How to "Cold Brew" Delicious Japanese Green Tea (2021)

The secrets behind what makes cold brewing special. And introducing 4 different ways to cold brew.

This article was last modified October 31st, 2021. by Yuki

Ice cold Japanese green tea is a great refreshment, especially during sweltering hot summers!

Healthy, cold, delicious, and smooth.

Have you ever wondered if it's only the temperature difference?

Have you ever noticed - the actual taste itself may be different?

If so, well you're actually correct! We'll cover it here.

Ice brewed Japanese Green Tea

Why Does Tea Taste Different when I "Cold Brew"?

Have you ever tried comparing a "hot brew" and "cold brew", using the exact same tea leaves?

If not - try it out! I'm sure you'll be surprised at how different they would taste.

It's not just the temperature of the tea that's different. You'll notice that the overall taste is significantly altered.

Your "cold brew" sencha tea might feel...

    • More Clear
    • Richer in Umami
    • Less Bitter or Astringent

Even if you take a "hot brew" and cool it down, you still won't get the same results.

Why is that?

The key here is the substance in tea called catechin. This catechin is the agent of the bitterness and astringency in the tea.

The secret about catechin is that it's easier to extract from the tea leaves at hotter temperatures. It's less easier to extract at cold.

When tea is infused by cold water, it contains the astringency of the Catechin, and brings out the sweetness and the umami of the tea leaves.

Often times the astringency bothers the subtle umami and the sweetness of the tea, so cold brewing will amplify those delicate notes.

This is the reason why it tastes so different.

Sometimes, depending on the tea, it can also bring out too much raw grassiness.

Therefore, it’s best to look for Japanese tea that mentions it's good to cold brew. Alternatively, our recommendation will be to use Fukamushi-Sencha. They tend to work well as cold brew.

Let's get into how to do "cold brewing"!

Refreshing Cold Japanese Tea

4 different ways of "Cold Brewing" Japanese green tea

Let's get into the 4 different ways of "Cold Brewing".

For each of these methods, the key to preparing Cold-brew tea is to increase the amount of leaves compared to hot water infusion.

It'll require a much longer infusion time as well.

4 ways to "Cold Brew" Japanese Tea

Steps for Preparing - Reicha

How to make Reicha

Reicha: Infuse using cold water

This is the basic method of preparing cold-brew tea.

The initial infusion is done by a using a little bit of hot water.

By cooling the tea with ice and water, it will bring out the umami taste and a fresh green aroma.

Reicha Steps

  1. Pour the tea leaves into the Kyusu
  2. Pour minimal amount of hot water into the Kyusu – 10ml per serving.
  3. Wait a moment and allow the tea leaves to spread
  4. Add Ice to the Kyusu to reduce the temperature
  5. Pour water into the Kyusu
  6. Seep for 1 minute
  7. Serve and enjoy

Steps for Preparing - Mizu-dashi

An effortless way to brew - it's the "Reicha lite". You don’t even need to prepare hot water to make this tea. Just use water and ice to seep.

Mizu-dashi Steps

  1. Pour the tea leaves into the Kyusu
  2. Add ice into the Kyusu
  3. Pour water into the Kyusu
  4. Seep for 3-5 minutes
  5. Serve and enjoy

Steps for Preparing – On the Rock Style

Japanese Green Tea On The Rock Syle

On The Rock: Pour hot tea directly onto ice for a refreshing drink

Brew tea as you would brew normal hot tea, but you serve it into a cup with ice in it. The tea should be extracted thicker than normal tea.

On The Rock Steps

  1. Pour the tea leaves into the Kyusu
  2. Pour hot water – a little hotter than usual at 80 degrees Celsius – into the Kyusu
  3. Serve into glasses with large chunks of ice
  4. Enjoy

Steps for preparing – Kouri-dashi

Japanese Green Tea Kouri-dashi Style

Kouri-dashi: Infuse tea with melting ice

Kouri means ice. This is a method dedicated for high quality tea leaves which requires patience. The tea will seep as the ice melts.

Kouri-dashi Steps

  1. Pour the tea leaves into the Kyusu
  2. Place large ice into the Kyusu
  3. Wait for the ice to melt and allow it to seep as it melts
  4. Serve and enjoy

Ice Japanese Green Tea


"Cold Brew" is really a fantastic way to gain a different appreciation of the same tea you might have.

Each of these methods will taste differently, so hope you can try them all.

Author Yuki


Yuki is the Editor-in-Chief AND Community Manager at Tealife. He bleeds Japanese Tea and loves being a part of the Japanese Tea journey of others. Writes, does events, conducts tasting sessions, drinks, drinks and drinks tea! Easily accessible - hit him up on whatsapp (+65) 85882980.