During the hot summer months in Japan it is common to drink cold brew tea. In an earlier article we spoke about “mizudashi“, that is the cold brew of tea.
This time, we would like to talk about another incredibly refreshing way of having tea in the hot weather – kōridashi 氷出し!
Why do we drink ice brew tea? Because it is very refreshing!
Apart from that, the lower the water temperature used when brewing tea, the less astringency and bitterness come out from the leaves. That is why cold brew tea is sweet, but ice brew tea is even sweeter! It extracts umami taste at its best while no astringency at all. Try it using a good shaded green tea like kabuse sencha or gyokuro and you will be very surprised. It can be also a very fancy drink to offer your guests: pour it in a nice cocktail glass and impress your friends!
How do we make it? It couldn’t be easier!
Use a larger quantity of leaves than usual in your teapot and place some ice cubes on top. Remember to use good water for your ice cubes, same as you would use for your tea. Leave it until the ice has melted. Consider that it can take some time: for the little houhin in the photo, it took almost two hours (it was about 25ºC in the house).
Of course good quality tea gives great results. But let me tell you a secret: ice brew is also a way to use older tea or tea that you didn’t like that much: having it cold is much more pleasant because the flavour is milder and hides any astringency that tea could have.
Last but not least… enjoy the moment! As mentioned above, it takes some time for the ice to melt. Why be in a hurry all the time? Let’s treat ourselves sometimes and enjoy the present moment. Waiting for the tea is a nice reminder.