Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ice-Infused Shincha


A year ago I experimented with cold brewing sencha, and now that another Texas summer is here, I have revisited this quirky, refreshing method, this time using a significantly better tea, Shincha Yutaka Midori.

The idea is simple, add tea leaves and ice cubes to your pot and let the ice melt, giving it at least fifteen to twenty minutes. The colder temperature keeps the tea from turning bitter.


This time I thoroughly preheated the pot first, hoping to speed things up just a bit. When using this method I find its best to leave it outside or out on the porch.

The tea is strong, but not astringent, sweet, flavorful, very vegital. There is nothing grassy about this, but like biting into fresh produce. Cold-brewing reveals characteristics of the tea that you wouldn't find otherwise.

21 comments:

Brent said...

I'll have to try this again. Last time, it came out horribly bitter for some reason. Thanks for the pre-warming tip!

Brent

~ Phyll said...

My tea friend, you have jump-started my desire to make a cold-brew tonight with some leftover Indian teas. The weather in LA has been on and off, but it's gradually getting warmer by the week. Thanks!

Salsero said...

I've been meaning to try this since you posted your last experiments in August. Did you go with the 5 gr tea and 5 to 6 ice cubes again this time?

Space Samurai said...

Sal, good question. I didn't pay attention this time. I used a generous amount of sencha and just filled it up with cubes.

By the way, later on I tried this with some houjicha karigane and it was quite interesting, like an iced coffee.

Bill said...

Yo Space, didn't you have the urge to sweeten it? I have just enough to try this with the left over sincha from the ITD tasting. I think I may give it a go.

Bill

herbal tea said...

This is something very new to me. I think I'll give it a try. I always relate tea with hot water.

Bruno said...

Hi, sounds very good with houjicha, i will try when i get my orders.

Bruno said...

Hi again Alex,

On the last picture, is it a bamboo bowl ? If yes, where do you get it ?

tieguanyin said...

Great entry Alex! I had not thought of that method. The upper East Coast is going through a bit of a heatwave so your experiments come at an excellent time.

Given the weather, I tried an experiment myself with some high mountain oolong tea following a suggestion from Gordon of Dragon House Tea (Ebay).

I placed in a glass some high mountain oolong (Shan Li Xi) and filled it with filtered water and let it cold steap over night in the refrigetor for about 10 hours. The result was a refreshing and flowery cold beverage.

While this method does require some patience, the result was interesting. Has anyone else tried this?

Stay cool :)!

(another) Alex

Lewis said...

I love the look of ice in Tokoname under the Texas sun.

Space Samurai said...

Bruno,

Its from Totally Bamboo.

Bruno said...

Oh yes, Totally Bamboo, very cool and chemical free ! I have ordered some of their items here :
http://www.shade2u.com/bamboo/index.htm

Tea Escapade said...

WOW! I have never heard of cold brewing. I definitely must try this process. Especially if this brewing method brings out different characteristics of the tea. Are there any teas you prefer cold brewing more than others?

Space Samurai said...

tea escapade,

so far I've only tried it with sencha and houjicha. sencha was 'better,' but the houji was still interesting.

ana dane said...

I just tried your fascinating ice-brewed method this morning with some Umegashima sencha, and it is indeed delicious.

I recently did a week's worth of experimenting with cold (refrigerator)-brewed tea
(http://teaspotnyc.blogspot.com/2008/06/great-iced-tea-experiment-2008.html)
if you or any other readers are interested.

Thanks for such a great idea, and a beautiful blog.

Infuzion Pot said...

That's interesting. Have you tried melting the ice cubes to taste the resulting melted ice water? Some freezers give ice cubes a funky taste - and that might impair the flavor of the tea.

I sometimes steep greens using room-temperature water; but never ice.

What kind of treatment do you give the ice to prevent a funky flavor?

And how about using smaller chunks of ice that would melt faster? Would that improve the flavor a bit?

Space Samurai said...

Thanks Anna, this method seems to pique eveyone's curiosity.

Infuzion...the crushed ice is a great idea, and I'll try it next. It will definitely speed things up, my only concern is will the shorter melting time allow the tea to steep enough. Who knows, but I'll find out. :)

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