Cold Brewing Green Tea

Did you know that it isn’t necessary to use hot water to brew your tea?

Mizudashi (水出し) meaning “cold brewing” in Japanese is an easy way to brew your tea without heating the water at all.

Making your own iced tea

Since cold brewing takes some time, it’s best to brew many servings at once. I suggest that you brew a whole jar.

First, measure the volume of water that your jar can hold, so that you can calculate how many cups of tea it can serve.

I use the same amount of loose leaf  as if I was brewing it normally. For example, when brewing bancha, use 4 grams of leaves for every 120 ml (4 oz) of water. But if you want a stronger taste, feel free to add more tea.

Add the tea leaves to the jar and fill it up with water. Now all you need to do is place the jar in the refrigerator and leave it for 8 hours (overnight) or longer. Don’t worry, it won’t become bitter.

Finally, discard the tea leaves. You can now enjoy your iced tea, and it can last about a month if you keep it refrigerated (provided that you aren’t adding any sugar to it).

Why aren’t cold brewed teas bitter?

I wrote about it in my post about ice brewing gyokuro, but the short answer is that the main compounds responsible for astringency and bitterness (catechins and caffeine) aren’t very soluble at low temperatures.

Amino acids in the tea leaves, however, are soluble in cold water. So you can obtain the natural sweetness and umami taste of green tea.

What I like best about this brewing method is that no extra energy is used besides the electricity of the refrigerator, which would be operating anyway.

In my opinion, roasted green teas like houjicha and kyobancha are very good when iced. Genmaicha however, tastes better when hot.

Have you cold brewed your tea yet?

Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Cold Brewing Green Tea

  1. Kamyria says:

    I’ve never cold brewed tea but I really want to do it one day. I’ve only hot brewed it and then cooled it down. I heard that the taste of cold brewed is much better.

  2. lochan says:

    Hola Ricardo,

    My formula for sencha 水出し Mizudashi is 911. That is 9 grams of sencha, 1 litre of water, 1 overnight. Mizudashi really brings out another flavour in our lives! I had not given a thought about no extra energy being involved, but that is yet another plus point. Thanks for pointing this out.

  3. MITE CO LTD says:

    Hola Ricardo san,

    In Japan this kind of cold brewing green tea in tea bag, specially for Sencha, is used for summer season and it’s very normal for Japanese people.

  4. Noli Ergas says:

    I’ve always made cold-brew with teabags because they are easy to remove and throw away. Ricardo, how do you remove the leaves when you make cold-brew from loose leaf?

    • Hi Noli

      I use a sieve and transfer to another container, which in my case is a small pot. Then I pour the tea back in the jar.

      As you say, it´s easier to use tea bags. But the leaves brewing inside the jar look great, and anyway I usually don´t have tea bags at home.

  5. Abhijeet says:

    Hi Ricardo,

    I didn’t know cold Japanese tea could be prepared this way before reading your post. I made my tea by cooling it down after boiling it. Will definitely try this method.Thanks for the post.

    BTW how much green tea is good to consume in a day? In Japan I have seen people drinking from 1/2 litre bottles and personally don’t think there should be any problem. But do you think there is any downside of consuming large quantities of green tea in a day?

  6. Abhijeet says:

    Sorry, I meant “1 or 2 litre” bottles and not “1/2” (half) litre.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *