cold brew tea, you are a mystery
January 25, 2010 9:27 PM   Subscribe

just got a box of "cold brew" tea. add teabag to cold water, three minutes later you have a glass of iced tea. how does this work?

a normal teabag won't do that. what did they do to this tea to make it act in this way?
posted by radiosilents to Food & Drink (10 answers total)
It's instant tea, in a single-serving-sized teabag.
posted by amyms at 9:33 PM on January 25, 2010

I don't know what makes certain teas "instant" or "cold brew" but any teabag will brew in cold water. I'm a fan of putting a teabag in a bottle of water overnight for iced tea in the morning.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 9:39 PM on January 25, 2010

any teabag will brew in cold water

Yes, you can make true "cold brew" tea with a regular tea bag by letting it sit for 24 hours for more, but the kind that are ready in 3 minutes, as in the OP's question, are just instant tea fancied up into single serving portions.
posted by amyms at 9:43 PM on January 25, 2010

Best answer: There is a patent for cold-brew tea.
posted by The Deej at 9:46 PM on January 25, 2010

Instant tea ~= freeze-dried coffee. What's inside the bag aren't dried tea leaves, but industrially produced caffeine dust.
posted by maudlin at 9:49 PM on January 25, 2010

Yeah, it's just instant. And it's disgusting.
posted by bigmusic at 10:57 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Seconding what amyms says. You can cold brew almost any better quality tea. It just takes longer than the instant stuff. Be sure to do it in the fridge if you try that. Here is one "how-to" guide. Here is another.
posted by gudrun at 6:57 AM on January 26, 2010

If you want true iced tea just boil water (or stop it at near boil, friends from across the pond told me something to that note before), let it brew in a pitcher, and then put it in the fridge over night. I used the instant stuff before and the real tea tastes WAY better.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:58 AM on January 26, 2010

Actually, a normal tea bag will do that. It's just that most people won't try it.
posted by chairface at 10:43 AM on January 26, 2010

A normal teabag will colour water, but most people don't try it because it has a flat rather than a bright taste.
posted by maudlin at 11:57 AM on January 26, 2010

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