It's what the sweaty, thirsty world has been waiting for: The Great Iced Tea Experiment (or How Insomnia Can Benefit You and Those Around You).
After midnight last night, I filled a few pint glasses with about two cups of filtered water, and dropped in some homemade tea bags - each with about 2-3 teaspoons of loose tea- of a few different varieties. I've done cold brewing with a teapot before, but a girl can only consume so much caffeine before it starts to take a negative effect on her daily life (see subtitle above). I used Finum brand tea filters ($4.95 for 100), which are unbleached, tall bags that let you put normal bagged tea to shame. I ended up getting the individual cup size, or as it's labeled "extra slim" (just like your favorite socialite or one of those menthol cigarettes you stole from your mom at age 12), so I could brew several different types at once.
At 6 a.m., the teas tasted good, but were still not quite there. When the dulcet tones of my door buzzer woke me up a few hours later, however, they were just right. Cold brewing seems foolproof: It removes almost all chance of bitter, oversteeped tea, especially for greens, which I've found more challenging for people to make properly.
Of course, it always depends on the fool. But if you haven't ever enjoyed a cup of green tea, or much less, iced tea without sugar, try it cold-brewed. If you still don't like it, just tell me and I will persist in convincing you otherwise.
The Umegashima sencha I'm sipping right now (steeped in the fridge for 9 hours) is sweet, vegetal and unbelievably cooling. And I'm sure it's blasphemous to say, but I feel that I can discern more subtle flavors in tea when it's cold- there's no distraction of heat on your tongue. I'll have tasting notes on the others tomorrow.