How to Brew the Best Iced Tea

Summer presents the perfect time to brew your own iced tea. Brewing iced tea couldn’t be easier. All you’ll need to do is select the type of tea you’d like to make. We think green teas and black teas are perfect for iced tea, but your options are limitless. Here’s a guide to brewing the best iced tea you’ve ever had.

Three Easy Ways to Make Iced Tea

You don’t need any special houseware to brew the best iced tea you’ve ever had. You only need items you likely already own, including:

  • Large jar or pitcher
  • Tea infuser
  • Your favorite loose-leaf tea
  • Large pot or tea kettle for boiling water

How to Make Cold Brew Iced Tea

Cold brew iced tea requires virtually no work. Also known as refrigerator iced tea, it takes longer than hot brew iced tea. It also results in a softer taste, as there is no heat to release the tannins in the tea.

  1. Fill a large jar or pitcher with water
  2. Add two tablespoons of loose-leaf tea to your infuser for each cup of water)
  3. Cover and refrigerate the tea for 8-12 hours
  4. Enjoy

If you like a stronger tea, you’re welcome to double the amount of loose-leaf tea or let the tea steep in the refrigerator longer. For a refreshing green iced tea in the summer, consider a summery flavor such as Jade Blossom, or Blackberry Basil Green.

How to Make Hot Brew Iced Tea

Making hot brew iced tea is easy. It’s also ready to drink quickly and has a bolder flavor than cold brew or sun tea.

  1. Boil two cups of water in a pot or kettle
  2. Place four tablespoons of loose-leaf tea in an infuser
  3. Steep tea for 3-5 minutes
  4. Remove the infuser
  5. Let the tea cool for approximately five minutes
  6. Add two cups of cold water
  7. Refrigerate for at least two hours

Suppose you’re expecting guests and need iced tea sooner. In that case, you can skip the refrigeration and pour the tea over ice. If it’s too strong for your liking, add more cold water. Black teas work well for hot brew iced tea. For summer, consider a citrusy and floral blend, such as Lavender Earl Grey.

In the autumn, you may find you make the best iced tea with loose-leaf Black Nilgiri or Assam Black teas. Assam teas (which are also blended into Chai and breakfast teas such as Drizzly Days and English Breakfast) tend to get cloudy when they are stored cold. They look weird and people often think that they have gone bad, but they have not. It is just part of the chemistry of the tea. The Nilgiri will remain clear, which is why it is more commonly used than the Assam.  

How to Make Sun Tea

Sun tea is a perennial favorite for millions. Using the natural warming powers of the sun, making iced tea on your balcony, patio or porch couldn’t be easier. People have been making iced tea this way for decades.

However, it is theoretically possible that bacteria can form in the tea because the water doesn’t become hot enough to kill potential bacteria.  All the same, even the CDC has stated that tea has little history of disease transmission. If you decide to make tea in the sun, follow these best practices.

  1. Sanitize the jar or pitcher you will use for your tea
  2. Brew the tea for four hours or less
  3. Refrigerate the tea immediately.

Loose Leaf Tea Makes the Best Iced Tea

When you use loose-leaf tea to make iced tea, the possibilities are endless. If you’re unsure which tea is best suited for iced tea, try making it with the tea you have on hand. In the summer, you may find citrusy, fruity teas especially refreshing. In the fall, consider a spicy loose-leaf tea. Experiment with different teas to find your favorite blend for iced tea.

Shop for Green and Black Loose-Leaf Tea

Oregon Tea Traders carries organic teas from across the globe. Our team is grown by sustainable farmers. Shop our incredible selection of teas, tea ware, and more today. If you’re new to tea, we recommend trying some of our best sellers.

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