How To Make Iced Tea
By kborowsky April 17th, 2018
How to make iced tea
When the weather is hot, iced tea is always a great idea. Iced tea still retains all the health benefits of hot tea. You can make iced tea easily by following a few simple steps.
Iced Tea - the hot method
This method steeps the tea like you normally would do for hot, except the goal is to make a concentrate by reducing the amount of liquid by about half. For example, if you normally use 2 tablespoons of loose tea in a 16 ounce pot, just use the same amount of tea and fill the pot half way.
Most teas will have recommended steeping time and temperature on the bag or label. Follow those same instructions as you would for hot tea, then when the time is up - discard the tea leaves and pour over ice.
It's that easy!
Cold Brew Iced Tea
Cold brewing has become popular with coffee, and the same principles apply to tea. With cold brew, you are trading the hot water for time. Simply use the same amount of water (un-heated) and tea as you would for a hot beverage and put it in the fridge. You'll get results within 2-8 hours, but generally over night will offer the best results.
The advantage of cold brewing is that you don't have to worry about heating water and the taste is exceptionally smooth.
Making bulk iced tea
What happens when you want to make larger quantities of iced tea, especially if it's for more than a single person? While you can use a large tea pot, it might not be the ideal item to store in the fridge. This is when a dedicated iced tea pitcher comes into play.
Iced tea pitchers
The advantage of a dedicated iced tea pitcher is that you can brew and serve from the same container. Plus they are shaped to fit in most fridges. Pitchers allow for both hot or cold brewing, and some of them contain large strainers to hold more tea leaves.
We have our own house brand pitcher with pre-printed recipes right on the glass. Check out how it works here.
Sun tea is a classic way to brew iced tea in the summer months. The first recommendation would be to splash just a little boiling water onto your loose leaf to so that it is sterilized, as this will assist in the prevention of bacterial growth. Once this is done, simply follow the cold brew instructions while reducing the brewing time to 6 hours. Leave the tea either in a sunny window or outside in the full sun to brew this country classic.
Ice tea making tips
- Consider using slightly more tea than you would a hot tea. Because you are diluting the tea over ice, this ensures full strength and flavor.
- Fruit or herbal teas can be steeped as long as possible. We've found that giving them some extra time will bring out even more flavor. However they may not offer full flavor for cold brew.
- Keep your sugar content low. Sweet tea is very unhealthy, but adding just a small amount of sugar is usually all that is necessary. A splash of lemonade works very well with certain teas, especially black and fruit teas.
- Chai teas are all great iced candidates. We definitely like to make the chai strong so all the spicy goodness comes through in the iced version.
Choosing the best iced tea
Read our article on what teas we recommend! Drinking iced tea will keep you hydrated with plenty of health benefits. Brewing your own costs pennies per pitcher, and is more health than any bottled tea or mix.