Luxury full leaf teas and signature, organic blends from around the world. Free shipping on all continental orders over $100.

Iced Tea Guide: Hot vs. Cold Brewing!

July 03, 2014
The benefits of COLD vs. HOT brewing vary greatly by tea. Here is the BELLOCQ guide to help you match your favorite teas with the best iced tea technique. Enjoy!

The process of cold brewing slowly and gently extracts the distinct flavors (sweet carbohydrates and umami animo acids) of the tea and botanicals resulting in a smooth brew that has greater floral, fruit and herbaceous notes without the pronounced astringent (polyphenols) or bitter (caffeine) qualities of hot-brewed tea.

COLD BREWING: (1 Gallon) Note: All tea is best when prepared with filtered or spring water.
1. In a large container combine 1 gallon filtered or spring water with 1/2 cup loose tea leaves (unless noted).
2. Cover and let sit 4-5 hours.
3. Strain (or remove filter brewing bag), cover and refrigerate until cold. Serve within 10 hours.


No. 01 BELLOCQ BREAKFAST ~ Makes an excellent iced breakfast tea. Full bodied and smooth with malty notes that finish with a lingering sweetness reminiscent of wild flower honey. Tasting Notes: Classic/Full-bodied/Smooth
No.35 THE EARL GREY ~ The classic. Notes of sharp Sicilian bergamot perfume organic full- leaf Ceylon tea. Also excellent to flavor simple syrups for use in cocktails (see: The Earl) Serve with slices of fresh orange or with a squeeze of lime. Lovely with a lavender simple syrup. Or a rangpur lime syrup. Tasting Notes: Citrus/Wild-Flower Honey/Full bodied
No.47 THE QUEEN’S GUARD ~ An unexpected alternative for the Earl Grey lover. Redolent with notes of rose, lavender, and rose geranium. Makes for a full-bodied, assertive iced tea. Also excellent in simple syrups and flavored sugars. Pairs beautifully with the peppery notes of radishes. Tasting Notes: Floral/Herbaceous/Full bodied
No. 54 GYPSY CARAVAN ~ Robust blend of Chinese and Indian black teas with a smokey, earthy nuance and subtle floral notes. Lends an interesting, smokey note to a Bloody Mary. Tasting Notes: Smoke/Honey/Full bodied
No.40 CHARLESTON ~ An herbaceous black tea blend with notes of linden, rose geranium, chamomile and lavender. Makes for a unique and sophisticated iced tea. Tasting Notes: Herbaceous/Floral/Full-bodied
No.20 KIKUYA ~ An elegant blend of smooth Japanese Sencha and deep notes of rose. One of our favorite iced selections. Also excellent to flavor ice cream or pastry cream.
Tasting Notes: Herbaceous/Floral/Smooth
Brewing Note: Adjust ratio to 1/3 cup loose tea per 1 Gallon filtered or spring water. Cold brew 3 hours.
No.52 ETOILE de l’INDE ~Tropical green blend with notes of passionfruit and jasmine. Also excellent to use for flavoring simple syrups and sugars. Garnish with fresh fruit or passion flowers. Tasting Notes: Tropical/Floral/Fruit
No.33 SENCHA ~ Smooth and buttery with bright herbaceous, oceanic notes. Delicious with freshly muddled shiso. Tasting Notes: Herbaceous/Oceanic/Smooth. Brewing Note: Adjust ratio to 1/3 cup loose tea per 1 Gallon filtered or spring water. Cold brew 3-4 hours.
No.29 WHITE NIXON ~ One of our best-selling iced teas. Full-bodied white peony with notes of lavender and fresh grapefruit. Makes an excellent base for summer cocktails (see: The White Nixon). Garnish with thin slices of grapefruit and sprigs of fresh lavender. Tasting Notes: Citrus/Leather & Hay /Floral.
No.09 THE WHITE DUKE ~ Lovely and delicate white silver needle tea scented with vibrant Sicilian bergamot. The Duke is excellent with a squeeze of lime and also makes a delightful simple syrup that can be used in various cocktail recipes (see: The White Duke Gimlet), to sweeten lemonade, and flavor icings. Tasting Notes: Citrus/Light-Bodied/Hay & Leather.
No.82 THE PHOENIX ~ A roasted oolong with lush stone fruit notes of nectarine and peach. Fragrant and toasty, this tea makes an excellent base for Thai Iced Tea. Tasting Notes: Stone Fruit/Honey/Medium Bodied.
No.16 GOLDEN PU-ERH ~ Earthy, smooth and rich, iced Pu-erh tea is an evocative and less traditional option. Tasting Notes: Freshly-Tilled Earth/Barnyard/Full bodied
No.53 CHAMOMILE ~ The hands-down sleeper hit of the iced tea cannon. Chamomile is a revelation when cold brewed. Garnish with springs of pineapple mint and fresh chamomile blossoms. Tasting Notes: Dried Pineapple/Floral/Quenching

