When infused in sparkling water, tea is lighter in both body and flavour intensity than when it is hot-steeped, and any floral and fruity notes are accentuated. The result is a vibrant, playful, celebratory tea.
And when cold-brewing tea, less caffeine is extracted in all teas (except oolong) and the concentration of antioxidants that are drawn out of the leaves increases slightly (in green tea in particular)*.
I have spent the past month experimenting with sparkling tea and testing different types of teas to see which work best using this brewing method. Almost all of the teas I tried worked well – in particular white, oolong teas with floral or fruity notes and black teas from Darjeeling in particular.
Once you’re comfortable with the technique and have the right tools (listed below), its an easy and fun way to serve tea and you can experiment with different types of tea to see what you like best.
Create your own cold-brewed, sparkling tea
What you need:~ A good quality, loose leaf tea
~ Measuring scales (or you can estimate with a teaspoon)
~ Sparkling water^
~ Funnel with a spout large enough for the tea to fit through
~ Strainer or sieve
~ A fridge or ice bucket
~ 2 hours chill time before you serve it
1. Using a funnel, add approx. 1 gram of tea per 100mls sparkling water. For a single/double serve, add 3 - 4 grams of tea (approx 2 tsp) to a 330/350ml** bottle of sparkling water. Screw the lid on tightly.
2. Place in the fridge or ice bucket and steep for 2 hours, then open the lid very slowly (it can bubble over) and gently pour through a strainer into a serving pitcher/jug/carafe - glass works well so you can see the tea sparkling.
3. When when ready, pour into glasses (champagne glasses work well). Garnish with edible flowers or fruit if you wish, serve and enjoy!
~ you can quickly soak the leaves in hot water first as this can make them easier to get into the bottle.
~ use the same leaves for a second infusion - simply top the bottle back up with sparkling water.
~ ^fully sparking water, not lightly sparking, works best. If you have a Soda Stream, you can use this - just add another pump of gas to make it extra sparkling
~ **Measurements for larger volumes: to 6 grams (4 tsp) for a 600ml bottle; 10 grams (6 tsp)/1 litre; 12grams (8 tsp)/1.25 litre; 15grams (11 tsp) /1.5 litre
I have some tiny glass bottles I use to test small quantities of tea before I make a large batch. These can be found at hardware stores (such as Mitre 10 or Bunnings in NZ), bargain or party stores.
You can experiment with tea you have at home or browse our loose-leaf tea collection.
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*Source: Das, Chandrima; Chatterjee, Sirshendu (2017), International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research