How To Cold Brew Loose Leaf Tea?

Want to know how to cold brew loose leaf tea? In this article, we’ll share the best methods for making cold brew tea with loose tea leaves.

how to cold brew loose leaf tea
Any kind of tea can be cold-brewed

Cold brewing loose leaf tea can be a little tricky but is not impossible. Any kind of tea can be cold-brewed, whether it’s black tea or herbal tea. Like cold brew coffee, cold brew tea involves stewing the leaves in cold water for several hours to allow it to infuse.

All you need to provide are some common household products, and you are already halfway towards a refreshing loose leaf cold brew.


Tea of choice



Tea infuser or Strainer


How To Cold Brew Loose Leaf Tea In 2 Methods

There are two core methods behind the perfect cold brew loose leaf tea. Let’s take a look at both of them right now.

Method 1

peppermint tea
You can strain the leaves after brewing

This method sees you really embracing the loose leaf concept, only straining the leaves after brewing.

Step 1: Put The Tea Leaves In A Pitch

Put the tea leaves in a pitcher and add water. A good ratio is around one tablespoon of tea leaves to four cups of water. If you like your tea weaker, you can add five or six cups of water to one tablespoon of tea.

Step 2: Chill Your Tea In The Fridge

Place the tea leaves in the fridge. While exact times may vary depending on the type of loose-leaf tea you are using, generally, leaving it overnight should result in a well-brewed tea. 

Herbal teas, like hibiscus, peppermint, or berry teas, brew the slowest, while green tea and black tea can take only 3 to 5 hours. Leaving any kind of tea in the fridge for 12 hours is fine, but going over the 24-hour mark could leave your tea tasting too strong or leave a have funny taste.

Step 3: Remove From The Fridge After Several Hours

When you’re ready, remove the tea from the fridge.

Step 4: Strain The Tea Leaves

Pour the tea directly from the pitcher into a glass with an inverse strainer sitting in it to catch the leaves. If you don’t have this kind of strainer, put any form of filter over a jug or another pitcher and pour the contents in. Then remove the strainer, and dispose of the tea leaves.

Step 5: Serve & Enjoy Your Tea

The final step is the best. Pour your cold brew loose leaf tea into a glass, add ice, any sweeteners you want, and enjoy!

Method 2

how many calories in unsweet tea - tea infuser and labeled with tea fabric
You can use a tea infuser

While following the same premise, this method sees you contain the leaves at the start of the cold brew process.

Step 1: Use A Tea Strainer

Rather than straining your tea as you serve it, you can make a teabag alternative for your loose-leaf tea. Place your loose-leaf tea into a metal tea strainer or a linen or cotton reusable tea bag. Try to avoid using a plastic tea infuser, as this can leech and impact the flavor.

Metal can also somewhat affect the flavor of your cold brew tea – especially if you leave it in your tea for a very long time. Glass tea infusers will not alter the taste, but they’re very fragile. For this method, a good ratio is around one spoon of leaves for four to six cups of water.

Step 2: Fill The Pitcher

Place your tea strainers into a pitcher and fill them with cold water.

Step 3: Place The Pitcher In The Fridge

Place your pitcher in the fridge for several hours; anywhere between 6 and 12 hours is a good range. Try to avoid going over the 24-hour mark, especially if you’re using a metal or plastic tea infuser.

Step 4: Remove The Tea Infusers

Stir the contents of the pitcher and remove the tea strainers.

Step 5: Serve

Pour your cold brew tea in a glass with ice and serve. Feel free to add sweetener. Place the pitcher back in the fridge without the tea infusers and enjoy another drink later on.


If you like this article, read our guide on how to make cold-brew coffee.

In this article, we cover how to grind coffee beans for cold brewing.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies.