News flash: steaming mugs are out, cold cups are in.
Let’s get one thing clear, we’re not talking about an iced tea or a cup of builder’s that you've forgotten about in the kitchen for a good few hours, this is a purer, more sophisticated take on tea.
Made from adding tea leaves to cold water and refrigerating them overnight, which aficionados say showcases the delicate flavours more effectively than hot water from the kettle, cold-brew tea is slowing seeping its way across Britain.
Cafes and street food trucks have been spreading the cold brew message at hipster hotspots and London even has its very own cold-brew café, Kenkō Tea Bar in Old Street.
Limau Chen, co-founder of Kenkō Tea Bar, told Homemade: “Cold brew tea is an extremely popular drink in far east Asia and it has recently become a trend in the States and Canada.
“Last year saw the cold-brew coffee trend hit the UK, but it is now high time we turn to cold brew tea.”
So what sort of tea responds best to the cold-brew treatment? Well, it isn’t your basic breakfast blend.
Chen explains: “The best way to make it is with premium loose tea leaves. Tea bags often contain smaller pieces of tea that lack the full flavour of the whole tea leaves. Tea bags can also contain added flavours giving a harsher flavour to the tea.”
“It’s important to choose the right type of tea leaves and be aware of the optimum steeping time for this tea. Each tea has a recommended steeping time in order to extract the maximum flavour and health properties of the tea.
“However, over-steeping can create a bitter taste ... Finding the perfect steeping time may require a little experimentation and patience, although we recommend a minimum of eight hours.”"
Now does this sound your cup of tea? Speaking personally I love my tea quite hot, and not necessarily in a cup with saucer. A nice steaming mug suits me fine. But if I'm near one of these new 'tea houses' I just may pop in and try one.