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Whether you’re a tea lover, guzzling unsweet dark tea all day long, or you’re new to tea and a little apprehensive about the taste, this Iced Tea Guide is for you. Learn how to spice up iced tea to not only make it more healthy, but also more delicious and fun!
There are 3 ways to brew iced tea: The Cold Brew Method, the Fast and Simple Method and Concentrate method.
Cold Brew Tea *Our Favorite Method*
Does cold brew tea have the same benefits?
Luckily for us, yes! Brewed in cold water rather than hot, this method also actually preserves more vitamins and antioxidants than traditionally brewed tea. The Cold Brew Method is our favorite because it tastes crisp and fresh without any bitter flavors!
How to Make Cold Brew at Home
All you have to do to cold brew tea is put tea in cold water and let it sit! It's as simple as that. We recommend 1 heaping teaspoon of tea for every cup of cold water.
How long do I cold brew teas for?
- Black and Green Teas: typically 20 to 40 minutes on the countertop and 2 or more hours in the refrigerator.
- Herbal and fruit teas: typically 10 to 40 minutes on the countertop and 1 hour to overnight in the refrigerator.
I personally love cold brewed teas kept in the refrigerator overnight for the next day. I will even do green tea this way, but don’t do this if you’re sensitive to a bitter flavor!
Check out Are You Cold Brewing Yet? for more information.
The Fast and Simple Method *The Fastest Way to Brew Iced Tea*
If you're looking for an easy way to make iced tea and don't have time to let it sit in the fridge, this method is for you! By double icing, you cool it down fast, without having to wait. Here's how you do it:
- Steep 1 heaping teaspoon of tea in 6 ounces of hot water for 1 to 5 minutes (steep times vary with different types of tea).
- Pour the hot tea immediately over ice to cool it down fast (all the ice will melt, watering it down unless you use some of the ice cube hacks at the end!)
- Pour the cooled down tea over ice in a large glass jar a second time.
- Sweeten to taste and enjoy!
The Tea Concentrate Method
This is how my dad always used to brew tea on hot summer days when I was a kid. This method is great for the whole family or group of friends because it makes a whole pitcher, but if you're like me, you can finish one of these on your own! How to make it:
For 1 Quart of Tea:
- Steep 4 heaping teaspoons of tea in 1 cup hot water for 1 to 5 minutes. Strain, if necessary.
- Add 3 cups of room temperature water. Avoid using cold water, as it might turn the tea cloudy.
- Pour over glass with ice!
For 1 Gallon of Tea:
- Steep 16 heaping teaspoons in 4 cups of hot water for 1 to 5 minutes.
- Add 12 cups room temperature water.
- Pour over a glass filled with ice!
3 Ways to Make Your Tea Taste Yummy Without Sugar
1: Add fruit (for Flavor, Freshness and Sweetness)
Jazz up the flavor and add extra vitamins to your iced tea by adding your favorite fresh, seasonal fruits.
When adding fruit, we recommend muddling it first:
- To prepare, place the fruits in a glass pitcher or large mason jar and muddle (crush) with a wooden spoon to release the juices. You can also give the fruits a quick squeeze before placing them in the container.
- Next, add ice, fill the jar with your iced tea (made from one of the methods above) and you’ve got the perfect summer drink!
Try these fresh or frozen summer fruits in your next batch of iced tea:
- Sliced citrus: Oranges, lemons, lime
- Fresh or frozen berries: Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries
- Melon: Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon
- Tropical fruit: Pineapple, Mango, Passionfruit
- Cucumber slices (make every drink taste fresher!)
- Jalapenos (will add spiciness).
& more! The sky is the limit when it comes to fruits you can put in your iced tea! Everyone's palettes are different so get creative and find a combination that works best for you.
2. Add Fresh Herbs
Adding fresh herbs will provide a zesty lift to iced tea! *Tip* Before placing the herbs into the tea pitcher, gently roll the leaves between your palms to release the aroma and flavors.
Experiment with the flavors of fresh herbs in your tea! Try Mint, Rosemary, Basil, Peppermint, Spearmint, Thyme, Lemongrass, and more! I personally love mint the best. The combination of citrus and mint in ice cold tea is AMAZING. I highly suggest trying it if you haven't already.
Want fresh herbs all the time? My best friend has this Hydroponic Grow Kit and it's great if you're looking to grow your own herbs at home.
3. Get Creative with the Ice Cubes!
Instead of watering down perfectly good iced tea with plain ice cubes, break out the ice cube trays and try some of these ideas.
Hack 1: Tea Ice Cubes
Make extra tea and fill a few ice cube trays with it. This way, when the ice melts, the tea won’t get watered down. *Pro tip* freeze some Lush Lavender tea and then the next day add sparkling water on top and it is to die for!
Hack 2: Frozen Fruit Cubes
Make frozen fruit cubes by blending fresh berries with juice and freezing. The fruits will add flavors and vitamins as they thaw, so instead of your iced tea getting less flavorful as it melts, it will become even more delicious!
Hack 3: Sweet and Creamy Milk Cubes
Blend a cup of coconut milk or almond milk with your favorite natural sweetener (coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, date syrup) and pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Your tea will look beautiful and swirly and will taste creamy and sweet!
Hack 4: Frozen Berries as Ice
Skip the ice altogether and use chunks of frozen fruit as ice! From frozen blueberries to frozen pineapple chunks, frozen fruit works great in replacement of ice to add coolness and flavor.
I love to make cold brewed Blueberry Thrill and then add in a bunch of frozen blueberries on top! It keeps it cool and adds an amazing color and extra flavor.
Don't force yourself to drink hot tea after your workout in 100 degree weather! Actually enjoy your tea, while still getting the amazing benefits (plus some!)
If you liked this blog, check out our team's Ice Tea Roundup where shared their favorite teas for summer!