I love tea. Cold and hot. And I would like to say that my love is unconditional, but I can’t. My one hang-up? I do not like sweet tea. The South has many lovely culinary traditions, but in my opinion, sweetening tea to the point of supersaturation is not one of them. My husband, who is from the South, begs to differ, but I stand firm. I am happy to brew up some gorgeously pale, citrus-scented, floral-noted iced tea…but will not sully its spirit with sweetener.
Cold brewing couldn’t be more low maintenance– The slower steeping method results in a brighter, more pure extraction, with more aroma and less bitterness. For certain teas (white and green especially), the method also helps retain more antioxidants. Just use two tablespoons loose tea (or 2-3 teabags) per 32 ounces of water, and let brew in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I often put in a pitcher before I go to bed to have for the next day.
Keep a bottle of this in your fridge all Summer and Spring (and Winter and Fall!). You can experiment and combine loose leaf and bagged tea of all varieties. My current favorite is a mixture of green chai and regular green tea. That hint of cloves, ginger, and allspice really makes for an intriguing cold tea. No sugar needed.