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How to Cold Brew Matcha: Your Comprehensive Guide

Matcha tea makes a deliciously creamy hot beverage. But did you know that it tastes just as good as an iced drink? Sure, you could make a simple glass of iced matcha by cooling down a cup of hot matcha with a few ice cubes. But cold brew matcha creates an even richer, smoother, more flavorful experience.

Plus, if you're new to matcha and still getting used to its rich, earthy flavor, preparing it in cold water can minimize some of the bitter taste sometimes found when the tea is prepared in hot water.

Even better? Matcha made in cold water still contains all the caffeine and the relaxing benefits of l-theanine!

Note:

Like cold brew coffee, cold brew matcha is prepared in cold water instead of hot, instead of simply cooling down a hot brewed beverage with ice cubes. This also means that you get the full flavor since the tea isn't watered down with dissolved ice cubes. And unlike cold brew coffee, which requires a more complicated set-up to prepare, your cold, refreshing glass of cold brew matcha can be ready in moments and requires only one tool!

With that level of simplicity, it's the perfect way to wake up on a hot summer morning, refresh after a long workout at the gym, or cool off on a humid afternoon.

So what are we waiting for? Let's get started! 

But before that, you can watch this comprehensive guide on how to cold brew a matcha.

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Find the Perfect, Secure Bottle to Blend your Tea

Before preparing your glass of cold matcha, you'll first need to find a bottle or jar with a secure lid.

A water bottle works well, or you can be thrifty and use a recycled Mason jar or peanut butter jar.

You could also try a bottle with a built-in blender, such as this classic Blender Bottle that uses a wire ball to help break up particles, or this matcha flask specially designed for making cold brew matcha tea.

The blender ball isn't strictly necessary to make a good glass of matcha, but it can help create a smoother blend and even create a slushy texture if you add crushed ice. For an even thicker consistency, you can choose to skip the bottle entirely and just mix up your tea powder, liquid, and ice in a blender.


Using a blender bottle is a good way to cold brew matcha tea.


Above Image: Blender Bottle

Matcha flask


Above Image: Matcha Flask

 

Comic for green tea matchaUse High-Quality Matcha for a Smooth, Rich Taste

Next, you'll want to select your powdered matcha.

Not all matcha is created equal. It's usually best to use something high-quality to achieve the best taste and avoid using lots of sweeteners to balance the flavor. However, since brewing with cold water minimizes some of the bitterness naturally found in matcha, you can get away with using slightly lower grade tea than you might use for a hot cup of matcha.

The best taste comes from matcha purchased from a reputable source and was shade-grown in Japan. As long as the company sells quality matcha, ceremonial or culinary grade tea works equally well.

Cold brew matcha is a delicious and refreshing drink

Different Liquids Offer Different Flavors and Benefits

Now, you can select a liquid to blend with your matcha powder.

Cold water is the traditional option and an excellent choice that will give you the full, unaltered matcha flavour. But if you're still adjusting to the matcha flavor or you'd just like to get creative, you have lots of other options!

Milk adds a rich texture and flavor, and you can adjust the taste of the final beverage by using dairy, almond, coconut, oat, or any other type of milk. Coconut water is another possibility that will give your drink additional health benefits such as electrolytes and potassium, not to mention a fresh coconut flavor.

Shake Up you Ingredients for a Cold, Refreshing Brew

It's finally time to prepare your glass of cold brew matcha! To the bottle of your choosing, add:

  • 1 teaspoon (2g or about ½ teaspoon) of matcha powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) of cold water, milk, or coconut powder
  • Ice (optional)

Feel free to adjust the proportions to suit your taste. Just make sure there's about an inch of space at the top of the bottle, so the contents have room to move around and blend together, and be sure to screw the lid tightly closed. You don't want to start the day with an icy-cold matcha shower! Briskly shake the bottle until everything in it is smooth, uniformly green, and a layer of white foam forms at the top.

Let the bottle sit for a few moments, and then swirl the liquid to help all of the foam rise to the surface. You can drink the matcha directly from the bottle, or you can pour it into smaller mugs or glasses. Since the tea powder doesn't dissolve and is instead suspended in the liquid, the particles might start falling to the bottom before you finish your drink. If this happens, just shake the bottle again.