We prefer the traditional hot-brew / chill method for certain teas, especially blends with firm spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamon and star anise which require heat to release their essential oils.

HOT BREWING: (1 Gallon)
1. Bring 1 gallon of filtered or spring water to a boil; remove from heat.
2. Immediately add 1/2 cup loose tea leaves (unless otherwise noted). Cover and let sit 6-7 minutes.
3. Strain (or remove tea filter bag).
4. Allow tea to cool to room temperature, about an hour, before transferring to refrigerator (this will prevent the tea from becoming cloudy). Serve within 10 Hours.

Note: All tea is best when prepared with filtered or spring water.
No.18 AFGHANI CHAI ~ An evocative blend of organic Assam black tea with organic poppy flowers, cardamom, star anise, ginger, clove and black pepper. Tip: For an additional boost of spice, add a handful of freshly chopped ginger to the water while preparing the tea. Leave chopped ginger in tea while cooling to room temperature; strain before chilling. Also delicious sweetened with a ginger simple syrup. Tasting Notes: Spice/ Full-bodied /Bracing. 
No. 38 MAJORELLE MINT ~ Classic Moroccan mint blend of gunpowder green tea, mint with a sweet orange twist. (See: Mint & Elderflower Spritz) For a twist: muddle fresh ginger and sprigs of mint in glass, add slightly sweetened tea, and garnish with generous sprigs of mint. Tasting Notes: Herbaceous/Citrus/Mellow Tip: Allow water to cool to 185 degrees F before brewing tea. 
No.12 LE HAMMEAU ~ A light-hearted herbal blend of lemongrass and meadow flowers. Elegant and refreshing with notes of lavender, rose, verbena, mint and chamomile with a hint of sweet orange. Lovely sweetened with a apricot-chamomile simple syrup. Garnish with fresh verbena and chamomile blossoms. (See: La Piscine Bellocq) Tasting Notes: Herbaceous/Floral/Citrus 
No.31 SIAM BASIL LEMONGRASS ~ An interesting herbal blend of lemongrass, basil, ginger and mandarin. Makes a wonderful simple syrup too (See: Siam Basil Caipirinha ) Garnish with stalks of fresh lemongrass, an orange twist and generous sprigs of basil. Tasting Notes: Herbaceous/Citrus/Ginger 
No.39 HINDU HOLIDAY~ A gorgeous caffeine-free chai of rooibos, spice with rose and jasmine blossoms. Really lovely iced; a staff favorite. Delicious as is, or try with a honey simple syrup and a splash of milk. Tasting Notes: Spice / Stone Fruit / Floral 
No.30 ASHRAM AFTERNOON ~ An herbaceous blend of Krishna tulsi (holy basil), mint, verbena, rose, cardamon, star anise and citrus. Relaxing and refreshing. Quite good with a star anise simple syrup. Tasting Notes: Herbaceous / Spice / Citrus. 
No.100 CORAZON DE CIEN FUEGOS ~ A fragrant herbal blend of scarlet hibiscus blossom, lemongrass, lush rose petals and lavender with the spiced, fragrant wood of cinnamon. Sweeten to taste and serve over ice with a handful of lightly crushed raspberries and fresh sprigs of mint. Also makes an excellent sangria (see: Sangria Corazon de Cien Fuegos). Tasting Notes: Tart Fruit/Herbaceous/ Lingering Spice.