Hot tea = Hot brew
Same way, iced tea = cold brew, right? Wrong.
When you are drinking hot tea, it’s pretty obvious that what you’re drinking must be a hot brew, but when you’re drinking iced tea and tea mocktails, this correlation is not necessarily true. For all you know, despite being served chilled, your favourite ice tea mocktail may once have been a hot brew.
Unlike hot tea which must be boiled and brewed, Iced tea can be prepared using the hot brewing method or the cold brewing technique, it is only served iced. There are no rules to the preparation technique and we don’t know the method of preparation unless it is specified.
In fact, 85% of us are actually consuming hot brewed tea served iced, that is iced tea or an ice tea mocktail made using the regular hot brewing method, only served cold. If you think ‘it must be a cold brew tea since it’s an iced tea’, it’s very highly likely you are drinking a lie.
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But what are these brewing techniques and what difference do they make?
There are as many brewing styles as there are cultures in the world. Most of them involve boiling tea leaves, which amounts to the hot brewing method to produce many different kinds of artisanal tea. It’s also the most popular technique practiced by people across the world whether they are making their regular hot cuppa or iced teas. But there’s a subtle difference between the two methods which most people don’t realize.
The basic difference between the two kinds of teas, hot brewed and cold-brewed, lies in the variance in flavour due to the underlying process of brewing; and the health benefits or otherwise associated with it.
Let’s look at the two brewing methods to better understand what they yield and entail.
Following this method, tea leaves are allowed to steep in hot water or added to boiling water to release colour and flavour. It is served fresh and hot, and if you’re consuming iced tea, then this concoction is allowed to cool down, either by pouring the mix onto ice or by refrigerating.
This method is quicker compared to the cold brewing method, and you can make your iced tea or hot tea with this technique in as little as a matter of a few minutes.
Involving no heating, in the cold brewing method, tea is steeped in cold or regular water and left to release its colour and flavour for a few hours. It can be refrigerated for a number of days and be served chilled or hot.
So which one is the better and best for you?
True tea connoisseurs know, no two teas are the same. This little is true for different brews as well.
Scientifically speaking, the hot brew produces a stronger flavour which holds a certain affinity to bitterness. This happens due to the release of tannins during the heating process.
Cold-brew on the other hand is mild, delicate and smooth, contains no bitterness because the preparatory process inhibits the release of tannins since it involves no heat. Not only is cold brew free from tannins, it is also low on caffeine and high on antioxidants, and is preferred by many tea lovers for the same reasons.
So what should you choose?
Both brewing methods have different flavour profiles, It is also true that both have different health benefits, though they are not severe in any case. So unless you are really particular about keeping the tannins out and cutting caffeine, you should be able to appreciate both flavours and let your tongue pick the one you like!
If you’re the one to allow it, we say the ultimate deciding factor in such matters has to be your tastebuds, so take the taste test!
If you’re a fan of teas, we have a range of artisanal flavoured teas for you to try! From Peach Tea to Passion Fruit Tea, we have artisanal tea blends and fruit tea syrup that make tasty tea mocktails and flavoursome iced teas!
At SWA we make them with 100% natural fruits and freshly brewed tea from Assam and Coorg, in authentic combinations for the best flavours to shine out! Try our fruit tea syrup and coffee blends, Check out our exclusive collection of Swa Fruit Tea Syrups.