How to Make Cold Brew Tea (Best Step-by-Step Guide)

How to make cold brew tea? Cold brewing tea is the best brewing method for the best flavor. If you are looking to make your tea more flavorful, my How to Make Cold Brew Tea (best step-by-step guide is just for you!

Plus, did you know? Unlike traditional steeping in hot water, this brewing method retains more of the tea’s essential nutrients. It’s similar to how steaming spinach preserves its valuable properties. Just as the health benefits and nutrients stay in the spinach water when steamed in hot water, the same occurs with steeped tea. While we consume the tea water, the spinach water is typically discarded.

What happens tho when it’s a hot summer day? If you are like me drinking a hot brewed tea isn’t exactly going to quench your thirst.

When the heat of the sun becomes unbearable, quench your thirst with a refreshing cold beverage.

Crimson berry iced tea in two glasses with lemon slices
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Benefits of Drinking cold brewed tea

  • What I love most about drinking tea is that tea is filled with antioxidants. In addition, tea can boost your immune system and fight off heart disease and cancer.
  • This type of brewing makes the tea smoother. Fewer tannins are released which means you will be able to absorb more of the iron into your system.
  • Furthermore, the caffeine levels are reduced allowing you to enjoy this icy beverage much longer into the day and not interrupt your sleep. On that note, tea in general is much better for getting a good night’s sleep. The caffeine in tea is smoother than coffee caffeine. With tea, there is no spike up, then an energy crash down. Smooth, even energy is how I describe tea drinking.

Can you brew cold tea with regular tea bags?

Years ago I remember placing my large container of Lipton tea bags and cold water on the porch to make a pitcher of sun tea. Regular tea bags are an option, but they are not the same as loose tea.

Since a long long time ago, I’ve learned so much about tea. Prior to working at a tea shop the only way I knew to make tea was by dipping a tea bag into a cup. Boy, have times changed for me.

Once you discover the world of tea, I promise you won’t go back to a tea bag. I often compare the tea world to the wine world. Some wine is good. Some wines are way better.

What if you aren’t sure how to steep the tea properly? I have a free printable that simply explains just how to properly steep your hot tea once you subscribe to the blog. Here you can read about The Best Tea for Beginners with 19 of my favorite teas.

Now back to cold brewing!

Keep in mind the following.

Loose tea gives the best flavor and the most benefits for your health. No disrespect to the bagged tea companies. Bagged tea does produce consistent flavor. Discover the eye-opening reality: A tea bag often contains tea dust rather than whole tea leaves.

Whole-leaf tea is the better option in my opinion.

paper wrapped tea tins with different patterns with loose tea on table

What is the tea to water ratio for cold brew tea?

Follow this simple recipe for the cold brew method. One teaspoon of tea for every 8 ounces of water. For a 32-ounce pitcher, this will yield four cups of tea. This perfect teaspoon works the best.

All you need to do is add cold water. Feel free to adjust the tea measurement depending on your personal taste and preference. Slightly more will yield a stronger flavor or a little less will work as well.

a perfect teaspoon of loose tea with tea tin filled with tea

How long should you cold brew tea?

For best results, cold-brew tea should remain steeping in the refrigerator for ten hours. Once steeped, however, you should remove the filter with the tea.

Keep in your refrigerator for up to seven days.

overhead view of large tea filter with scoop of tea being put in it

What’s the difference between cold brew tea and iced tea?

The easiest way to clarify both brewing methods is this. The traditional method of making iced tea is steeping the tea in hot water. After which you add ice.

With cold brewed tea, there’s no need for hot water or quick steeping. Instead, the loose leaf tea is added to cold water and left to infuse in the fridge overnight. Wake up to a ready-to-serve, full-bodied tea that’s bursting with flavor. Say goodbye to traditional tea-making and embrace the simplicity and taste of cold brewed tea.

In comparison, the loose-leaf tea is not steeped first. After ten hours, the tea leaves are removed and the tea is ready to be served.

These two different brewing options yield very different flavors. The brewing process of hot water added to the tea has a slightly more bitter taste. Using cold water helps lessen the bitter flavors. This process removes the bitter tannins. This method will also have less caffeine.

overhead view of tea tins with loose tea on table
takeya tea pticher of iced tea with filter being removed

​Type of tea best for cold brewing

Discover the perfect cold-brewed tea! While many types are suitable, robust black teas may not reach their full flavor potential. Here is a list of some of my favorite teas to brew cold.

