When the warm weather returned with a bang, I felt it was the perfect time to re-start Project Coldbrew, for what could be better than a glass of iced tea in your hand to accompany those mid-summery moments?
The base for this Mark II brew was to be the organic green gunpowder I purchased earlier.
This was a very unimposing tea – light on astringency and smokiness, but with a subtle minty, herby flavour that seemed most at home being coaxed out of the leaves during slightly longer infusions, which, when taken altogether, seemed to suggest a tea that might just do well when cold brewed.
I invested a few pennies in a new brewing vessel especially for this project, a 1.5l capacity food-grade plastic jug complete with a slotted filter built into the lid.
As per the Mark I attempt, I based my recipe on the 8-12 grams of tea per litre ratio, but after the lower end of that scale had produced a tea somewhat weaker than anticipated, and working on the mild-ish nature of the tea I was using in the Mark II version, I opted for the other extreme, i.e. 12g per litre, which gave me a figure of 18g of dry leaves for the 1.5l of filtered water. After measuring out the leaf, I simply dropped it into the water, and sat the jug in the fridge to infuse.
This particular steeping was for 12 hours – 8 am to 8 pm, and resulted in a good depth of colour and taste. The finished tea was very refreshing, as the longer steeping time seemed to have drawn out a bit of an astringent kick that hadn’t been present when hot brewing the tea.
Remembering the way the melting ice cubes compromised the taste of the Mark I batch, I omitted them this time. It has to be said that the tea was being drunk so fast that it never got time to become unpleasantly warm!
All things considered a good result.
As long as I have a supply of the base tea in, if the weather forecast looks promising I can set a batch going the night before, or, as I did here kick one off early morning for early evening drinking.