Pouring iced tea out of the Conflicted Iced Tea Brewer

How to Make Iced Tea

In this guide, we'll teach you way the many different methods to brewing iced tea. So, grab your favorite tea leaves and some ice cubes as we get ready to savor the coolness, one sip at a time!

Learn How to Make Iced Tea!

As the sun begins to radiate its warm embrace, there's nothing quite as satisfying as sipping on a cool, revitalizing beverage. Whether you're a tea connoisseur or simply seeking a delightful way to beat the heat, we've got you covered.

In this guide, we'll teach you way the many different methods to brewing iced tea. So, grab your favorite tea leaves and some ice cubes as we get ready to savor the coolness, one sip at a time!

Why should I make iced tea at home?

Iced tea is a tasty way to stay hydrated and energized during the summer. It provides everything that water does, PLUS additional health benefits. It's a WIN-WIN! If your goal is to drink iced tea at home or at work, there are plenty of reasons to brew iced tea yourself.

  • Saves money - Brewing your own tea is much less expensive than buying bottled products.
  • Health benefits - Many bottled products are loaded with sugar. Fresh brewed tea has zero sugar and contains more of the healthy components such as antioxidants and polyphenols.
  • Variety - Nearly all tea varieties can be used to make delicious iced tea - giving you hundreds of options!
  • Flavor - No bottled drink can compete with the bright and complex taste of fresh brewed iced tea.

Select your Equipment

1. Try our Loose-Leaf Paper Tea Bags that can be filled with loose leaf tea and hold much more than regular tea bags. Fill them about half way and steep and enjoy as before.

2. Brew in a pot and use a strainer to filter out the tea leaves. Simple and effective, but some sieves may not be able to filter out all the particles.

3. If you have a tea pot with a strainer basket, just use the normal amount of tea but use around half the water. Once it is steeped, add ice to fill. This is good if you want to make a small serving of iced tea.

4. Use a dedicated iced tea brewer. Simply put some scoops of tea in, fill about halfway with hot water, let steep and remove your infuser. Then top off with ice or cold water and enjoy! Watch our video with step-by-step instructions on how to hot brew iced tea.

How to Make Iced Tea: Select a Brew Method

Hot Brew Method

This is the method to use if you're looking to make iced tea quickly and is the most common way to brew iced tea.

The basic process is pretty easy - whatever volume of iced tea you want to make; use double the normal amount of tea leaves. Fill your brewer or pitcher halfway with boiling water to create a concentrate. After steeping, remove your infuser and fill the rest of the way with cold water. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Remember to follow the directions for your particular tea - black teas usually require boiling water, while green teas are best with water just before the boiling point. Follow all the steeping times listed on the package. If you are used to premade tea bags, you'll find brewing large quantities will require a lot of tea bags. That is why loose-leaf tea is the preferred option for brewing iced tea.

View our step-by-step video on how to make hot brewed iced tea!

To prevent your iced tea from becoming cloudy - wait until it has come to room temperature before putting into the refrigerator to chill.

If you like your tea sweetened, stir in your desired amount of sweetener to the tea before adding in the cold water so that the hot water can dissolve the sweetener.

Cold Brew Method

Cold brewing is an extremely easy way to make exceptionally smooth brews.

Simply double the amount of tea you would normally use and fill completely with cold water. Put into the refrigerator and allow the tea to sit for a few hours, the longer the better. Try letting the tea brew overnight - it'll be ready for breakfast in the morning! If you're willing to wait, cold brewing won't let you down.

Check out our video on how to cold steep tea using our Conflicted Iced Tea Brewer!

In general, cold brewing is suitable only for pure tea leaves. For both safety and to extract the benefits from herbs, roots, and dried fruit, you need water that is close to or at boiling.  For this reason, we would not recommend cold brewing for herbal teas or for fruit tisanes. If you are using an herbal tea or fruit tisane, follow the hot brew method above.

Since you're not using hot water at any point of this process, be prepared to use a liquid sweetener of some sort if you like to have your iced tea sweetened.

How to Make Sun Tea

Sun tea is exactly what it says - it's tea that is steeped in the sun. It's an effortless way to let the natural flavors of your tea infuse through the warmth of the sun!

Simply select your favorite tea blend and find a sealable clear glass container such as a large mason jar. Add double the amount of tea you would normally use your paper tea bag. Fill the container with filtered, cold water and add your desired amount of tea leaves. Make sure the lid is secured, then place the container in a sunny spot outdoors where it will be directly exposed to the sunlight. Let your tea steep for 3-4 hours, depending on how strong you'd like it to be. After steeping, remove the tea bags and pour over ice to enjoy!

To get the most out of the sunlight, we'd recommend setting your tea out early in the morning so that it can be ready to be enjoyed later in the day. You can also refrigerate the tea after it's done brewing to have ready to enjoy the next day.

It's generally recommended to have an outside temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21 degrees Celsius. This temperature range provides the ideal conditions for the tea to steep and infuse its flavors under the sun's warmth.

It's important to note that sun tea should not be left outside for an extended period of time in very hot weather (90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 32 degrees Celcius) as it can promote the growth of bacteria or other harmful microorganisms. If the temperature gets too high, bring the tea indoors or place it in a shaded area.

What teas should I use to make iced tea?

There are hundreds, if not thousands of teas available. Many of them can be iced, but some make better iced teas than others. So out of all these teas, which ones are recommended? We've done the homework for you with over 15 years of experience serving iced teas in our cafes.

Check out our post where we've rounded up some of our top picks for the best loose teas for iced tea.

Easy Iced Tea Recipes