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Cold Brew Green Tea, the Japanese Way

Due to the renewal of the product, the color of lid/handle/Infuser frame has been changed to light green.

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Cold Tea: Your Summer Oasis

At Globalkitchen Japan, we want to help you experience Japanese culture and cuisine. During the summer, one of the easiest ways to get a taste of Japan is through "mizudashi ryokucha" (水だし緑茶), cold brew iced tea.

When the sweltering summer heat has you seeking solace, cold brew green tea comes to the rescue as a revitalizing oasis. Unlike traditional hot tea, cold brew green tea is brewed at a lower temperature for a longer time, resulting in a smoother, mellower flavor profile. This preparation method extracts fewer tannins, leading to a beverage that is less bitter and astringent, making it an inviting choice for those who find hot green tea too strong.

So, let's make some tea. The hardest part is choosing the right tea leaf for you. I’ll help you get started.

Choosing Your Green Tea

Here in Japan, people love green tea. There are several popular green tea leaf types used for cold brewing. Each variety offers its own unique flavor profile and characteristics. Before you can make your green tea, first you need to choose what variety of green tea leaf to brew.

To help you get started, here are five of the most popular green tea leaf types used in cold brewing in Japan:

  1. Sencha: Sencha is the most widely consumed and well-known type of green tea in Japan. It is made from whole tea leaves, providing a vibrant green color and a refreshing, grassy flavor. When cold brewed, Sencha offers a mellow and crisp taste, making it a popular choice for those seeking a balanced and invigorating cold green tea.

  2. Gyokuro: Gyokuro is a highly prized and luxurious type of green tea in Japan. It is grown in the shade, resulting in leaves with a rich, deep flavor and a sweet, umami taste. Cold brewing Gyokuro brings out its delicate and complex flavors, providing a smooth and sophisticated cold tea experience.

  3. Bancha: Bancha is a type of green tea made from mature tea leaves and stems. It has a more robust and earthy flavor compared to Sencha, with subtle hints of nuttiness. Cold brewing Bancha offers a slightly bolder and deeper taste, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer a heartier green tea.

  4. Genmaicha: Genmaicha, also known as "popcorn tea," is a unique green tea variety that combines green tea leaves with roasted brown rice. The roasted rice imparts a toasty and nutty flavor, complementing the grassy notes of the green tea. When cold brewed, Genmaicha provides a refreshing and slightly nutty taste with a hint of sweetness, making it a popular choice for cold green tea enthusiasts.

  5. Hojicha: Hojicha is a roasted green tea variety made by roasting Sencha or Bancha tea leaves. The roasting process gives Hojicha a distinctive reddish-brown color and a rich, smoky aroma. Cold brewing Hojicha yields a smooth and mellow flavor with a subtle nuttiness, offering a refreshing and unique twist to traditional cold green tea.

These are just a few examples of the popular green tea leaf types used for cold brewing in Japan. Each variety brings its own nuances and characteristics to the final beverage, allowing tea enthusiasts to explore a range of flavors and find their preferred cold brew green tea experience.

You can't go wrong by starting with Sencha and then trying others after you get a taste for green tea. Personally, I like to buy two different kinds and do a taste test to see which I like me, but feel free to enjoy the experience your way.

Making Cold Brew Green Tea

After you've chosen the tea you want to brew, the rest of the process is simple. Hario makes the process even simpler with their iced tea brewer. The included basket filter allows you to quickly remove tea leaves for your tea. Clean up is easier, and you can start relaxing faster.

Let me give you a step-by-step guide to making cold brew tea using the Hario Iced Tea Brewer:


  • 7-8 teaspoons of green tea
  • cold water

1. Scoop Tea Leaves

Adding green tea leaves to the basket filter of the Hario Iced Tea Brewer

In the Hario Iced Tea Brewer, add the green tea leaves to the included filter basket.

2. Pour Water

Pouring water into the brewer

Pour cold water up to the bottom part of the metal ring that the handle is mounted to. Stir gently to ensure the leaves or bags are fully submerged.

3. Refrigerate and Steep:

Cover the container and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the tea to steep for between 3 to 6 hours. As I wrote earlier, the cold brew process releases less tannins from the tea, making cold brew tea less bitter than hot tea. However, if you steep the tea leaves for too long, tannins will still be released. If you want to get the most out of your cold brew tea, make sure not to steep it more than 6 hours.

4. Strain and Drink:

The Hario Iced Tea Brewer filled with cold brew green tea

Once the steeping time is complete, remove the basket filter out of the Hario, throw away the used tea leaves, and then rinse out the filter. Now, your refreshing cold brew green tea is ready to drink. No mess, no stress. Making your tea is just as relaxing as drinking it.

Sip the Summer in the Japanese Way

Cold brew green tea can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, allowing you to prepare a larger batch to enjoy over multiple days. Remember to give your tea a gentle stir before serving to mix any settled flavors.

Enjoy brewing and drinking your little bit of Japan with the Hario Iced Tea Brewer.

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