Cold Brew Tea vs. Iced Tea: What's the Difference?

When it comes to enjoying tea in the summer, two popular methods often come to mind: cold brew and iced tea. While they might seem similar, these two methods offer distinct experiences in flavor, aroma, and preparation. In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between cold brew and iced tea, and share our experimentation with our 2013 Aged White Peony to illustrate which method might be best for you.

Cold Brew Tea

Cold brew tea is made by steeping tea leaves in cold water over an extended period, usually overnight. This method extracts flavors slowly and gently, resulting in a smooth, less bitter tea with subtle nuances.


Our Cold Brew Method:

  • Tea: 4g of 2013 Aged White Peony
  • Water: 400ml of Brita filtered water
  • Steeping Time: Overnight in the fridge

The cold brew method allowed us to appreciate the amazing fruityness, sweetness and aged flavors of the White Peony, such as fruity and jujube notes. The resulting tea had a syrupy texture, highlighting the tea's natural sweetness without the need for added sugar. The mouthfeel is very slippery, like a sticky rice soup, the tone is very bright, and the sweet aftertaste lingers. The taste is devoid of any astringency and bitterness, and first hits as an apricot popsicle. 

Iced Tea

Iced tea, on the other hand, is typically made by brewing tea leaves in hot water, then cooling the tea rapidly by pouring it over ice. This method extracts a broader spectrum of flavors, including the more volatile aromatic compounds, giving a fuller taste profile.

Our Iced Tea Method:

  • Tea: 4g of 2013 Aged White Peony
  • Water: 100ml of hot water at 100°C
  • Steeping Time: 40s
  • Cooling: Poured over 300ml of ice

The iced tea method provided a quick brew that captured the full spectrum of the White Peony's flavor. The hot brew released a strong aged aroma, and when cooled, the tea maintained its complexity while offering a refreshing drink. The bitterness is definitely more pronounced given the longer steeping time than usual, but it is not unpleasant and melts into sweetness.

Comparing the Two Methods

Cold Brew Tea:

  • Color: light apricot
  • Taste: Subtle, sweet, and smooth with a syrupy texture
  • Aroma: fruity
  • Pros: Highlights fruitiness, sweetness and aged flavors, less bitter, smooth texture
  • Cons: Takes longer to prepare

Iced Tea:

  • Color: amber
  • Taste: Full-bodied with a strong aroma, maintains complexity
  • Aroma: typical aged white tea: jujube, medicinal, herbal, soy milk
  • Pros: Quick to prepare, captures a full spectrum of flavors
  • Cons: Can be more bitter, requires immediate cooling


Our experiment with the 2013 Aged White Peony revealed that both cold brew and iced tea methods have their unique advantages. Cold brewing is perfect for those who prefer a smoother, sweeter tea, while iced tea offers a quick and aromatic experience. We encourage you to try both methods at home and discover which one you prefer.

Explore our cold brew section for a variety of teas that you can experiment with this summer. Cheers to refreshing tea moments!

Visit our Cold Brew Section to find all the teas you can play with this summer.

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