Crisp and refreshing homemade iced tea is easy to make and easy to scale up for a crowd. This is always a hit at summer gatherings. Serve it with your favorite sweetener or enjoy it unsweetened.
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Whether you’re looking for a drink to round out your summer BBQ with Juicy Burgers and Grilled Corn on the Cob, or just want to have some quick caffeine on hand throughout the day, you’ll love this iced tea recipe.
We’re sharing all the tips and tricks you need to make the most flavorful, refreshing sweetened, or unsweetened iced tea.
How to Make Iced Tea
Homemade iced tea only requires a few simple steps and ingredients. Follow the process below and you’ll be sipping tea on the porch in no time.
- Brew the Tea: In a saucepan, bring half the water to boil and remove it from heat. Add in the tea bags and allow them to steep for 10 minutes.
- Remove the Tea Bags: Remove the tea bags from the hot water. If you want sweet tea, add the sugar and whisk until it’s completely dissolved.
- Add the Cold Water: Add the remaining cold water to the hot tea and whisk. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or until chilled.
- Serve: Serve the tea over ice with lemon slices and fresh mint.
Tips for the Best 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 aren’t adding too much or too little.
- Set a timer for the steeping. Don’t let the tea steep longer than 10 minutes, or else it will turn bitter. Set a timer so you don’t forget to remove the bags.
- Experiment with different teas. If you’re 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 you’ll 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!
Storing Iced Tea
Store iced tea in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use a pitcher that has a sealable spout so your tea doesn’t soak up the smells in your refrigerator.
Note: As the tea sits, you may notice some tea particles settling at the bottom of the pitcher. That’s perfectly natural and normal and there’s no need to shake before serving.
Iced tea does have health benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants and has much less acidity than coffee, making it a great option for folks with a sensitive GI system.
Sun tea is an old-fashioned method of brewing iced tea. You brew sun tea by putting a pitcher of water in the sun with tea bags or loose tea. Over the course of the day, the tea will steep in the natural sunlight. Once brewed, place it in the refrigerator to chill.
Absolutely! You can cold brew your iced tea by placing tea bags or loose leaf tea in filtered water. Let the mixture steep in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours, or until the tea tastes to your liking.
Homemade iced tea is so quick and easy to make and you’ll love that it keeps really well in the refrigerator.
More Summer Recipes to try
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Blackberry Limeade
- Mango Pineapple Smoothie
- No Bake Cheesecake
- Acai Bowl
- Raspberry Jam
Iced Tea Recipe (Extra Easy)
- 8 cups water, divided
- 6 bags black tea
- 1/3 cup sugar, optional, adjust to taste
- In a saucepan, bring half of the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add tea bags. Allow the tea bags to steep for 10 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags from the water. Note: If you prefer sweet tea, add the sugar or your preferred sweetener to the tea while it’s still hot and stir until dissolved.
- Add the remaining water to the tea. Leave it refrigerated until fully chilled (about an hour).
- Serve with ice, lemon slices, and fresh mint if desired.