June 14, 2024

A Sip Like No Other: Sparkling Cold Brew

Sparkling cold brew Darjeeling tea

When summer heat swells, cool down with an unusual iced tea: in this case, a refreshing tea soda made from sparkling water and Darjeeling 1st Flush. This effervescent cold brew yields a surprisingly complex, almost beer- or champagne-like drink. It tastes shockingly sophisticated, yet couldn't be simpler to make.

Unscrew a 1-liter bottle of your favorite sparkling mineral water, pour out a small glass (or take a good swig) to give the bottle some headroom, then add 10 grams—about 1 heaping tablespoonof tea leaves into the bottle. If you don't have a funnel handy, a rolled up piece of paper works just as well. Seal it tightly, chill in the refrigerator for four hours, then slowly open and strain into a pitcher. With our new lot from the Giddapahar Estate, crisp notes of grape skin and lemon are enhanced by the water's mineral composition and tingling bubbles. No sugar is needed to yield a thirst-quenching soda.

sparkling iced tea

This idea comes to us via Timothy d'Offay of the wonderful Postcard Teas in London, specifically his book, Easy Leaf Tea: Tea House Recipes to Make at Home. While we especially enjoy the complex aromatics of Darjeeling 1st Flush with this method, it's also a great way to get a new perspective on your favorite white teas and green teas, including matcha. Or try it with any of our herbals if you're after a naturally caffeine-free buzz.

For more summer refreshment, explore our complete guide to iced tea, and stay cool with our favorite teas to drink iced.