"Tea is a super beverage that contains potent phenolic compounds that fight cancer and protect our cardiovascular system," Dr. Hyman shared. As long as you aren't loading your tea with sugar, you're directly benefiting from its high polyphenol content and sipping a drink linked to longevity. But there is a way to ensure you're getting the absolute maximum health benefits from the inflammation-fighting herbs in your tea. The secret? Slow-brewing it with cold water.
It's a method Nicole Dean uses exclusively with her tea brand, Kollo. Dean, who has a background in science, says this is the best way to extract both the most flavor and benefits. "It's really easy to do at home," she says. Dean explains that all you do is put your tea leaves and water in a pitcher or glass container (like a jar with a lid) in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then, you use a mesh strainer to separate the tea leaves from the brewed tea. (You can also use tea bags instead of brewing the leaves loose in the water.) That's literally it; there is no need to boil water or do anything else.
"If you hot brew your tea too long, it will taste bitter," Dean says, adding that cold slow-brewing doesn't negatively impact the taste this way. In fact, it does the opposite, bringing out the flavors of the tea leaves without damaging them. "Cold, slow-brewing also extracts the antioxidants in a slower, more delicate manner," she says. Scientific studies back her up. A July 2015 study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology found that black, green, and oolong teas that were cold-brewed had more polyphenols than the teas brewed with hot water.
With Kollo, Dean cold slow-brews three types of tea: black, green, and oolong (a case of 6 bottles is $39.) "In 2017, I went on a solo trip to Japan and that's really where I learned how to properly prepare tea," she says. She loved that the tea there was pure; it didn't have additives or sweeteners like much of what she found in stores in the U.S. So when she got back to Los Angeles, she decided to use her knowledge to make well-crafted cold, slow-brewed tea for the masses and in 2018 her brand was born.
Dean sources the tea leaves for Kollo directly from small family farms in the country of origin for each type of tea; being mindful of the drink's cultural roots is of utmost importance to her. "The beautiful black tea is sourced from an amazing family in China, the green tea comes from Japan, and the oolong tea is from Vietnam," she says. "The farmers take such pride in their craft, picking and processing it all by hand," she says.
The end result is tea that's treated mindfully from the very start (when the leaves are still growing) right to the end, when they're brewed and bottled. And given that tea is the healthiest drink there is besides water, it certainly is worthy of this level of attention.
Whether you try her tea or not, Dean is just excited for more people to learn about the benefits of cold, slow-brewed tea. "It's a way to experience tea in a whole new way," she says. Just think of all that extra flavor and health benefits you'll be getting. The world's healthiest drink just got healthier.
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