Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, author, and former newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psychology and Biblical studies
A twist on brewing tea
We have all heard the many benefits of drinking hot tea.It’s been recommended for sore throat, colds, flu and relaxation. Warm tea soothes the throat and adding lemon and honey increases the heath benefits. Tea has antioxidants which can decrease free radicals that cause harm to our bodies. Something that is not mentioned too often. however, is about what benefits cold brew tea offers. It turns out that allowing the tea to naturally form in cold water enhances the antioxidants in a way that steeping the hot water does not. Research from the Journal of Food Science and Medicine found that cold steeped tea takes much longer to be ready for drinking, but retains important nutrients that are reduced by hot water. The researchers found that cold water maximizes the heath benefits of tea which include a higher gallic and phenolic acid content and increased antioxidant activity.
Drinking tea can be good for your health as it may lower the risk of cancer, and can encourage weight loss. Recent studies have shown that drinking tea can even assist in decreasing blood pressure. The thing to be concerned about is too much sugar if you enjoy your tea sweetened. For many people, substitutes just do not offer the same sweet tea taste so drink in moderation or consider a few of the alternatives.
According to a 2018 article by Lin Zhen, titled Cold Brew's Tea's Time has come, most unfermented teas are ideal when it comes to cold brewing. The integrity of the profiles of black, herbal,Yerba Mate, oolong, green, white, and fruit infused, tea remain intact when this brewing method is used. Cold water also enhances the natural sweetness as well as the aroma. Cold brew tea has less caffeine and the antioxidants are released at a slower pace than in hot tea. Cold brewed tea also draws fewer tannins into the drink than tea made with hot water. Tannins are a type of polyphenol, which is an antioxidant compound found in the tea leaves. Tannins impart an astringent taste to the tea, so when there are less tannins the tea has a sweeter, smoother.taste. I've noticed that when I boil my tea really fast that the taste becomes bitter and now I understand why. The heat is increasing the tannins.Dr. Andrew Weil, is a popular health guru, He is also the founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Weil says that tannins can inhibit the amount of iron that is absorbed from vegetables and grains, but not iron from animal sources such as poultry, fish and meat. I can remember reading years ago that taking iron pills with tea would reduce their potency, and now I have better understanding of what causes it.
Making Cold Brew Tea
It's as simple as one two three to cold brew tea. Instead of boiling water and placing tea bags in it all you have to do is combine loose-leaf tea or whole tea bags and water in a pitcher. Allow the tea leaves or bags to infuse in the water for 6-12 hours and that's it. If you find your tea is not strong enough try leaving it in the refrigerator a few hours longer. I personally have found success by placing the tea bags in a cooking pot on the stove and leaving them from afternoon until the following day. You can make this process interesting by using different varieties of tea. I just made a gallon using black, green, chamomile, peppermint and ginger tea bags. I always do this in the afternoon, then have a delicious drink at night. Cold Brewed tea is preferable to sun brew because there is no way to know it the sun is too hot or not hot enough for your tea to be just right. You should be able to enjoy this great tasting drink for the next two or three days.
How to sweeten your tea
Some people love the taste of sugar and will not consider any substitutes. As a matter of fact, in the southern hemisphere of the United States you will often hear people asking for sweet tea In restaurants or fast food establishments. My son visited the Pennsylvania area and Camada, a few years ago and said that when he asked for sweetened tea, people looked at him as if he were crazy. If you are interested in non sugar alternatives there are a number you can try. Agave nectar, stevia leaf, molasses, and honey are used by many. In today's age most people are shying away from artificial sweeteners because of possible cancer risks. You might want to try combining sugar with one of the other choices, until you get used to the slightly different flavor. You might also consider adding fruit or fruit juice to your tea.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 04, 2020:
I have never heard of making cold tea. Iced tea made from hot tea or sun brewing are the only methods I have heard about.
This is interesting and definitely worth a try.
Thanks for the share.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on November 04, 2020:
Yes it is Ms Dora.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 04, 2020:
Thanks for sharing this perspective. Cold tea is more refreshing and sometimes more desirous than hot tea.
Margaret Minnicks from Richmond, VA on November 04, 2020:
Cheryl, that is good information. I usually drink cold tea far more than I drink hot tea even though I was unaware of the health benefits. Thanks for making it clear to me!
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 03, 2020:
I like both hot and ice tea. I didn't know that cold tea was healthier than hot tea. I have used the sun before but I never used the method you suggested. It doesn't get any easier than that. Thanks for writing this article, Cheryl.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 03, 2020:
I like hot as well as cold tea, and did not realize that one gets more benefits from drinking the cold varieties. I will try your method today. Thanks for the information.
Sp Greaney from Ireland on November 03, 2020:
We only ever get hot tea here. But I would love to try a cold tea drink especially if it is beneficial.
Lorna Lamon on November 03, 2020:
Great article Cheryl and being a tea drinker I will certainly give this a try. I use honey in tea which comes from our bee hives. I think the idea of putting the tea bags on the stove and leaving them for a few hours is a good one. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips.