steal this idea: cold brewed iced tea and coffee


I listen to the weekly podcast of American Public Media’s The Splendid Table while cleaning the house, and was excited to hear two features from Lynne Rosetto Kasper on how to cold brew iced tea and coffee. The technique is basically the same: add coffee or tea to a large amount of water and let sit at least eight hours. Strain, then refrigerate for up to two weeks. Easy! During a recent crazy heat wave we suffered in the Pacific Northwest, it was too hot to even have my coffee maker on in the kitchen — this would have saved my life. The flavors are said to be improved as well, with less bitter and acidic compounds released into the brew. Can’t wait to try it out! –Megan B.

Photo by Flickr user House of Sims

From our partners

I heard the show when they talked about cold brewing ice tea last year and I now swear by it. I bring the ice tea with me to work every day and it’s a nice pick me up, not to mention delicious.


I’ve been doing this for a few weeks, and I love it! I’ve used Earl Grey tea, fruit, mint, green teas, and my favorite is putting some lemon verbena (fresh or dried) in a muslin teabag.

it’s true, the bitterness is either non-existant or barely there at all, depending on the tea, and it makes the water somehow more refreshing. I’m not much of a juice or soda person in the first place, but every night i’ve been filling my water bottle with a bag of tea (I actually use mine twice before tossing) and water, and in the morning, i have iced tea.


This method definitely improves the taste of coffee – no bitterness at all to speak of. It’s much stronger, and holds up to lots of added milk, almost better than espresso.

jennifer in sf

I’ve been doing this with coffee for a little while now. And it’s great. I don’t even need to add sugar when I make coffee this way, plus I can just make a big batch to take to work all week!


I use this method too, and it works beautifully. One important note, though, that was mentioned on the show and not in your post. While the tea or coffee is brewing, keep it in the fridge and not out on the counter or outside “sun tea” style. Leaving it out encourages bacterial growth – yuck!


We’ve been using the Toddy cafe cold brewing contraption for several years now and will never go back to the “old” method. I like the ease of the filter and the fact that you can brew a whole pound at once, which lasts for weeks. And it’s so much less acidic than other methods. Didn’t realized you could also do it without the Toddy thing. Thanks!