Some Like It Hot Some Like It Cold – Hot Vs Cold Tea
One of the most commonly consumed drinks in the world, tea is a versatile drink. It can soothe you after a long stressful day or cool you down in the summer. It’s a drink that starts a majority of people's day and is the most common welcome drink in India. People also prefer tea at various temperatures. Some love it piping, others prefer it a bit tepid and there is also the option of iced tea for the summer. The question arises when you try to figure out which one is better in comparison. If you think about it you may feel that the temperature of tea may not be something to fret about but it may come as a surprise as to how important it actually is.
Traditionally tea is made by brewing leaves in hot water of temperatures between 158 F to 200 F, however, studies have found that when tea is steeped in cold water its health benefits are maximized including a higher antioxidant activity and total phenolics and gallic acid content. But for this to be effective the tea needs to be steeped longer.
Now it has always been common knowledge that tea when brewed hot has tons of health benefits but since studies showing better health benefits from drinking iced tea have come up, scientists have put this theory to the test. For the study, researchers used black, green, and oolong tea leaves and brewed them using three different brewing methods: standard hot water infusion, cold water infusion, and hybrid infusion. The standard process involved the steeping of about 12 gms each of black tea at 90 °C, green tea at 75 °C, and oolong leaves at 85° C for 3 to 4 minutes. Cold infusion utilized 7 to 8 gms of tea leaves to be steeped at 4°C for 12 hours in 1 liter of water. The hybrid process includes the steeping of 30 gms of leaves in 600ml water at 80°C for 3 to 5 minutes and the adding of 400gm of ice to be added into it. Upon examining the catechins, gallic acid, xanthines, total phenolics, and antioxidant content in each of the researchers found that there was a higher concentration of antioxidants when the tea was brewed using the cold infusion in comparison to the standard hot transfusion. The hybrid infusion also showed results similar to the cold infusion process. Though the standard hot transfusion process extracted the antioxidants faster, rapid cooling prevented them from degrading. However many do not enjoy the taste of tea brewed through this process, because it altered the flavor and astringency of the tea.
Temperature is something that affects all foods and not just tea. However, the brewing of tea is almost close to a science, because tea leaves when steeped at the perfect temperature using the correct process results in the most glorious cup. The temperature of tea can either activate or completely flatten out its complex flavor and aroma. Hot tea will have a vivid amount of flavor which will be the polar opposite of iced tea. Which one you would prefer comes down to personal taste. So, why not experiment with all the different methods of brewing, you can never have too much tea. Head on to Mysooru Tea Company and brew away.