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How To Make Iced Black Tea

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How To Make Your Own Iced Black Tea

Featuring two stackable, sculpturally designed Steep & Chill pitchers, our Tea Over Ice® Pitcher Set combines form and function to elevate iced tea to a higher level. The hot tea steeps in the heat-resistant top pitcher for a dramatic presentation as the pyramid infuser releases your teas flavor, swirling out from the center and dancing through the water as you wait. Once your tea is perfectly steeped, about 3-5 minutes, pour the hot tea into the lower pitcher filled with ice and enjoy!

We offer a variety of iced tea blends. Our most popular Sampler box includes five delicious iced teas, each in its own pyramid infuser for individual use. The quintet features Ceylon Gold, Blood Orange, Mango Peach, Ginger Pear, and Raspberry Nectar, all blended to perfection for an exceptional iced tea experience. Once youve found a favorite blend, stock up on our Tea Over Ice 5pks or Tea Over Ice Event Boxes of 40 pyramids to please a crowd or keep you cool all summer long.

To cap off your experience, pair your Pitcher Set with our beautiful, double-walled POOM glasses to keep your iced tea cold on a warm summer’s day. To enjoy a larger serving with a friend, our 16-ounce Double Walled Glass Set of 2 is an excellent choice.

Whats The History Of Sweet Tea

First, a little history on sweet tea. In 1795, the first tea plantations in the United States arrived in South Carolina. Today, there are still a few left in the state. The first sweet tea recipe has been traced back to the cookbook Housekeeping in Old Virginia, by Marion Cabell Tyree, and was published in 1879. It called for green tea, which was more commonly drunk as iced tea at the time, until World War II when green tea importation was cut off and Americans switched to black tea imported from India.

Sweet tea is so ingrained in Southern culture that in 2003, as part of an April Fools joke, the Georgia Legislature introduced a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for restaurants not to offer sweet tea. In the movie Steel Magnolias, Dolly Parton proclaimed that sweet tea was the house wine of the South. One of my favorite simple pleasures is to sit on the back porch on a velvety Georgia night, sipping sweet tea, and eating a plate of fried green tomatoes while watching fireflies.

What Tea Should I Use For Making Iced Tea

For traditional iced tea, you want to use black tea. You can choose any brand that you like, but remember, the better the quality of the tea you use, the better the flavor will be for your iced tea.

I love using earl grey tea. Earl Grey is a black tea that is infused with bergamot oil which has a light, citrus flavor that makes for a delicious iced tea.

Also, keep in mind that you can use this method to make any type of iced tea you enjoy. Some of my favorites are green tea, lemon verbena tea, chamomile tea, peach tea, and/or mint.

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What You Need For Iced Tea

You might be surprised at how easy it is to make iced tea at home! There are only two ingredients in the base recipe, and three if you make sweet tea. This makes a large pitcher of 8 servings. Unsweetened tea is a fantastic healthy drink thats very low in calories. Heres what youll need to make it:

  • Black tea bags: To make a full pitcher, youll need 6 bags. Black tea is the best type of tea to use. Remember that it does have caffeine, but only about half the caffeine level thats in a cup of coffee.
  • Water: Youll need 8 cups of water.
  • Sugar: Sugar is necessary only if you want to make sweet tea! In our opinion, we prefer unsweetened tea on the regular: but sweetened tea is nice for entertaining.

Employ A Hybrid Brewing Method

Tazo 32 fl. oz. Black Iced Tea 5:1 Concentrate

Iced tea can be brewed using either cold or boiling water. In a side-by-side comparison, a cold-water, 24-hour infusion tasted flat. Thats because a number of the compounds that give tea balanced astringency and bitterness are extracted more effectively in hot water than in cold water . But iced tea brewed for 4 minutes in water that had been brought to a boil lacked sufficient intensity. Making the tea stronger by brewing longer in hot water only made the tea overly bitter and mouth-drying. Increasing the amount of tea worked, but I ultimately came up with a thrifty method that produced the same great flavor without extra tea:

  • First, steep the tea in 3 cups of water that has been brought to a boil for 4 minutes.
  • Then add 1 cup of ice water and continue to steep for 1 hour. At the cooler temperature, full-flavored aromatic compounds continue to infuse the water and the bitter and astringent ones do not.

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Add Lemonade For A Sparkling Iced Black Tea Drink

Make Black Iced Tea as above but pour 1.5l of lemonade into the iced tea so the blend is now 50% Black Iced Tea and 50% lemonade. Depending on the sweetness of your lemonade, you can forgo adding a sweetener to the tea. If you’d like to make this into an alcoholic tea spritzer simply add one shot of vodka or gin to every 200ml.

How To Make Tea Concentrate

There are a two ways to make tea concentrate successfully. My favorite method is using the sun to do the steeping. Just fill a glass of jar with water, add your tea bags, and screw on the lid. Then pop it in the sun for the next 4-6 hours. Once you bring in the jars, remove the lids and take out the tea bags. I give them a gentle squeeze to get the extra liquid out. Be careful though, if you squeeze too hard the tea bags will break.

