Cold Brew Versus Hot Brew for Herbal Beverages

Cold Brew Versus Hot Brew for Herbal Beverages

I’ve always been a hot brew proponent when it comes to herbal beverages. The purpose of brewing with water fresh off the boil is to extract as much of the phytonutrients – ‘phyto’ means ‘plant’ – as possible so all the health benefits end up in the brewed liquid and thus immediately available to anyone enjoying the drink.

In hot weather though, everyone wants a cold drink right away. If you brew a hot beverage, you either have to chill it immediately via pouring it over ice, which unfortunately dilutes the flavor, or wait until it has cooled down.

One exception to the hot brew rule is the technique now known as “cold brew”. Cold brewed coffee has gained quite a following in the last few years and we’re always asked if we recommend cold brewing Teeccino. 

Why cold brewed coffee is so popular

There are good reasons to cold brew coffee. The foremost reason is that a cold brew of roasted coffee beans doesn’t extract as much of the acids making for a smoother brew that is easier on the stomach. The acids in coffee beans also turn more bitter when exposed to hot water above 200ºF while cold brewing doesn’t have the same effect on them resulting in a sweeter taste. Tests on cold brewed coffee prove that it has 66% less acidity and bitterness than hot brewed coffee.

Additionally, the aromatic oils in the coffee bean remain in the cold brew liquid instead of vaporizing quickly due to heat. We are all familiar with the strong aroma of brewing coffee wafting into the surrounding air. With cold brewing, the aromatic oils remain in the liquid and when drank, their more floral notes hit the nasal passages to produce a different taste experience.

Sun tea falls out of favor

Remember ‘sun tea’? It was super popular a few decades ago but now you don’t hear about it as much. So why is sun tea not recommended anymore?

The Center for Disease Control recommends a “kill step” when making iced tea from tea leaves or herbs.  It's those natural microorganisms that have given sun tea a bad reputation. Without a kill step of exposing the tea leaves to water temperatures above 190º F, the fear is that harmful bacteria can proliferate in water that is only somewhat warmed by the sun.

So what makes cold brew safer than sun tea? 

If you’re brewing coffee or Teeccino, the roasting process has already provided the desirable kill step to prevent potential overgrowth of bad bacteria. Thus making cold brew with Teeccino is perfectly safe like it is with coffee. 

However, if  you’re brewing tea, whether black, green or herbal, it’s safest to use a hot brewing method to provide that kill step. Personally, I’m not fearful of sun tea, but the official opinion is that it isn’t safe.

The advantage to cold brewed Teeccino

Since Teeccino doesn’t have the acids that coffee beans have, cold brewing Teeccino doesn’t supply the same advantage for people sensitive to coffee's acidity. Teeccino is already non-acidic and on top of that it has prebiotics that support a healthy gut and good digestion. 

I’ve always thought that hot brewing Teeccino even for preparing iced Teeccino was better than cold brewing because the hot water extracts all of those very important water-soluble molecules trapped inside our ingredient’s cell walls. We want all of them released into the brewed liquid for our optimal health benefit.  

But there is one very interesting difference between Teeccino cold brew and hot brew that makes drinking cold brew a very worthwhile method to enhance your enjoyment of iced Teeccino. 

Putting cold brewed Teeccino to the taste test

Not being a coffee drinker, I was curious to learn that cold brewed coffee is less bitter than hot brewed coffee. Would the same be true of Teeccino?

To test the theory, I cold brewed our most bitter Teeccino blend, Dandelion Dark Roast. Dandelion root is particularly bitter which is one of the reasons why it is so detoxifying. Bitter flavors stimulate our digestive and elimination organs including our liver, kidneys and colon. What would happen to these herbal bitters in a cold brew?

I used a glass bottle with a stainless steel infuser and poured filtered water at room temperature through the ground Teeccino up to the top of the bottle. I place the bottle in my refrigerator and let it brew for 24 hours to give the grounds the fullest exposure for the strongest possible brew. 

I tasted the cold brew against a hot brew I had made and chilled in the fridge from the same bag of Dandelion Dark Roast. To my surprise, the cold brew was significantly sweeter. The bitters weren’t as pronounced or dominant. It made for a very pleasant, refreshing beverage that I could enjoy without any additional sweeteners. 

Interestingly, our taste buds don’t taste sweet as well when beverages are cold which is why sodas are over-sweetened and taste sickly sweet when they are warm. It’s so beneficial though to cut down on sweeteners and adapt our taste buds to enjoy other flavors like bitter and sour.

I’m used to drinking unsweetened beverages, but I can recommend a cold brew of Teeccino to anyone who wants to drink iced Teeccino but also wants to cut down on added sweeteners. It’s easy to prepare and you’ll have iced Teeccino at the ready when you want a tall, refreshing glass. 

Natural potassium in Teeccino enhances rehydration

The reward for preparing and drinking iced Teeccino whichever way you decide to brew it is a refreshing beverage that is more rehydrating than plain water, coffee or most other ready-to-drink beverages. Teeccino has more natural potassium from its ingredient than sports drink brands add to their bottles. With the help of that potassium and other phytonutrients, iced Teeccino rehydrates you quickly on hot days. 

However you decide to brew Teeccino, find your best method for preparing iced Teeccino and remember; you can keep brewed Teeccino in your refrigerator for up to a week in a pitcher or bottle so it’s always ready when you are!

 

Back to blog

6 comments

Would love to hear the proportions of water and Teeccino you used. Thank you!

Would love to hear the proportions of water and Teeccino you used. Thank you!

Dawn

I’ve been drinking it cold since I discovered teecino several years ago. I just prefer cold drinks. Fell in love with teecino and had to find a way to produce a larger volume so I experimented with my farberware coffee percolator, found my ratio and brew a pot – but first I line the basket with a disk. When cooled I store it in a wine carafe in my refrigerator and it lasts about 5 days. I’m not opposed to coffee so occasionally I’ll add teaspoon of instant Madaglia Doro to it and i have “dirty tea”. So so good.

I’ve been drinking it cold since I discovered teecino several years ago. I just prefer cold drinks. Fell in love with teecino and had to find a way to produce a larger volume so I experimented with my farberware coffee percolator, found my ratio and brew a pot – but first I line the basket with a disk. When cooled I store it in a wine carafe in my refrigerator and it lasts about 5 days. I’m not opposed to coffee so occasionally I’ll add teaspoon of instant Madaglia Doro to it and i have “dirty tea”. So so good.

Linda

If I have a 16 bottle would I use one or 2 “tea” bags?

If I have a 16 bottle would I use one or 2 “tea” bags?

Mollie

Could you give directions on how to cold brew and what ratio of teeccino to water?

Could you give directions on how to cold brew and what ratio of teeccino to water?

Faye Clark

The timing of this article was perfect for me. I was given a cold brew appliance as a house-warming gift a month or so ago and this morning I decided to brew some of my Teeccino in it. I followed the directions for the brewer and then, as it brewed, sat down to catch up on my emails. Well, you may have guessed by now that I came across the cold brew blog; what a wonderful affirmation! I have already fallen in love with hot brewed Teeccino – and I know I will love the cold brew just as much!
Thank you!!!

The timing of this article was perfect for me. I was given a cold brew appliance as a house-warming gift a month or so ago and this morning I decided to brew some of my Teeccino in it. I followed the directions for the brewer and then, as it brewed, sat down to catch up on my emails. Well, you may have guessed by now that I came across the cold brew blog; what a wonderful affirmation! I have already fallen in love with hot brewed Teeccino – and I know I will love the cold brew just as much!
Thank you!!!

Jo’e

Leave a comment