Making Cold Brew from White Leaf Tea

Cold brew from White Leaf tea is perhaps one of the best cold steeped drink made from tea. Best part is no additives, which means you are only drinking healthy tea extract and not the harmful chemicals. It takes around 12 hours to make cold brew from White Leaf Tea. Lets Learn more!
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Making Cold Brew from White Leaf Tea

Hi! Thank you for your interest in this blog. Summer is here, so the season of cold brew is here. During summer a lot of us love drinking cold drinks ranging from milk shakes to cold brewed tea. In this blog we will discuss one of the best cold brews- Cold Brew from White Leaf Tea. I am going to break this blog down into multiple segments so that we can cover all aspects of what, why and how regarding the topic. 

Lets begin:

List of Contents

  1. Understanding  White Leaf Tea
  2. The Art of Cold Brewing
  3. Why is cold brew delicious?
  4. Steps to Make Cold Brew from White Leaf Tea
  5. Benefits of Cold Brew White Leaf Tea

Understanding White Leaf Tea

Growing up, I only knew one type of tea, black loose leaf tea, which my mother used to make. Green leaf from the tea plant was plucked, withered in the sun, hand rolled on the bamboo mat and left to oxidize for a short period of time. She also kept it in an airtight silver pot for a day before drying it in the sun. The output was an aromatic brew which felt soul nurturing. 

Fact be told, I did not know  White Leaf Tea until the year 2021. Perhaps because of the two reasons, one: most companies sell white tea for a tongue biting price (I could not really afford that), second is it is a lesser known tea as it is one of the specialty teas. Once I learnt about this tea and figured a way to steep properly, I immediately fell in love with this tea. 

Okay, so what is  White leaf tea? Pure White Leaf tea is unblended (not mixed with anything else) and produced from extremely high grade green leaves, mostly a tip and two leaves. The intriguing thing about this tea is, it is minimally produced. It only goes through two manufacturing processes of tea : Withering and Drying. Even though the process sounds fairly simple, it is one of the trickiest teas to produce because White Leaf tea is sensitive to temperature and handling during production. Get it right and you get extremely aromatic and floral tea, do it wrong- you end up with bitter tea. 

High end White leaf Teas can be either made from good quality leaves or also exclusively from tips (shoot portion).  And White Leaf tea is white (duh!), because of the presence of the fine hairs on its leaves. The white color is due to these hairs. 

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Picture: Hairs of White Loose Leaf Tea indicating high quality Tea

Amazing thing about this tea is, it comes without the caffeine jitters [ Has minimum Caffeine], is floral and is very lightly earthy. Also it is best for those who want teas with minimum caffeine and want to drink healthy tea. 

The Art of Cold Brewing

Brews from Tea leaves are prepared basically using two key techniques. The first being the normal steeping using hot/warm water and the second being, cold steeping.

While the process of making warm brew utilizes the hot water, cold brewing requires cold water and the brew often sits in the refrigerator for 8 hours till several days [ depending on how you like it].

These are the items that you need to make a cold brew:

  • A pitcher or a container to keep the mixture
  • A good amount of high quality loose leaf tea. 
  • A refrigerator [ Where the brew will be cold steeped]

Ideally the temperature of the water at the beginning of this steeping process can be at room temperature. The reason behind this being: If very cold water is used in the beginning, the release of essential oils in the tea is delayed due to the cold shock. 

Practical Steps to Make Cold Brew from White Leaf Tea is listed in a segment below. 

 

Why is cold brew delicious?

The tea steeping process is actually a dance between time and temperature. When the time and temperature is maintained properly, you get great brews with good teas. Do it wrong and no matter how good the teas are; your palate will hate it. 

So, why is cold brew delicious? 

In this time temperature game, the longer steeping time and lower temperature wins as the essential oils and flavors are released gently, revealing the true nature of tea. As infusion time is prolonged, the catechins may undergo chemical changes and the epi forms of the catechins can be converted to non-epi forms. In simple terms the compounds which increase the bitterness in the tea go away. 

Another positive aspect of cold brewing which makes it delicious, is because there is minimal risk of tea being scalded due to hot water or becoming bitter due to wrong or longer steeping time. 


Steps to Make Cold Brew from White Leaf Tea

Finally we are in the section where we will now discuss making cold brew from  White leaf Tea.

As discussed above, I have a pitcher, some high end “Himalayan Loose Leaf White Tea” and I am going to use Tap Water. Depending upon your preference, you can use spring water, mineral water or tap water as long as it is at room temperature. Of course best would be the spring water. 

Step 1: Grab a pitcher which can hold around 1000 ml of water. This Pitcher also needs to have a lid.

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Pic: Making Cold brew from a pure White Leaf tea, in a pitcher

Step 2: Grab your favorite White Leaf Tea, around 100 grams for 1 liter of water.

Step 3: Add the tea to the Pitcher. And fill the pitcher with the water. You will notice that the tea will float to the top. It is because good quality tea has low density.

Step 4, After Putting the Cap on the Pitcher, flip it down so that the Tea Leaves can travel the length of the pitcher, what this does is it soaks the leaves.

Step 5: Put the Pitcher in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. If you ask me, I normally leave it for 3 days [ I like it a little stronger]. If you want to steep it based on your palate, taste the teas every 8 hours. Once it is up to your liking, you can take it out from the freezer. 

Step 6: Serve the tea. I normally do this with honey. On a glass, add a little bit of honey. [Not too much because too much honey will overshadow the taste of the Pure White Tea.

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Picture: Served glass of Cold brew made with Pure White Tea (Ice Added)

If you are thinking : Can I steep it again (using the same leaves on the Pitcher)? Absolutely,  but you will need to steep it for a longer time than the first time. I normally top up the pitcher with 4 grams of tea and cold steep it again.

Benefits of Cold Brew White Leaf Tea

Similar to Green Tea, the following are the Benefits of Cold Brew White leaf Tea. White tea is loaded up with polyphenols(good chemicals) called Catechins. These polyphenols act as antioxidants and help our body. The amount of antioxidants found in White Leaf Tea is similar to Green Tea. You will be able to find tons of literature online on this topic. 

Anyways the best benefit of Cold brew from  White Leaf Tea is its refreshing nature without the bitterness. Frankly, if you do it right, you will not touch the bottled drinks again.

I hope this topic was useful to you to learn about White Leaf Tea, and making cold brew from it. 

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Picture: Cold Brew from White Leaf Tea on a sampler cup

 

You can buy this Himalayan White Tea here! > Click here

 

Happy Sipping! 

 

Authored By:

Bhaskar Dahal

2nd Generation Tea Entrepreneur

Founder and C.E.O, Nepal Hills Tea Inc. 

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