Another option is to do this in the house. Heat the water on the stove or in the microwave until hot but not boiling. Then place the tea bags in the water for an hour or two. Once they’ve steeped for awhile, remove the bags and give them a gentle squeeze. Pour the concentrate into a glass jar, screw on the lid, and store in the fridge.

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How To Cold Brew Tea

To make cold brew iced tea you only need tea, cold water and time. Thats it.

Whats more, not only is the cold brew method super simple, but it produces more balanced flavors compared to brewing hot tea.

I promise you, once you steep tea in cold water, youll never turn back to the old way of brewing iced tea.

Literally, the only downside I can think of for brewing tea in cold water is that you have to plan ahead.

This is because it takes at least 8-12 hours to steep tea in cold water.

Personally, I dont find the steeping time to be a drawback, however, since I toss my cold brew tea in the fridge before going to bed and strain it when I wake up. The strained tea keeps well in the fridge for several days.

All in all, the process of making cold brew iced tea is effortless and produces the best tasting iced tea hands down.

Caffeine In Starbucks Black Tea

How To Make Black Iced Tea by Organo Gold

Starbucks does not have decaf black tea, so all their black tea drinks are caffeinated.

If youre wondering exactly how much caffeine is in black tea, it depends on the size drink you order.

Additionally, since small and tall size hot teas come with one tea bag and grande and venti come with two, the amount of caffeine is the same in a small and tall, and grande and venti.

Heres a look at how much caffeine is in Starbucks grande black teas.

Black Tea Drink

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Make A Bottle’s Worth

The recipe explains how to make a single serving, but really, you can multiply the servings and have a bottle of cold English tea latte ready and waiting in the fridge! This is definitely worth doing if you want enough to serve to a few people at once, or if you just want to be able to enjoy the tea at a moment’s notice.

I simply multiply the recipe by 2 or 3 times, use a larger measuring cup for holding all the milk and tea bags, and follow the same steps for steeping, cooling, and chilling. Then I just transfer the finished product to a bottle or sealable jar and store it in the fridge!

This recipe is a cold adaptation of my Yummy Cuppa English Tea Latte…which is definitely another recipe to bookmark for when temperatures start to get chilly again and a hot drink is preferable! If you’re looking for other refreshing drinks to enjoy in the hot weather, check out Cold Brew Coffee Ice Cube Latte, Iced Matcha Tea Latte, or Crazy Easy Triple Layer Iced Coffee. If you aren’t in the mood for tea or coffee, there are also Fresh Fruit Sparklers!

Skip the trip to the coffee shop and save yourself some money by making this refreshing iced English tea latte at home. You won’t feel like you’re missing anything by not going, and you’ll be surprised at how easy and delicious it is. Also, it will be all the more enjoyable as you sip it from a real glass and not a plastic cup. ð

~ Lisa.

Black Teas To Enjoy Iced

Three of my favorite organic black teas to enjoy iced are:

  • Nilgiri Black Pearl: Bright, fruity, and oh so tangy, this tea creates a delightful pitcher with a striking visual, its vibrant amber color infused with all the energy of summer. This tea is from the Nilgiris region of South India, world-renowned for producing delicious iced teas that don’t cloud over as they cool.
  • Kumaon Black: This smooth, balanced tea really shines when cold brewed, offering sweet cherry notes that make each sip extra refreshing. The tea makers borrow techniques from Darjeeling, India’s most decorated tea region, and Assam, its prolific, to create a tea with a foot in tradition yet a quality that’s all its ownso choose this option for an elevated version of the classic!
  • Nepali Golden Black: This naturally smooth variety is downright silky over ice, and since it lacks the mouth-drying finish of many black teas, its ideal for quenching a powerful summer thirst.

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How To Make Ice Tea

There are tons of different ways to make iced tea, from using cold brew tea bags, loose leaf tea, setting it out in the sun for sun tea, and pouring hot water over the tea bags, among others. I prefer using the hot water method because it is quick and efficient. That being said, theres no wrong way to make iced tea using the recipes Ive shared below.

For storage, I like keeping my iced teas in 1 quart mason jars in the fridge not only are they pretty, but theyre easy to grab and perfect for both the hot water and then the cold drink. Remember not to store the teas for too long with the tea bags in the water the longer the tea bag is in the water after it has steeped, the stronger the flavor your tea will have, eventually turning into an overly bitter flavor. After I let the teas steep in the hot water, I remove and discard the tea bags, but keep the fresh fruit and herbs in the mason jars. This works great with fresh fruit, but the herbs do need to be removed within a few hours, or they start to deteriorate.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Brew Tea

Black Iced Tea

What Is Different About Cold Brew Tea?

