Can you boil cold brew tea bags? (5 Points)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you boil cold brew tea bags? We will discuss if you can boil cold brew tea bags and the best ways to make use of your cold brew tea bags.

Can you boil cold brew tea bags?

Worldwide, approximately 78% of total tea production account for black tea while 20% of total tea production account for green tea (1).

You can boil cold brew tea. If you would like to boil cold brew tea bags, you need to empty the contents from the tea bag into the pot. However, when you make a hot brew you should add the cold brew tea leaves in hot water rather than boiling them. Boiling tea leaves speeds up the extraction process and makes your tea bitter. 

Cold-brew tea bags are versatile and can be hot brewed as well. However, you must remove the teabag before you pour the contents of the teabag in the hot water. 

If you don’t remove the tea bag and add the entire bag to a pot of boiling water, there is a risk that the bag might burst and tear up. It will create a mess and ruin your tea experience. 

Why does boiling tea make it bitter?

Boiling tea will hasten the brewing process and take a short time to make your tea ready. However, you will need to watch the time closely if you plan on boiling your brew as it can ruin the taste profile.

The kind of tea that you use also impacts the boiling time. Lighter versions of tea are more susceptible to heat. Hence, if you are brewing green or white tea, you will need to be more careful.

Hot water causes compounds from tea to steep out into the water. The hotter the water, the faster the compounds are released into the drink.

Cold brewing was less effective in extracting soluble solids and total dissolved solids than hot brewing. Soluble sugars in green tea infusions consisted of 66% of sucrose, 17% of glucose and 17% of fructose. These three sugars are readily soluble and their solubility would not be affected by cold or hot brewing. However, a study showed that the sugar concentration of the cold brewed green tea infusions was lower than those of the hot brewed green tea infusion. Hot water is also more effective in extracting catechins, caffeine and total phenols, which may give rise to the astringent and bitter taste out of the leaves than cold water (2).

One of the compounds called tannins contributes to the bitterness of the tea. Consequently, as tannins proceed to make their way into the hot water, it causes the tea to take on the burnt taste. It also causes the tea to contain high levels of caffeine as well (3).

How to make cold brew using a teabag?

Dark roast produces a cold brew that has flat, low notes. You can make cold brews using green tea. Oolong or grey.

 If you buy Lipton cold brew tea bag you can choose from either Orange Pekoe or Pekoe Cut Black Tea. Cold brews te bags are made of unfermented tea and mostly account for green, black, Yerba Mate, white, herbal, fruit-infused, and oolong tea.

To make cold brew, add one tablespoon or teabag to a cup of water. You will need to put three to four tea bags or tablespoons of loose tea leaves for a liter of water in a jug of cold water. 

Let the jug sit at room temperature for thirty minutes to an hour. 

Then, you need to store the jug in the fridge for 8 hours to let the rest of the brewing process occur.

When you take the jug out of the fridge, you must remove the tea bags and discard them. If you let them sit for long, you risk your cold brew turning astringent. Similarly, if you used loose tea leaves, use a strainer to separate them.

When you make tea remember to cover it with an airtight lid while it steeps. Also, when you store make sure to keep its lid close to retain its freshness. Your cold brew will last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator (4).

Why is cold brew better than hot brew?

Cold-brew is better than hot brew. In sensory tests, cold brewed tea infusions were rated higher than hot brewed tea infusions (2). Cold-brew takes a few hours to make, but it does the work for you. You can let it sit in the fridge without fear of over brewing. 

To make a cold brew, you need to put the tea leaves in a jar with cold water and let them sit without controlling or worrying about the temperature. 

There is a lower risk of your tea turning bitter. A long-brewing time means that the flavorful and fruity aromatic compounds are long released before it starts to turn bitter. With hot brew, you can expect the tea to turn bitter any minute as the heat causes tannins to leach out soon after the good compounds have been released (3). 

Cold-brew tea has less acid (contents of ascorbic acid is lower in cold brew) and caffeine than hot brew tea. However, interestingly enough, the healthy compounds that include antioxidants are present in the same quantity in cold and hot brews. However, cold and hot brewing methods affected the profile of various catechins, especially the contents of EGC (epigallocatechin) and EGCG. It seems that hot brewing increased the percentages of larger molecules of catechins, especially EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), and in turn, decreased the percentages of other catechins (2). Hence, cold brew makes for a lighter drink that is easier on the mind and stomach. 

Overall, studies comparing the antioxidant capacity of cold and hot brewed tea concluded that although cold brew tea contained a lower amount of phenolics and flavonoids as compared to hot brew tea, they both had nearly the same antioxidant capacity (3).

Other FAQs about Tea that you may be interested in.

How much does a gallon of tea weigh?

What is the difference between boba and bubble tea?

What is the best way to make tea with tea bags?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you boil cold brew tea bags? We discussed if you can boil cold brew tea bags and the best ways to make use of your cold brew tea bags.

Citations

  1. Sanlier, Nevin, Buşra Basar Gokcen, and Mehmet Altuğ. Tea consumption and disease correlations. Trend Food Sci Technol, 20-18, 78, 95-106. 
  2. Lin, Sheng‐Dun, et al. Effect of different brewing methods on quality of green tea. J Food Process Preserv, 2014, 38, 1234-1243.
  3. Magammana, Chathuranga Manhari, et al. A Comparison of the Polyphenolic and Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Cold Brew versus Hot Brew Black Tea (Camellia Sinensis, Theaceae). J Food Res, 2019, 8, 1927-0887.
  4. Song, YongCheng, et al. Effect of combined treatments of ultrasound and high hydrostatic pressure processing on the physicochemical properties, microbial quality and shelf‐life of cold brew tea. Int J Food Sci Technol, 2021, 56, 5977-5988.