My favorite teas 

  1. Green Tea – Genmai Cha, China Green Jade, Matcha (which is a tea powder, ground rather than tea leaves)
  2. Oolong Teas – Wood Dragon (delicious hot or iced),
  3. Scented Tea – Strawberry Fields, ( A refreshing blend of berries, green, and white tea) One Night in Rio, Green Paddock Pom Pom
  4. Black Tea – Russian Caravan
  5. Herbal tea – Crimson Berry, La Provencal, Tranquilité, Ginger Lemon Zen
two glasses with ice cubes and lemon slice ready for iced tea

Step-by-Step Instructions for Cold Brewing Tea


  • Loose tea of your choice
  • Filtered water


  • Gather your iced tea pitcher
  • Measure out the tea with this scoop
  • Place the loose tea leaves in the filter
  • Add 4 8 oz. cups of water to just below the lid line (filtered water is best)
  • When placing the filter into the pitcher be cautious that the water doesn’t overflow (see step above)
  • Seal the container
  • Steep tea in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 hours
  • Once steeped, remove the tea and filter from the large pitcher
  • Store in refrigerator for up to seven days

Iced Tea Recipe

iced tea pitcher with crimson berry red tea in two glasses with lemon

How to Make Cold Brew Tea (Best Step-by-Step Guide)

How to make cold brew tea? Cold brewing tea is the best brewing method for the best flavor. Follow this easy step-by-step guide. Plus, cold brewing has greater health benefits due to the tea not being steeped in hot water.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Steeping in Refrigerator 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 5 minutes
Course Beverage
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 Tayeka Pitcher


  • 8 tsp Loose Leaf Tea
  • 32 oz Filtered Water


  • Gather your iced tea pitcher
  • Measure out the tea with a perfect teaspoon
  • Place the loose tea leaves in the filter
  • Add 4 8 oz. cups of water to just below the lid line (filtered water is best)
  • Seal the container
  • Steep tea in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 hours
  • Once steeped, remove the tea and filter from the large pitcher
  • Store in refrigerator for up to seven days
Keyword Beverage, cold brewed tea, tea

Shop & Source

crimson berry red tea in two glasses with lemon slice

Click here for my favorite Takeya Iced Tea Maker. I love it because it seals so well. I can place it on its side in the refrigerator without it leaking. When you have a full frig you will appreciate being able to do this. I think it is the best way to make tea in the summer.

green thumbtack
pinterest pin for how to cold brew iced tea

Tips for making cold brew tea

  • Use filtered water. The quality of the water you use will make a big difference in the taste of your cold brew tea. Use filtered water to ensure that your tea is free of impurities and has a clean, refreshing flavor.
  • Use loose leaf tea. Loose leaf tea will give you the best flavor in your cold brew tea. Tea bags can contain dust and other particles that can make your tea bitter.
  • Steep for the right amount of time. The amount of time you steep your tea will affect the strength and flavor of your cold brew tea. For a smooth, mellow flavor, steep your tea for 12-24 hours. If you prefer a stronger tea, you can steep it for up to 48 hours.
  • Strain the tea leaves thoroughly. Once your tea has finished steeping, be sure to strain out the tea leaves thoroughly. This will help to prevent your tea from becoming bitter.
  • Experiment with different flavors. There are endless possibilities when it comes to flavoring your cold brew tea. Try adding different types of tea, fruits, herbs, and spices to create your own unique blends.

Here are some additional tips that you may find helpful

  • If you are short on time, you can cold brew your tea in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. However, the longer you steep your tea, the more flavorful it will be.
  • If you are using a glass container, be sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or a lid to prevent the tea from developing a bitter taste.
  • You can store cold brew tea in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Cold brew tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. If you prefer to drink it hot, simply heat it up in a saucepan or microwave.
  • I hope these tips help you make the best cold brew tea ever!

Saratoga Tea and Honey Co shared the 15 Most Refreshing Iced Teas for Summer.

Did you know you can reuse your loose tea leaves? Read more on how to use tea as fertilizer here.

Discover a refreshing twist on traditional tea brewing methods!

This brewing method of cold-brewing tea gives the tea the best flavor. I hope you try it out and are able to enjoy a delicious glass of iced tea in the future. The best part of a hot summer day!

Susan Signature with feather pen



  1. 5 stars
    Love this. We are big ice tea drinkers and I need some new flavors. I can’t wait to have David read this.

    1. So many great flavors and they are all high quality with many being organic!

  2. 5 stars
    I remember the days of setting out sun tea! I love cold brew tea and want to try some of these flavors!

    1. Isn’t that true, the days of suntea! 🙂 I hope you find one you like.

  3. Susan, I have never tried this method before and looking forward to giving it a try.

    1. Thank you Tammy. It yields the best flavor plus it’s super easy.

  4. I don’t have a large pitcher with a tea insert. Could I just put my loose tea in the tea bags I have and let steep overnight this way?

    1. Yes, you could do it that way or you could put the tea directly into the pitcher of water, let steep, then strain the tea out with a fine strainer. Enjoy!

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