What are the health benefits of cold brew green tea?
The health benefits of Green Tea have been written about endlessly in the last decade. Research has reported advantages from lowering risk of heart disease, to protecting skin against UV damage and inflammation all the way through to weight loss. And these benefits are barely the tip of the iceberg! No matter what research you consult; even skeptics agree that Green Tea is, on the whole, better for you than coffee.
More recently, the focus has moved onto Cold Brewed Green Tea and whether it has more health benefits than traditional hot brewed tea. We often get asked : “Is Cold Brewed Green Tea better for me or is this another marketing thing?”
Great question, let’s summarise:
What's so good about Cold Brewed Green Tea?
- Higher antioxidants - brewing with water over 90 Celsius destroys levels of antioxidants in Green Tea, so brewing with cold water preserves the antioxidant integrity (because it prevents antioxidants from denaturing.)
- Gentler caffeine - if you’re looking for the jitter-inducing, punch in the gut feeling from your caffeine then this may not be for you. However for those of us who are looking for the energy from caffeine without making your head spin; cold brewed green tea is the way to go.
- L-Theanine - this is an amino acid that is naturally occurring in many plants, including Green tea. It has been studied to naturally promote anxiety relief. Lower stress levels contribute to better sleep, better focus and generally good mood. Some early studies have also shown that L-Theanine can promote immunity as well, although this benefit needs further investigation to verify.
- Vitamins - while Green Tea has a wide range of vitamins & minerals, research has shown that cold brewing Green Tea substantially elevates the levels of Vitamin C as compared to hot brewing.
- Less bitterness - cold brewing results in a smoother taste, this may seem like a subjective point, but cold brewing extracts the antioxidants more gently & this means the tannins do not come through nearly as much. Tannins are the chemical that cause the bitter after-taste in hot brewed Green Tea.
So while hot brewing Green Tea is not bad for you; Cold Brewing amplifies all the benefits of Green Tea even more - with the added benefit of minimising the caffeine disruption to your sleep.
So now that we’ve cleared that up, the next layer of confusion starts when customers ask us; “Is Cold Brewed Green Tea the same as Iced Tea?” Quick answer is no.
Cold Brew vs Iced Tea : What's the difference?
Iced tea - This is when Green Tea (or any tea) is hot brewed and then cooled in the fridge or poured over ice to drink cold. So you’re still losing much of the natural antioxidant benefits by exposing it to heat. When hot brewed, the overall flavour of Green Tea is bitter and this doesn’t go away just by chilling it, and this is why you’ll find Iced Tea is always served with high levels of sugar or sweeteners. When store-bought, it’s usually artificially sweetened so definitely not healthy.
Cold Brew - This is when the Green Tea is steeped in cold water for several hours, the flavour is smoother and less bitter because the tannins - normally released by hot brewing - are minimally released. There is less acidity in cold brewed tea which makes it easier to drink the whole day - and therefore benefit from its healthy attributes - without getting jittery or nauseous.
The point is, while individual tastes are subjective, if you’re drinking Green Tea specifically for the health benefits, then Cold Brewed is the better option.
When we put together our range of Botanical Elixirs, inspired by the Kahwa culture of Kashmir, we knew Cold Brew would be the best way to innovate this tea culture. Our mission is to honour the heritage recipes of the Himalayas while meeting the needs of busy city life. Our range of Botanical Elixirs are low in natural sugars, full of the gentle energy from Cold Brewed Green Tea and uncompromising on the flavours of Rose & Pomegranate. Our Saffron Elixir is not caffeinated, but we love it all the same.
Shop our Botanical Cold Brew Tea collection online today!