are quite different in terms of how they’re prepared and how they taste.

Which one is better? That’s a question that tea aficionados hotly debate. To find the answer, let’s dive into the differences between them!

Iced Tea vs. Cold Brew: Preparation

Iced tea and cold brew tea are prepared in two different ways resulting in different flavor profiles, even if you use the same tea for both methods.

We make iced tea by brewing it in a traditional method using hot water. We then add ice and serve, or let it cool in the refrigerator until it’s time to drink. Some people prefer to put their hot brewed tea into the refrigerator to cool down before adding ice, while others let it cool down to room temperature.

On the other hand, we make cold brew by simply steeping tea in cold water left to sit either at room temp or the refrigerator. No boiling is required, but the tea must steep for a significantly longer period—typically a minimum of 4 hours, but overnight is better. Another cold brew method is to mix loose tea with ice and let it sit until all the ice is melted.

Iced Tea vs. Cold Brew: Taste

So how do the two brewing methods stack up when it comes to taste? Despite having similar preparation, the taste can be significantly different.

Iced tea made with hot water typically tastes stronger and often more bitter. That’s because the brewing method releases tannins and other flavor compounds, making flavors more pronounced.

With cold brew, on the other hand, those flavor compounds are not released in as high a quantity. The result is that cold brewed teas tend to be more muted in flavor, less bitter, milder, and sweeter.

And the Winner Is…

Everyone! There’s no wrong way to make or enjoy your cold tea!

Some people prefer the sharp, tanginess of iced tea. Others prefer the smoother and more subtle flavors of cold brew. It really comes down to your personal preference.

Whether you're a fan of the faster and more convenient method of making iced tea, or you prefer the smooth and rich flavors of cold brew tea, they both have their unique appeal. The beauty of tea is its versatility and the personal touch you add to it. From the type of tea leaves you choose, to the brewing method, and even the way you serve it, it comes down to your personal taste and preference.

So go ahead and experiment! Try different teas, different brewing methods, and different serving styles. If you want to try different flavors, check out our tea bundles! These give you several different types of tea, allowing you to test different flavor and brewing combination. Find the one that tickles your tastebuds and will cool you down over the dog days of summer!

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