What Is Kouridashi Tea?
It is well-known harsh and lasting heat of hot water can tarnish the delicacy of some tea leaves. But how can one cherish an elegant tea without the concern of tainting its quality? Let us introduce to you kouridashi tea, or simply a tea produced via ice brewing or steeping. The kouridashi-style of brewing is a Japanese method that uses frigid cold ice cubes to extract the flavors of tea leaves. And the the colder the water and the longer the leaf extracts on it, the more concentrated the flavor.
But why spend the time to practice ice brewing, you may wonder? Compared to tea steeped with hot water, cold brews are touted to taste less bitter and more smooth, along with quenching that thirst on a hot summer’s day. And not to mention, cold brewing is a fun way to explore new flavor profiles of your favorite teas!
How to Make Kouridashi Tea
1. Freeze the Ice Cubes
Freezing the ice cubes contributes part to the time-consuming brewing method. But rather than being late for a very important date, have them frozen and ready to go for your next tea party! Use a spring or filtered water to produce a fresher, higher-quality tea.
2. Choose Your Leaves
Whereas any sort of tea variety can undergo the kouridashi brewing method, tea experts tout kouridashi is often resorted for really special and fine green tea leaves, including Gyokuro and Sencha.
3. Fill Your Glass
With the cubes frozen and leaves selected, it is time to fill a tall glass with each! (Be sure to use a glass wide enough to hold your ice cubes.) For one cup, add a fair amount of ice and add one to two teaspoons of your chosen loose leaf tea.
4. Practice Patience
“Good things come to those who wait!” While it may seem like a light-year away, be patient and allow the ice to melt for up to three hours. As the melting ice cube concentrates the flavor of the cup without pulling out the astringency of most caffeinated drinks, the slow process is nothing short of worth of it! (While waiting, call up a friend and excitingly tell them all about this newfound ice brewing method or take a hike to really work up a thirst!)
5. Experiment with Flavors
The excitement of kouridashi goes well beyond its unique preparation method, as there are numerous opportunities to experiment with flavors! There are countless ways to play around with blends, including adding lemon zest or slices, muddling fresh berries or herbs, drizzling with honey, and splashing with fresh fruit juice.
6. Enjoy the Tea Party
After being patient (and having a little fun experimenting with flavor!) it is the time you have been waiting for… Enjoying the tea party! And as the Mad Hatter cries, “It’s always tea time!” (And we could not agree more.)