Month of Tea Brewing 2017 – Day #14
Puerh Bing Cha, White Silver Needles and Brazilian Cacao Husks
You may wonder if all teas are viable choices for the cold brew technique. So we chose three very different teas to cold brew for this exercise. Puerh, White and an herbal (not real Tea) Cacao Husks. There are links in the resource list below to discover more about these three options. But, our results indicate that most teas would be very good with cold brew.
Cacao husks are from Brazil and are the shells removed from the cacao bean. Until recently, these were discarded. Now we can appreciate this part of the plant for flavor and for some health benefits.
White Tea – as we discussed in previous days is a leaf that is minimally prepared by human intervention. In our previous Day of Tea we used a Bai Mu Dan white tea. Today we are brewing Silver Needles. Both white teas. But the needles are bud-only rather than two-leaves -and-a-bud.
Our Puerh is an aged Bing Cha from Yunnan province, China.
Beginner Brewing Note:
Cold brewing is incredibly easy and the results are much different than brewing tea the more traditional ways with hot water. Almost always sweeter, lighter and more infusions. But this is not to be confused with Sun Tea. The difference is huge! With cold brewing, the leaves are never touched by hot or warm water. With sun brewing, the tea in cold water is actually placed in the hot sun to warm gradually. The tea can then become a growth medium for bacteria and you might suffer a reaction in your digestive system. Keeping the water always cold is not as inspiring to bacteria.
There are people who feel that the safest way to brew tea is always with boiling or near-boiling water. If you want to serve iced tea, then you would brew a hot concentrate and pour over ice, allowing the ice to dilute the brew. Or, you could make the hot tea to taste and refrigerate until ready to serve.
In any case, if you prepare cold or iced tea, it should probably not be kept for more than 24 hours. (Some advise even less.)
Super Sipping! . . . Babette
Almost any tea can be cold brewed. This is the goal of today’s demonstration of three very different teas. In every case, the result was delicious – but very different from the hot brewed version. One note is that the quantity of leaf to the amount of water seems less critical.
You might want to try the experiment for yourself with some of your favorite teas. Cold brew overnight and hot brew the next day. Sip them side-by-side.
This experiment also illustrates the wide range of flavor that can be coached out of your tea as you adjust the time and temperature as well as the quantity of leaves when you brew.
The next time you drink a glass of water or a cup of tea, look deeply at your drink and see if you can see a cloud. A cup of tea has many former lives, and in one of its former lives it was a cloud floating in the sky, having a good time up there. One day it dispersed and was no longer there. The cloud became rain. The rain became the water for your tea. When you drink your tea and begin to draw, the tea inside you becomes part of your picture.
Thich Nhat Hanh and Brett Cook
“There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. There are those who do both, they drink tea.”