Ambient temperature, or room-temperature, brews have gained much-needed recognition over the past few years. But what’s the big deal, anyway? Well, from elevating a classy meal to long-lasting health effects, ambient temperature teas deserve their newfound popularity. Here’s a few reasons to switch your tea making process now.
Of course, an ambient tea is placed between a cold brew and a hot brew. It is important, though, because it is the perfect way to enhance flavours. Heat is often used as a way to intensify the flavours of tea in a pinch, thus the practice of boiling most teas – but often, steeping for too long or at too high temperatures makes the tea bitter and astringent. While cold brew is a good solution to avoid this astringency and is also a brilliant companion on warm days, it often lacks depth of flavour and aromas that tea just seems lacking without.
The ambient brewing is the best is done with water for usually less than an hour at cool room temperatures between 10°C and 20°C, and then stored and served within those temperatures. The sweet spot offered by ambient teas make it by far the more attractive and delicious option.
This appreciation of ambient teas has not gone unnoticed – in fact, it has become the symbol of fine dining in certain Michelin star restaurants like The Clove Club and The Fat Duck in London. Ambient tea has been hailed as the Asian alternative to the wine that Western cuisine favours in curating perfect meals. Since most non-alcoholic drinks are single-note experiences, with just one flavour, the complexity of tea can be paired with food, on the same principles as wine. It is merely a matter of structure, tannins, mouthfeel, sweetness, and umami.
You can choose teas to complement flavours or use them to highlight a flavour, just as you would with wine. In fact, tea may even be a better match than many wines for some notoriously difficult food pairings like asparagus, artichokes, chocolate, spicy foods and sushi. It is an amazing sensorial experience that is sure to make your simple meal a gastronomical delight. It takes 45 minutes to one hour. You just need to buy a decanter (a wine decanter) and a strainer – then just pour in mineral water with the tea, and let it brew at room temperature until it tastes perfect to you.
Apart from taste, ambient temperature teas are also beneficial for health. Antioxidants in certain teas are sensitive to extreme temperatures, depending on the type of tea and method of steeping. However, in general, steeping for over three minutes at room temperature will ensure a good concentration of antioxidants in your drink.
They are also useful to maintain your temperature and body heat. As the weather warms up, we will turn to cold brews to cool down. But science suggests that may not be the best idea – a small amount of liquid loses its cooling effect quite quickly and will cause blood flow to slow, making heat transport less effective. Obviously, drinking hot tea is counterproductive to our need to have relief from the heat. The best, easiest solution? Ambient teas, your new companion.