Time for some seasonal experiments in the Brew Lab! In this workshop, we’ll be exploring cold brew tea, through variations of basic technique introduced in our previous 101 session. If you haven’t seen this workshop yet, it’s helpful but not totally necessary for this one – I will do some review as we get started. This summer’s cold brew lab will focus on different gram weights, freshness, water quality, and how/why one would want to use “flash brew” (using a flash of hot water first) for their cold brew.

For this workshop, here are the experiments we will be testing, which you can prepare in advance:

Gram Weight: 500ml water, with 2.5g, 5g, and 10g tea, steep in fridge for 8 hours.

Freshness: Testing a cold brew 8 hours from brew start, 16 hours, and 24 hours (all refrigerated)

Water Quality: Testing a cold brew with tap water vs bottled water. Alternately, you could use different varieties of bottled water, if you do not drink tap water in your municipality.

Flash Brew: I would recommend repeating this with a few teas to really observe the effect. 500ml cold brewed tea (5g) at 6-8 hours, vs cold brew that was first prepared with 50-100ml of hot water for 30-60 sec, then topped with remaining 400ml of cold water and refrigerated for 6 hours or so. We’ll discuss ways to tweak this, but use this starter as your base.

Original airdate July 2019

**Post-show Note: I’m sorry to report that in the last few minutes of this class, our internet dropped. So the class ends abruptly a few minutes early. This occurs at 1:11 into the recording. Good news is, the class was very nearly over. The final thoughts I wanted to share were these:

The cold brew prepared with boiling water flash was, in fact, approaching more of an iced black tea flavor. This does not make it a bad beverage by any means, but it does mean there was less differential between that and “true” cold brew or the option prepared with 150F/65C water. So, I wanted to just present those 3 options as “tea for thought”, if someone was curious about the flash method and concerned about minimizing any potential health risks for their cold brew, particularly if serving cold brew in a business.

It’s really your call how you feel about it, but it’s definitely good to know – and just interesting! – how the tea flavor changes when you do this method.