Preparing green tea with hot water is simple (and much more palatable during the cold months), but there are two very important factors that you must take into account in order not to ruin your infusion: the temperature of the water and the time you let the leaves infuse.
When you cold brew these variables disappear, so it's almost impossible to get it wrong.All you need is time.
Also, the resulting tea is smoother and less astringent, but... what about the antioxidants?
First of all, let me tell you that green tea infused in hot water is still a fantastic option to enjoy thislongevity drink, rich in an endless number of beneficial antioxidant compounds for you. Don't think you've been doing it wrong all this time, okay? After all, hot infusion is the traditional method, and it will be for a reason.
Also, in winter you don't feel like cold tea at all, nor is it always practical to have to wait so many hours for the tea to be ready.
That being said, cold-brewed green tea does have some advantages that may be of interest to you.
Differences between cold brewed green tea and traditional hot one
It has advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you look at it:
- Cold brewed tea hasless caffeinethan hot-extracted tea: using cold water extracts less caffeine from the leaves. Caffeine is an exciting compound that has interesting properties at the level of physical and cognitive performance, but in excess it can upset you too much, or disturb your night's rest. If this is your case, a little less caffeine may be interesting for you. Keep in mind, however, that it is best not to drink caffeinated drinks after 12 noon.
- Cold brewed tea isless bitterThan Hot Brewed Tea: Cold brewed tea releases less tannins into the brew, making the tea less bitter. You will notice right away that the taste of cold green tea is much milder.
- Cold brewed tea isvery easyto prepare: you do not have to measure the temperature of the water or do anything special.
- Cold-brewed green tea requires a certainplanning, hot green tea is prepared at the moment.
- Cold-brewed green tea needsmore leavesof tea per ml of water.
And what about antioxidants?
Cold-brewed green tea is capable of extracting the same antioxidants from tea as hot-brewed tea, even slightly more, depending on the compound tested.See AlsoHow to treat vertigo and dizziness naturally: medicinal plants and alternative treatmentChapter 27: 3. Tea and other infusions - Preparation and tasting of water, coffee and infusions. HOTR0209Influence of liver injury and hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activity on ethanol metabolism
In fact, hot-infused green tea is capable of extracting a large amount of antioxidants, but if we exceed the temperature of the water or the infusion time, those antioxidants can be degraded.
However, cold infusion, by implying more contact time between the water and the leaves, but eliminating the temperature factor, is capable of extracting a very similar amount of antioxidants, even slightly higher.
For example, the amount ofEGCG*when hot it is about 4.09 mg/g of leaf, vs. 4.13 in the case of cold infusion.
*EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is one of the most interesting compounds in green tea, with great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power.
But there is a third infusion method! And this one is capable of extracting even more antioxidants from the tea...
Hot infused green tea + ice
A group of researchers conducted astudyon the compounds of the infused tea in three different ways:
- Hot, with water at 75-80ºC
- Cold, with water at 4ºC
- Hot, with water at 75-80 ºC, but adding ice after the infusion minutes that each tea required, between 3 and 5 minutes, and once the leaves have been filtered
Although they used very different amounts of leaves per ml of water, the final amount of antioxidants was assessed per g of leaf and not per cup of the resulting infusion.
This last method, the hot water + ice method, was able to extract more antioxidants from green tea than the previous two:7.36 mg/g de hojade EGCGvs. the 4.09 and 4.13 of the hot and cold infusions respectively.
Also a bit more caffeine, beware.
Hot extraction is a fast and effective method of extracting compounds from tea. By adding ice after a few minutes, what is achieved is to slow down the degradation of antioxidants due to the action of heat.
Something similar happened with black tea, although it has a much lower amount of EGCG. However, the Oloong tea had more EGCG after cold infusion than hot + ice.
So how do I prepare the tea?
In all three ways!
Decide based on:
- whatever you want
- The time of year
- The time you have
- Whether or not you have ice in the freezer
All three methods are fine, and green tea will still be wonderful for you. just remember...
- consume itonly in the morningTry not to take it after 12 noon. Green tea is great, but sleep is more important.
- Separate green tea 1 hour from meals. It has some compounds that could block the absorption of vitamins from food. I take it 1 hour or 1 hour and a half after breakfast.
What kind of tea can I use?
Ideally, use aloose leaf organic green tea, since the flavor will be distributed much better in the water.
If you use a green tea in bags, open the bags and use only the leaves.
My favorite varieties to cold infuse areSencha, Gunpowder, Oolong, Gyokuro oLongjing.
You can also do it with matcha, but in that case the amount of tea that you must add is different, with 1 teaspoon for every 750 ml - 1 liter of water will be enough.
Of course you can also try to infuse white, red or black tea, even add spices to your liking.
cold green tea
Preparation: 5 '
Cooking: 2 '
Total: 7 '
- 2 tablespoons of green tea leaves: Sencha, Oolong, Gunpowder, etc. 1 teaspoon if you use Matcha.
- 1 liter of cold or room temperature water
- Place the tea leaves in a glass jar or bottle. You can also use a filtered bottle or jug to infuse.
- Pour out the water and tighten the lid.
- Put the jar or bottle in the fridge for a minimum of 6-8 hours. The ideal time is about 12 hours. I usually prepare it at night, from one day to the next. In case of using matcha, the infusion is ready almost instantly, because when you drink it you consume the pulverized leaf, but you can wait 1 or 2 hours for the water to cool ( or add ice).
- After time, you can filter all the tea or just the amount you want to drink. I use a small strainer. If you have used Matcha, stir before serving.
- If you want you can reuse the same tea leaves to prepare a second batch of tea, keeping in mind that the flavor will be milder. You can also add half a liter of water instead of a full liter.
- Keep the tea in the fridge for about 3 days. It is preferable that you prepare less quantity if you are not going to consume it.
- If you feel like it hot, you can warm it up a bit before eating it.
Guide to the tea/water ratio for different amounts
- 1 teaspoon or 1 bag → 250 ml of water
- 1 teaspoon or 2 bags → 500 ml of water
- 2 tablespoons of tea or 4 bags → 1 liter of water