Cold brew matcha is a delicious and refreshing drink

Cold Brew Matcha is the Perfect Addition to a Busy Lifestyle

One of the best things about cold brew matcha is that it's quick and simple to make, which means it can easily become part of your daily routine.

Unlike coffee, matcha doesn't require a filter or machine to brew but can be made right in the bottle from which you'll drink it. This means you can bring a bottle of water or milk and a small bag of matcha (or a single-serve packet) with you to work, school, or the gym, and be ready to whip up a batch of matcha in seconds.

You can also prepare a cold brew matcha up to two days in advance. Just store the bottles in the refrigerator, so they're ready for you. The matcha powder and liquid will separate over time. But if you give the bottle a few vigorous shakes, you'll restore your tea to its green glory.

Cold-brew matcha is also a great choice to drink after a morning workout. This is especially true when blended with electrolyte-filled coconut water since it leaves you hydrated and feeling caffeinated yet calm.

You may have already discovered drinking matcha green tea is a healthy and enjoyable addition to your daily routine. But now you have even more options to explore! Matcha tea isn't just for cold weather and coffee shops—now you can enjoy it anywhere and in any season.

Why does cold brew tea taste sweet?

Rest assured that cold brew tea does not have hidden sugar syrup added to it. Then how does cold brew Japanese tea have a subtle sweetness or mellowness to it, even with no added sugar? The answer to this mystery lies in the chemistry between the water temperature and tea's components. The three critical components of tea that significantly contributes to the taste and flavor of tea are as follows:

  • Theanine
  • Catechin
  • Caffeine

Theanine gives the tea its preferred taste characteristics, such as sweetness and Umami. A tea high in Theanine content has a sweet aroma with minimal bitterness. The extraction rate of Catechin is more or less the same regardless of the temperature of the brewing water. It means that the Catechin extraction rate is the same whether the tea is a hot cup of green tea or cold brew green tea.

On the other hand, Catechin and Caffeine are components of tea that give bitterness and astringency. Unlike Theanine, the extraction rate for Catechin and Caffeine depends on the brewing temperature. If we brew the tea with hot water, the extraction rate for these components is higher. As a result, the bitter taste of Catechin and Caffeine are stronger in hot tea than in cold brew tea. In addition, brewing with cold water means less caffeine in the tea, allowing us to drink it to stay hydrated during the summer or enjoy it even before bed. Something like this premium yuzu Sencha green tea, made into a cold brew tea, would be a perfect refreshment for the hot summer days.

To summarize,

  • Hot green tea = Higher brewing temperature = Higher extraction of Caffeine and Catechin = Stronger bitter taste and astringency
  • Cold Brew tea = Low brewing temperature = Lower extraction of Caffeine and Catechin + Same extraction for Theanine = Minimal bitterness + More sweet taste

Having said that, brewing is not an exact science. Taste and aroma preferences are highly subjective and dependent on personal likings. It is also worth mentioning that the final cup of tea is determined by many other factors, such as the water's hardness, and many green tea types taste better when brewed using hot water.

Simple Japanese Matcha Soda (炭酸割り)

Follow the step below to make refreshing matcha tea soda. 

  1. Pour hot water over matcha green tea with 1/4 amount of hot water you would usually use for regular matcha.
  2. Whisk. At this point, you have very thick green tea since you used very little hot water in step 1 above. 
  3. Now pour club soda or carbonated water of your chose over the tea prepared in step 1 and 2. (My personal favorite is Perrier or their lime version goes surprisingly well as well)
  4. Add ice. If you wish, add sweeter of your choice (honey, sugar, etc). Please check this article about 10 ways to sweeten Japanese green tea

This simple step makes you a very healthy green tea soda.  Pretty cool, isn't it? 


My personal favorite is Perrier or their lime version goes surprisingly well with sencha green tea

How to Cold Brew Matcha Infographic 

Cool Down with a Refreshing Cup of Cold Brew Matcha: A Step-by-Step Guide

These infographics are from our Green Tea Infographic Board on Pinterest. Follow us on Pinterest to see more infographics like this!

Buy Matcha for Cold Brewing

 

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