Cold Brew Tea Bags vs. Regular Tea Bags – Which ones work best and why?

Making cold brew tea is easy: all you need is your favorite tea, cold water, and time. However, it takes time and dedication to obtain an amazing beverage. 

Another important key to making the best drink is an adequate steeping time. It takes up to 12 hours to make cold brew tea. If you have ever wondered how to make this process quicker and even more effortless, it might be time to give regular tea bags a try. Curious to find out which ones work best for your drink? Then, you are in the right place.

Can I Brew Tea in Cold Water?

Tea is traditionally made by combining loose tea leaves with hot water. However, you can use cold water, if you don’t mind waiting for a few hours before your drink is ready. 

Once you have combined the tea with cold water, you will need to store it in the refrigerator to make sure it remains cold while the tea is made brewing. This may take up to 12 hours, but it mostly depends on your preferences: the longer you brew your tea, the bolder the final flavor will be.

How Does the Cold Brew Tea Extraction Process Work?

When brewing your tea, you are performing a chemical extraction, which implies extracting small molecules out of a solid substance (your loose tea or tea bags). 

The perfect tea is the result of a balanced extraction of tannins, antioxidants, caffeine, and flavor. However, the result depends on a number of factors, such as the water temperatures, the tea quality, and the steeping time. For this reason, for many people brewing tea is almost an art, where dedication and passion are required. We recommend experimenting with different settings until you find the proper combination to get the perfect tea for your tastes.

Can You Use Regular Tea Bags for Cold Brew?

Yes, you definitely can, and you should try it. 

You can buy several kinds of prepackaged bags, which contain a set amount of tea leaves. You will find all the information about the recommended amount of tea, water and the steeping time on the package. However, this usually refers to hot brewing, so you might need to experiment a bit until you find the perfect setting. 

On the other hand, you can make your own teabags at home with your favorite loose tea. You will be able to choose your own tea quantity and intensity and even save some money.

How to Use Cold Brew Tea Bags

If you are putting prepackaged tea bags in hot water, you must be careful not to burn the tea leaves inside. Otherwise, the flavor will become very bitter if not completely spoiled. On the other hand, simply brewing a few tea bags in cold water may take some time and not result in a very bold drink. As you can imagine, these bags are intended for being used with hot water, which is what they need to release their aroma.

Luckily, cold brew tea bags have recently hit the market. They are prepackaged with the precise amount of tea leaves that you need for cold brewing. These bags are intended for being brewed in cold water, and they will release their full flavor once combined with this liquid. Most importantly, they work just like other ordinary tea bags, meaning that the drink will be ready in a few minutes.

How Many Tea Bags Do You Need to Use for Cold Brew?

The number of tea bags you will need for making cold brew depends on the type of container you are going to use and how much drink you want to prepare. 

A useful rule of thumb is to use one tea bag for every 8 ounces of water. This means that you’ll need about 6-8 tea bags to make a whole pitcher of delicious tea. Of course, the more tea bags you use, the bolder your drink will taste.

How to Make Cold Brew Tea with Tea Bags

The following is one of the easier and faster ways to make cold brew with tea bags.

  1. Put 6-8 tea bags in a glass container or pitcher. Ideally, you should use a container with a lid, so you can store your tea in the fridge.
  2. Pour 8 cups of cold (or room temperature) water over the tea bags. Stir gently. Don’t add any sugar of flavorings: you can do it once your tea is ready, after tasting it.
  3. Close the container with its lid and place it in the refrigerator. The minimum recommended steeping time is 8-12 hours, but some types of tea might require longer to release all their flavor.
  4. When you are happy with the result, remove the tea bags. You can use a spoon to squeeze them, so they can release every drop of their taste.
  5. You can serve your cold brew as it is, or add sugar, lemon ice, or other flavorings. Remember that if you add milk, the shelf life of your drink will reduce drastically.

Cold Brew Tea Bags vs. Regular Tea Bags: What’s the Difference

Cold brewing is a particular method that allows a gentler extraction of the tea molecules and flavor. This translated into a sweeter beverage, rich in antioxidants but with lower amounts of caffeine and tannins. Of course, this method is more time consuming, but you can still make a large quantity of tea to be stored in the fridge for several days.

On the other hand, how brewing requires water at near-boiling temperatures. This means that the tea is extracted quicker but less gently. The leaves will release all their flavor within a few minutes, and this will result in a bold and bitter aroma. Besides, the final drink will be more caffeinated and acidic. 

If you prefer a more subtle and sweeter aroma, then cold brew tea will undoubtedly become your new favorite drink.

How Long Should You Let Tea Steep

The only downside of cold brew tea is that the steeping time is usually very long. You are supposed to allow at least 8-12 hours for your tea to steep in cold water. This can be a drawback for many people, as you need to plan and prepare your drink in advance.

However, if you are using prepackaged cold brew tea bags, you will only need to wait for a few minutes for your beverage to be ready.

Which Tea Is Best for Cold Brew

There are several different types of teas. This means that there is an entire world full of flavors for you to try, but also that the final taste of your cold brew will change based on the tea you use. 

There are, nonetheless, a few guidelines you can follow to make sure you use only the best, high-quality ingredients.

For example, green tea, black tea, and herbal teas tend to work better when brewed with boiling water. You can still let your green tea steep in cold water, but you will need several hours (up to 12 hours) to achieve a good result. Differently, white tea is usually more suitable for cold brewing. The steeping time, in this case, is also shorter: it only takes 6 to 8 hours for your cold beverages to be ready.

These are only general guidelines, which may vary based on different elements. Besides, the steeping time can really make a huge difference when it comes to the taste and boldness of your drink.

Benefits of drinking cold brew tea

Of course, cold-brewed tea is delicious, and it preserves a smooth and complex flavor. However, by enjoying your tea with cold water, you can also benefit from some interesting perks.

  • Quick and Easy. Finally, you can enjoy some great tea without worrying about precise water temperatures. All you have to do is combine quality tea and cold water in a jar, put it in the fridge, and wait until your drink is ready.
  • Improved Flavor. Hot infusions work quicker than cold ones, meaning that the tea will release all its tannins and bitterness. Cold brew tea has sweet, fruity notes that naturally come through during the cold brewing process.
  • Enhanced Nutritional Benefits. Studies have found that cold brew tea is less acidic and less caffeinated than its hot counterpart. While cold-brewed drinks are chemically different from hot beverages, they retain the same amount of antioxidant polyphenols, which are great for our body and mind.

The Secret for The Perfect Drink

Making cold brew tea is perfect for those who are looking for a foolproof and quick technique to make their favorite drink. Some people like to make this process even smoother by using regular tea bags.

Whether your favorite brewing methods, studies have demonstrated that cold-brewed tea is always the best choice. Hot water can make your drink more bitter and acidic, while cold brewing is the optimal extraction for those who wish to enjoy a bold, sweet, and easy-to-make drink.