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How To Make The Best Iced Tea

What Type Of Tea Should I Use

How to Make the Best Iced Tea Ever

My favorite is Assam tea it is strong and flavorful. Iced tea made with Assam black tea gains more body by the day.

The three brands I go for are Society, Tapal Danedar, and Red Label. These brands are great for making Karak chai and cold brew iced tea.

Like I said above, I wouldnt recommend going with Lipton for this recipe since it just doesnt have a strong enough flavor to get the real iced tea taste!

I also recommend using loose leaf tea for this recipe instead of teabags. It really makes a huge difference!

But if youre in a pinch and dont have loose-tea leaf around but really want to try this recipe, then Ive mentioned how many tea bags to use in the recipe below!

Special Tea Bags For Iced Tea

Taking advantage of iced tea’s popularity, some producers sell special blends designed for convenience. For instance, Lipton has a “Southern Sweet Tea,” which adds sucralose and pectin to the tea bag, producing a sweetened tea. This tea is useful for people who don’t want to take the extra step of sweetening brewed tea to their own personal taste by adding simple syrup, honey, or other sweetener.

Lipton also has “Cold Brew” tea, and this one is more useful. According to the company, it adds the extracted essence of fresh tea leaves to its signature black tea blend. The concept is that you can brew a single cup of tea in cold water within a few minutes . It works out rather well and produces a nice-tasting iced tea, though you are limited to that particular tea.

The Best Type Of Tea For Iced Tea

That signature taste of iced tea comes from black tea. It is the preferred type of tea, and it doesn’t need to be made specifically for iced tea. Most tea bags that are sold for iced tea are orange pekoe tea. This is not a specific type of black tea but a grading system that indicates the quality of the tea leaves.

You can brew iced tea with any tea. Assam, Ceylon, Nilgiri, and Darjeeling are black teas to consider. Earl Grey is a bold black tea blend with a nice citrus flavor that’s excellent when served cold. Oolong iced tea has a natural sweetness, and green tea blends are a bit more mellow in flavor. Herbal and fruity tea blends can have bright tastes that are perfect for summer.

Beyond type, it’s also important to consider the quality of your tea. The least expensive tea bags are filled with the fannings and dust leftover from processing tea, which compromise the taste. For better-tasting iced tea, buy loose-leaf tea or high-quality bags of leaf tea.

The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

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What Is Cold Brew Tea

  • Cold brewing is a slow and gentle process where tea steeps in water for hours in the refrigerator. Cold brew tea makes absolutely the best iced tea. Its also the easiest way to make iced tea, but it does take several hours.
  • Cold brewing makes a sweeter, smoother tasting tea since tannins, which make tea bitter, arent steeped out of the tea in cold water the way it does in hot water. This means no more bitter iced tea!
  • Because cold brewing doesnt involve hot water, its perfect to make in the hot summer months.

For a quick overview, see the cold brew tea web story.

What You Need For Iced Tea

How to Make the Best 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.

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How To Sweeten Iced Tea

Iced tea is often sweetened simply with sugar or runny honey. It’s stirred into the hot tea to dissolve, and then the tea is chilled. Sugar syrups can also be used a simple sugar syrup is easy to make, and just requires water and caster sugar. Make up a batch and store it in a bottle, so you have some on hand to add a little at a time to a jug of iced tea.

Strain Dilute And Chill

Remove the tea bags or strain out the loose-leaf tea. If youre adding sweetener, stir it into the hot tea before diluting the concentrated tea mixture with the remaining water. Refrigerate until chilled.

Editors tip: If you dont want to fuss with temperatures, Instant Pot iced tea is a good shortcut route to take. Simply add tea bags to the Instant Pot, fill with water and pressure cook on high for four minutes. Remove the tea bags and enjoy.

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Tips To Make The Best Iced Tea

  • You can make this tea without sugar, instead, use simple syrup , and pour as much as you wish in your glass.
  • In the post above I have written about, how to make cold-brewed tea for less acidity and sweeter taste.
  • The Sun tea method is mentioned in the post.
  • The best brands of black tea are mentioned under the title What Type of Tea Should I Use? above.
  • You can use raw sugar instead of white. Brown sugar will add a caramel-like flavor to your iced tea.

What To Know About Tea Bags Versus Loose Leaf Tea

THE BEST ICED TEA | how to make cold brew iced tea

The difference between tea bag tea and loose tea is the leafs size and shape. According to Goggi, tea bags provide convenience and reproducibility while loose tea allows you to try individual teas or blend your own.

However, Goggi warned against falling into the trap of believing that all loose teas are great or that all tea bags are not, and he has found that some of the most expensive teas in the world are smaller-sized. You should judge a tea by your own desires some like it smoky , some like it light and bright , some like it thick and strong tea that is red and clear for iced tea , he said. You need to try different teas to both explore the many varieties as well as to find your favorite.

When shopping for both loose leaf and tea bags, smell is the biggest indicator of whether the leaf has gone bad or not, according to Formicola. More smell equals more flavor, she explained, noting that it can be really challenging to pick a good tea, mostly because they are packaged in colored and sealed bags to preserve their quality, so you might not be able to see these things.

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Employ A Hybrid Brewing Method

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.

What Can You Add To Iced Tea

Add any juice of your preference . At this point you can add ice and keep in the refrigerator. This is the way I make it 98% of the time but when Im making iced tea for an event or for guests, I like to add fresh fruit. The fruit adds flavor but also makes the ice tea so pretty. Sliced peaches/nectarines, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate and lemon are all great additions. Herbs are also great and mint, rosemary, lavender, thyme and basil will all be delicious.

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How Do You Make Iced Tea With Mr Coffee Iced Tea Maker

To delime, follow these easy instructions.

  • Pour 1 quart
  • Place the pitcher lid on the pitcher.
  • Push the on button to begin brewing cycle.
  • Re-plug the cord.
  • When your machine shuts off, unplug the cord, remove the pitcher.
  • Fill the pitcher with clear tap water to the water level marked on the pitcher.
  • Can You Use Mr Coffee Iced Coffee Maker For Iced Tea

    Lemon Iced Tea

    To delime, follow these easy instructions.

  • Pour 1 quart
  • Place the pitcher lid on the pitcher.
  • Push the on button to begin brewing cycle.
  • Re-plug the cord.
  • When your machine shuts off, unplug the cord, remove the pitcher.
  • Fill the pitcher with clear tap water to the water level marked on the pitcher.
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    More Refreshing Drinks Recipes

    Whipped coffee – If you like coffee you will love this whipped cold coffee also known as Dalgona coffee. It is easy to make and refreshing.

    Lemon juice – You can’t mention refreshing drinks and not think of lemonade. This lemon juice recipe made with fresh lemons is healthy and refreshing. You should check it out.

    Cucumber juice – Green, healthy drink that can be had on it’s own or mixed with other fruits

    Lime juice

    I hope you like this recipe as much as we do. If you find this post helpful, rate it 5 stars and leave me a comment below. I love reading from you.

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    Is Drinking Iced Tea Good For You

    Yes! Black tea is packed with antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body and decrease cell damage as well. In this way, it helps decrease the risk of chronic diseases.

    Flavonoids in this type of tea also help boost heart health. The health benefits for iced tea are truly innumerable, but if youre drinking this recipe regularly you might want to lower the sugar level.

    Thats why Ive included a simple syrup recipe in this post as well above so you can adjust the sweetness of your iced tea according to your preference.

    Enjoy it nice and sweet when you want to treat yourself and lower the sweetness if youre having it every single day!

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    How To Make Iced Tea Using A Hot Brew Method

    For iced tea that you can drink right away, choose this method. It starts out just like making hot tea, but the difference is that the hot brew will be twice as strong. Steep the tea bags in boiling or almost boiling water for three to five minutes, depending on box recommendations. Strain or remove the tea bag. Add an equal amount of cold water to this hot tea concentrate to cool it down, then serve immediately over ice or chill in the refrigerator until ready to drink.

    Pro Tip: To prevent cloudy iced tea, make sure that the hot tea mixture is cooled to room temperature before refrigerating.

    Tips For The Best Iced Tea

    How To Make The Best Instant Iced Tea

    Below, find a couple of tips and tricks to help you make the best iced tea.

    • Be sure to measure the water. To prevent your tea from turning out too strong or too watery, measure the water to make sure you arent adding too much or too little.
    • Set a timer for the steeping. Dont let the tea steep longer than 10 minutes, or else it will turn bitter. Set a timer so you dont forget to remove the bags.
    • Experiment with different teas. If youre not a fan of black tea, try using green tea instead. You could also go caffeine-free and use a variety of herbal teas. Mint tea is especially delicious iced.
    • Play around with different sweeteners. You can use honey, agave syrup, coconut sugar, or even maple syrup to sweeten your tea. Play around with different sweeteners and tea combinations to see what you like best!
    • Use filtered water. Use filtered water instead of tap water to get the smoothest flavor. There are lots of additives and minerals in tap water that can dull the taste.

    Can I use loose-leaf tea? Yes, one teabag roughly equals about one teaspoon of loose leaf tea so youll need 2 Tablespoons. Simply dump the tea leaves into the hot water and strain them out using a fine-mesh sieve. Follow the directions as noted and enjoy!

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    Why Make Iced Tea At Home

    Yes, you can simply buy pre-made iced tea, but theres something to be said for making it at home beyond the long-term financial savings.

  • The act of making tea at home can be an extremely calming ritual in ones daily routine. We noticed that particularly during Covid, consumers created their own tea ceremony, which served as an enabler to de-stressing and calmness, said Goggi. Simply prepping and consuming tea has proven to be relaxation-inducing.
  • Making iced tea at home lends itself to customization, allowing consumers to experiment with a broad variety of different additions and flavors.
  • Selecting The Best Tea And Brewing Method For Perfect Iced Tea

    Cold and refreshing, iced tea is the quintessential drink of summer. Whether you simply pour it into an ice-filled glass, transform it into a sweet or fruity iced tea, or use it for mixed drinks, it’s easy to make iced tea at home. From choosing the type of tea to finding the perfect brewing method for you, a number of small steps can improve your iced tea.

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    How To Flavour Iced Tea


    A simple but effective way to add extra aromatics to your iced tea. Herbs that work well include mint, basil and lemon thyme. You could also try kaffir lime leaves. Just avoid herbs that are solely savoury, such as coriander and chives.


    A fresh sprig of elderflower can pep up a simple iced tea. Submerge a large handful into your iced tea and leave it to infuse as the tea cools down. Alternatively, add a good glug of elderflower cordial to the tea before you add any sweetener.


    Sliced peaches and apricots, fresh berries and citrus fruits all compliment tea well. You could also add chopped cucumber for a refreshing taste.


    For an adults-only version of iced tea, add some shots of your choice of alcohol. A spiced rum, Pimm’s or gin would all work well. Simply add to your iced tea after it’s been chilled.

    Where And How Did Iced Tea Originate In The United States


    Iced tea has an interesting backstory! The first tea plantations were set up in the United States in North Carolina. Thats when tea was first introduced here.

    The first Southern iced tea recipe, aka sweet tea, can be traced back to a cookbook by Marion Tyree called Housekeeping in Old Virginia. It was published way back in 1879!

    Interestingly, that recipe called for green tea instead of black tea that were now used to. This is what Americans of the time drank till World War II, but then green tea importation was cut off.

    The US had to then switch to importing tea from India and thats when black tea came along here, and the iced tea recipe evolved to what we know it to be now.

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    How To Make Cold Brew Iced Tea

    The method itself is incredibly simple. Just combine loose-leaf tea or whole tea bags and water in a pitcher and let the tea infuse the water for 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator . Strain, and you have cold-brew tea that will taste great for days!

    Bon Appetit suggested that they have best results with loose-leaf tea, so I used loose-leaf here, but Ive since been making lazy cold-brew tea by soaking whole bags in water, which tastes almost as good and is much easier to make.

    Another option? Steep your loose-leaf tea in a clean French pressjust press down the filter to remove those loose tea leaves and pour!

    Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

    There are a few tips and tricks that youll need to know for making this tea.

    • Use tea specially blended for iced tea. Southern sweet tea is an iced tea, meaning that it is tea made to be served over ice. Some brands that are preferred for iced tea are Red Diamond, Luzianne, Lipton and Tetley. Look for markings on the package to say that it is specially made for iced tea.
    • Dont burn your tea. Heres what that means. You should bring your water to boil, remove it from the heat and then add your tea bags. This prevents the tea from burning and becoming bitter.
    • Steeping matters. Allow your tea to steep for 15 minutes.
    • Add a little baking soda. This can be controversial. But, hear me out. The baking soda prevents the tea from becoming cloudy and bitter. If you know that you will be drinking a gallon of tea in one day, you can skip the baking soda. If you think youll have some leftover to refrigerate, then definitely try it with the baking soda. It makes all the difference.

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