It never comes in contact with heat. For cold brew, tea is placed in cold water and steeped for several hours. Just like cold brew coffee, the end result has fewer tannins and tastes less bitter.

Does Cold Brew Tea Have the Same Benefits of Hot Tea?

For the most part, yes. Cold-brew tea is full of the same antioxidants and health benefits of hot tea. The only drawback is that hot tea can soothe a sore throat or reduce nasal congestion when you have a cold. Cold brew wont do that.

Is Cold Brew Tea Good for You?

Yes! In fact, the cold brew process helps the tea retain some of its natural sweetness, whereas steeping tea in hot water can extract a bitter flavor. You may end up using less sugar or sweetener in cold brew tea.

Is it Possible to Infuse Cold Brew Tea with Fruit?

Feel free to get creative with your tea. Mix a few different blends of tea together or add some fresh fruit and herbs to your glass or pitcher before brewing. Simply discard any fruit you add to tea when you remove the tea bags. Here are some fruit-infused combinations for white, green, black and oolong cold brew tea.

  • Peach + lime + rosemary

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Ways To Sweeten Iced Black Tea

Starbucks Iced Black Tea doesnt come sweetened and neither does this copycat recipe, but its easy to make this drink sweet. Add simple syrup to taste, or start with 2 tablespoons of syrup into the cocktail shaker with the hot tea and ice.

Always use simple syrup for cold drinks since its easier to mix into the iced beverage.

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Why Should I Use Tea Bags

Lets be honest, loose leaf tea is better. Brewing whole leaves instead of crushed ones brings a lot more benefits, but were not making a herbal tea, guys. Isnt it enough already that we need to wait for our brewed tea to cool a bit to make it iced? We dont need to spend any more time straining and dealing with all the fuss. We need a chilly drink quick and fast. Tea bags are much more practical for iced tea, especially if youre steeping for a crowd.

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What Milk And Tea Should You Use

I use regular full-fat dairy milk. I like the flavor of it, and the creaminess gives a nice body and richness to the tea.

That being said, you can really use whatever milk you want. If you are dairy-free, use a nut milk like almond milk, or soy, coconut, or oat milk. Except for coconut milk, I find that most nut, soy, and oat milks to be thinner, much like if you were to use a lower fat dairy milk.

Black tea is my tea of choice for this recipe, but you can also try using other teas…just make sure you are use tea bags and not loose tea. I’m not sure how this recipe would work with herbal teas as I’m not sure about the herbal milk flavor combination…but if you give it a try, please let me know how it works out in the comments below!

Why It’s Better Than The Starbucks Version

Takeya Iced Tea Recipe How-To: Classic Black iced tea infused with Apple, Cinnamon & Orange

A while ago I share my other favorite Starbucks drink for cold days, the Blossoming Rose Tea Latte. This Iced Guava Black Tea from Starbucks is my favorite for hot days!

  • It has way less sugar and calories! Their Shaken Iced Guava Black Tea Lemonade packs a lot of liquid cane sugar. The black tea is sweetened with cane sugar, the lemonade is sweet, and I’m sure their guava juice blend also has some sugar in it.
  • You choose how much sugar, lemon, and guava juice goes into your drink.
  • It costs you way less to make it at home! You can make lots of tea for much less than what you’d pay for one drink at Starbucks.

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Cold Brew Iced Tea Drink Ideas

If you made ready to drink cold brew tea add sweetener if desired and pour over ice. Simple syrup is ideal since its already dissolved.

Heres an idea. If you made multiple flavors like a fruity herb tea and green tea, mix them together and pour over ice.

If you made cold brew tea concentrate, the combination of drinks you can make are as limited as your imagination.

You can even look at the Starbucks iced tea menu to see their lineup of delicious iced tea drink combinations.

For instance, they combine tea concentrate with another drink like lemonade or peach juice to create a thirst-quenching iced tea. Here you can see my Starbucks copycat recipe for Iced Green Tea Lemonade.

Furthermore, cold brew tea concentrate is ideal for making iced tea lattes. As a matter of fact, I cold brew English Breakfast tea to make an Iced Caramel English Breakfast Tea Latte. Yum!

And heres my recipe for a decadent Iced London Fog Latte with Vanilla Sweet Cream, made with cold brew earl grey tea.

Finally, to make regular iced tea using concentrate just add fresh water or even seltzer water to make it a little fizzy.

Iced Tea Without Sugar

If youre used to drinking iced tea with artificial or real sugar, having iced tea without sugar can come as a bit of a shock to your tastebuds. The fresh fruits and herbs in these four healthy iced teas definitely helps naturally sweeten the iced teas, which is awesome.

However, if you want to add a little sweetener to your iced tea, try using raw honey right before you place it in the fridge to chill. Try to keep the sweetness level just under what tastes perfectly sweet to you so that, next time, you can add a little less honey and then even less the next time. Over time, youll train your tastebuds to like the natural flavors and sweetness of the iced tea, rather than the honey.

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