Cold Brewing Coffee and Tea

Cold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot Cottage

The other day, as Aidan and I were preparing a couple of mason jars full of Morning Blossom iced tea (an herbal blend I’d purchased at a fiber festival and brewed this week in the refrigerator), I handed him a half empty bottle of agave nectar and said, “we should go to the farmer’s market and get some local honey for our cold brewed tea this summer.”

I heard it as soon as I said it. The kid was right: I am a hipster.

I guess I need to own it at this point, and what better way to start than by sharing my cold brewing methods with you?

I’ve been doing coffee like this for a few years. In fact, I blogged about it a while back, but I’ve since gotten my method down to a science, and it’s time to re-share. Plus, reader Peggy asked me for my iced coffee recipe the other day and got me in the mood to talk about it 😜

Cold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot Cottage

New to me this year is tea. I’ve tried to make my own refrigerator iced tea in the past, and have not been a fan. I’m glad I tried again recently, though, because now it seems my palate is ready for it.

I should say: this is how I make these drinks to satisfy my own taste buds. Your mileage may vary. Please consider these recipes a starting point. Feel free to vary the brewing times and the ratios of coffee or tea to water until you find your own sweet spot.

The Basic Recipe

  1. Add tea leaves or coffee grounds to water.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for several hours.
  3. Strain and enjoy.

Iced Coffee

I nearly always use decaffeinated coffee when I make cold-brew, since it is often after 7pm when I drink it, and I don’t want to find myself staring at the ceiling at 3 in the morning 😉

Cold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot Cottage

The Recipe

  1. Fill a mason jar (or coffee press) with coffee grounds and water, using 2 TB of coffee for every 8 ounces of water.
  2. Stir well, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. Pour mixture through a coffee filter into a fresh jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To Serve

  1. Fill a glass halfway with ice.
  2. Fill 3/4 full with cold brewed coffee.
  3. Fill the rest of the way with milk.
  4. Add sweetener, if desired.

Cold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot CottageCold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot Cottage

I have used several different kinds of milks with this method, my current favorite being cashew milk.

Our sweet syrups of choice are made by Dave’s Coffee. I like the mocha flavor and my kids like the vanilla. They’re pricey, but they tend to last all year for us (and we really, really love them) so I splurge.

I put just a dribble in my glass, while both of my kids pour about half of the bottle in theirs. (I kid, but they do go kind of overboard, using a tablespoon or two of the stuff, which is why we always run out of vanilla long before the mocha is used up.)

You can use all kinds of sweeteners in here, although the liquid kinds blend in much more easily than granulated sugars (since there’s no heat to help it along). Honey, agave nectar, and Starbucks flavored syrups are all good choices.

Iced Tea

Right now, iced tea is a real novelty for me. I have never liked the stuff, and I only recently realized why – the iced teas I’ve tried in the past have all been super sweet. I’m not a big fan of super sweet.

Now that I know, I’ve started making iced tea myself, and sweetening it minimally or not at all.

Cold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot Cottage

The Recipe

  1. Fill a mason jar with tea leaves and water, using 1 tea bag (or 2 tsp of loose tea) for every 8 ounces of water.
  2. Refrigerate for 6 hours.
  3. Remove tea bags and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To Serve

  1. Fill a glass halfway with ice.
  2. Fill the rest of the way with cold-brewed tea.
  3. Add sweetener, if desired.

Cold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot Cottage

Cold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot Cottage

I started out using a splash of agave nectar to sweeten my teas, but I’ve since transitioned to no sweetener at all. I like it better that way, plus it makes it zero-impact in terms of carbs (which, according to my doctor, matters [being over 40 is such fun]).

Recently, in the name of marital harmony, I attempted to convince myself that I could exchange my morning coffee habit for a morning tea habit. (I live with a husband who detests the smell of coffee).

My attempt to brainwash myself has been less than successful, but it has left me with a nice little selection of teas with which to cold brew. So far, I’ve liked almost all of them, and the ones that I haven’t liked as much have been flavors Aidan enjoys, so they are not going to waste.

Here are the ones we’ve tried so far:

As you can see, I like to use low/no caffeine options for the teas, too, since I never know when I’ll be sipping a glass before bed.

Cold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot Cottage Cold brewed coffee and tea at Polka Dot Cottage

Do you cold-brew your Summer drinks? Have any methods/flavors/recipes to share?

This entry was posted in food, recipes and tagged , by Lisa. Bookmark the permalink.

About Lisa

I am a polymer clay artist turned fiber addict. I can often be found here at Polka Dot Cottage, writing about my adventures in polymer, fabric, yarn, photography, and everyday life. I live in New Jersey with my husband, two sons, and entirely too many craft supplies.

4 thoughts on “Cold Brewing Coffee and Tea

  1. I really like Celestial Season’s Red Zinger tea. It doesn’t need any sweetener. I prefer iced tea without sweetener, too. Last summer, I often used my Keurig for iced tea. One k-cup would make enough for now, and one for later.

    • Back before my coffee addiction took hold (lol!) I used to collect Celestial Seasonings flavored tea like crazy! I’d forgotten about that. I think I liked Red Zinger. I need to go back to the tea aisle and reacquaint myself with all of the flavors 🙂 (I used to have a cookbook from them – I remember one of the things I made now and then from it was Bengal Spice Chicken.)

  2. Yummy! Actually, my son got me started on a kick with this. He roasts his own coffee beans and makes cold brew with it…I just didn’t realize what a good thing it was! I just saw that Trader Joes has Mango Black tea bags right now and I am thinking about trying that… 🙂
    Your photos make it look so appealing! Anyway…happy drinking to you!

    • I don’t usually like fruity teas, but maybe it would be different if they’re cold. I think i need to visit Trader Joe’s😊 Your son’s coffee sound’s great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *