There are few things as delicious or comforting as a warm cup of tea, but part of what makes tea such a great beverage is its versatility. When the weather heats up, you’ll find that many of your favorite teas can be served chilled as well!
June is officially Iced Tea Month, which is why we’ll be kicking off our summer collection of iced teas here. All summer, we’ll be debuting fabulous iced tea recipes to tantalize your taste buds. Check back regularly to see what delicious treats we have in store for you!
Iced Tea Brewing
There are a multitude of ways to steep a refreshing iced tea. We’ll offer a few methods in this post to give you a chance to examine them all and decide what works best for you. Steep time, number of bags and other factors are all (very highly) subjective, and will depend on how strong you want the tea to be, so these will be more like guidelines than a recipe set in stone.
Feel free to get creative! Add sugar, honey, fruit pieces or whatever else strikes your fancy! The only true rule is to make it just the way you like it – after all, what is tea if not a personal experience?
Method 1: Boiling
What You’ll Need:
- 4-6 tea bags (you may want to use more if you plan to make sweet tea or are using something light, like green or white tea)
- Fresh water (we recommend filtered, bottled or alkaline water. Tap water is not likely to produce a good tea.)
- A pitcher, jar or other container
You will also need any ingredients you plan to add, including sugar for sweet tea, fruit pieces, herbs, etc.
Heat water until at or just below boiling.
Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep 10 minutes for a black tea, 8 minutes for a green tea and 15 minutes for most herbal teas.
Stir in sugar, honey, or any other sweetener you intend to use. This allows it to melt and blend into the tea for a fully infused taste. Sweeten to taste.
Chill the tea.
This last step can actually be done in two ways. The simplest method is to make the tea early and put it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.
If you’re pressed for time and want to serve the tea immediately, fill 1/3 of your pitcher with ice and pour the tea over it. Top off the pitcher with cool water to finish. Note that you will want to use more tea bags for this method, as the taste will be diluted by the water and ice.
Now, add in any fruit or herbs you plan to use. Serve directly, and refrigerate any you have left.
Iced Tea Tip: If you are using black tea, some recipes suggest adding a pinch of baking soda to counter any bitterness. This method is optional, so include it at your preference.
Method 2: Cold Brewing
What You’ll Need:
- 6-8 tea bags
- Fresh water
- A sealable jar or pitcher
This method is easy to make, but requires more patience and planning. You’ll use mainly the same items as before – tea, water, and a container. This time, however, it is highly advised that the container be sealable, or that you at least have something to cover it tightly with. Since this will sit in the fridge for long periods, you don’t want any stray odors to contaminate the tea.
Place the tea bags in the container with the tea tags hanging over the edge. Note that this method does not produce as strong a flavor as boiling, so you’ll likely be using more tea bags.
Pour in the water and seal the container.
Place container in refrigerator. Allow tea to sit for at least 6 hours.
The benefit to this method, aside from its simple preparation, is that the cold brewing method does not cause bitterness like the boiling method. On the downside, sugar or honey won’t blend as well into this tea, but fortunately you’ll need less of it because of the lack of bitterness.
Teas to Consider
Most teas will translate well into a cold drink, so experiment with any of your favorites to see how they do. Here are some suggestions for teas and herbal teas you might enjoy this summer.
- Black Tea
- Green Tea
- White Tea
- Fruit Tea Blends
- Hibiscus Tea
- Cranberry Green Tea
- Spearmint Leaf Tea
- Elderberry Tea
- Chamomile Flower Tea
- Skinny Buddha Blend
- Acai Berry & Green Tea
- Blackberry Leaf Tea
- Calm Buddha Blend
- Holy Basil Tea
- Nettle Leaf Tea
- Raspberry Leaf Tea
- Rooibos Red Tea
- Rose Hips Tea
- Sage Leaf Tea
- Sarsaparilla Tea
- Fenugreek Seed Tea
We’ll be posting several more tea recipes, covering everything from fruity and tart to smooth and sweet. Keep an eye out to see what else we have, and be sure to share your favorite iced tea ideas in the comments below!