Cold Brew Tea: No Sugar, No Calories, More Flavor

The demand for healthier drinking options -- such as cold brew tea and low-sugar alternatives -- has changed the beverage market. Research shows there was a turning point over the last ten years that caused a decline in sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and alcohol. This was mainly due to consumers opting for a lower calorie intake, no artificial flavors, and clean, natural ingredients.

According to the IWSR, one of the leading sources for beverage alcohol trends in the world, US alcohol consumption declined for the second consecutive year by -0.2%. Their report suggests that the growing concern about health and wellness is modifying the industry as people are choosing all natural ingredient drinks and low-ABV cocktails.

A study from the Obesity Society shows a significantly lower consumption of SSBs between children and adults on any given day. It explains how the shift towards healthier options (such as ready-to-drink cold brew teas and coffees) is “potentially attributable to widespread discussion and media coverage of the role of certain foods (e.g., SSBs) in promoting obesity, changes to food allowances within the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, improvements to school feeding programs, and product reformulations by food manufacturers and retailers”.

For the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there could also be economic factors in play since some researchers argue that people tend to have healthier behaviors during economic downturns. For them, the Great Recession (from December 2007 to June 2009) could’ve been the turning point.


A glass of iced, cold brew matcha tea

Cold brew teas vs Iced tea

Cold brew tea has become a great alternative not only for those who care about their calorie and sugar intake but also for people looking for natural flavors. As Evy Chen, founder of Evy Tea explains, iced tea is typically made with concentrate, sugar, and flavorings, whereas cold brew tea uses the whole tea leaves and cold filtered water. Unlike hot water, cold water cannot ‘burn’ the leaves, therefore cold brew tea has lower acidity than regular iced tea and no calories, since it doesn’t need sugar to reduce bitterness.

However, whether you’re making black tea orcold brew matcha, in order to obtain the perfect flavor, the leaves have to be steeped in cold water from 16 to 24 hours depending on the tea. Evy Tea and other newer tea brands, are simplifying this process for us, turning cold brew tea into ready-to-drink tea that fits any busy lifestyle. Evy Chen also plays with herbs and spices. She has introduced three different flavors to the RTD tea market, including a green tea cold brew with Meyer lemon and basil, which has twice as many antioxidants than hot green tea due to its slow brewing process.


A glass of iced, cold brew matcha tea, a spoon of matcha powder, and traditional preparation bowl.

Summer calls for cold brew matcha!

Cold brew tea, probiotic beverages, and bitter flavors are the three trends highlighted in 2019 by Treatt, an ingredients manufacturer to the global flavor, fragrance and consumer goods markets based in the UK, US and China. These trends respond to consumers’ demand for options that support their mental and physical health, as well as their environmental efforts. People want to get as many health benefits as they can in one drink, whether they are antioxidant or energy boosting, skin detoxifying, stress relieving, or weight-loss inducing. Matcha’s vast nutritional benefits mean thatcold brew matcha can serve all of these needs in one, delicious beverage!

There are many options for cold brew matcha lovers looking to enjoy everything this trend has to offer. For a traditional cold brew matcha, simply add 2 teaspoons of matcha powder (we love ceremonial grade matcha!) to 8 ounces of icy cold water in a bottle, (or cup with lid) and shake hard until the powder fully dissolves. You can also use a blender, a shaker, or your Vitamix. Mixing matcha with your favorite kombucha also makes the perfect cold brew matchaprobiotic drink!

The Keicha Matcha team offers different grades of high premium organic matcha. Contact us to find out what your best choice is!