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.

Homemade drinks like Lemonade, Iced Coffee, and this Iced Tea are such a treat in summer and so much better than storebought.

A cup of iced tea on a counter

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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. 
step by step on making iced tea

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!

a cup of iced tea with lemon and min

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.

Common Questions

Is iced tea good for you?

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. 

What is sun tea?

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. 

Can I cold brew my iced tea?

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. 

Iced tea served in a glass with ice

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

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Iced Tea Recipe (Extra Easy)

5 from 162 votes
Author: Natalya Drozhzhin
homemade iced tea with iced tea pitcher
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. You can add your favorite sweetener or serve iced tea unsweetened.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 servings (makes 1/2 gallon)
  • 8 cups water, divided
  • 6 bags black tea
  • 1/3 cup sugar, optional, adjust to taste

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition Per Serving

43kcal Calories11g Carbs16mg Sodium1mg Potassium11g Sugar10mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Iced Tea Recipe (Extra Easy)
Amount per Serving
Calories
43
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
16
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
1
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
11
g
4
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Calcium
 
10
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade iced tea, iced tea
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 43

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya is a food blogger who founded Momsdish.com to make cooking easier. Growing up on a farm in Ukraine, Natalya was inspired by the amazing dishes that were prepared using simple ingredients. Natalya is most notably known for making cooking approachable for any person.

Read more posts by Natalya

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Isa
    February 28, 2024

    Just wondering how long does this tea last in the fridge for. I love this recipe so much.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 29, 2024

      I haven’t tested refrigerating this for longer than 2-3 days.

      Reply

  • Anya Shoemaker
    September 4, 2023

    Looks really delicious
    What black tea did you use?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 4, 2023

      Hi Anya! Any black tea bags will work.

      Reply

  • Delena
    July 12, 2023

    This is actually seriously good. We add more sugar but thats what we like. The ratio is perfect!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 12, 2023

      Great to hear that you liked our Iced Tea Recipe!

      Reply

  • Pat
    June 18, 2023

    Do you use regular or large tea bags.
    I have made a lot of your recipes and have loved every one of them

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 19, 2023

      Hello Pat, I usually use the regular size tea bags. I’m happy to know that you’re enjoying them!

      Reply

  • Pam
    May 15, 2023

    In the Caribbean they give you a shot glass of simple syrup to sweeten your tea as you like it. Thought that was a great idea. Then everyone can sweeten their own and you don’t have to worry about the sugar not melting

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 16, 2023

      Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

  • JoAnn
    May 14, 2023

    This is the best iced tea I’ve ever made. I added lemon slices and mint leaves before serving. The family loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 14, 2023

      Yes, great idea and I’m so glad that you enjoyed our Iced Tea recipe!

      Reply

  • Arlene
    April 21, 2023

    Wondering if I can use splenda instead of sugar. If so, how much would I add?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 21, 2023

      Hi Arlene, I’m sure that’s fine but I cannot really say the exact measurement because I’d have to try it to find out.

      Reply

  • GermanJoe
    March 18, 2023

    I love anything homemade. But make sure to mention that not all teas can be used for cold brewing . . since many contain a lot of types of fungus and bacteria. Also most teas are made in china . . that means they are full of led. The longer the teabag is in the water the more led will end up in the final product. So be careful not to get any health complaints. That beeing said. I support you as a selfstarter. Good luck.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 18, 2023

      Thank you for sharing that with us.

      Reply

  • Jay Dixon
    August 5, 2022

    I have a few suggestions for this recipe.

    I like to do the first serving of this recipe with the standard 8 cups water and 1/3 cup sugar and 10 minutes steeping – then save the tea bags for more iced tea.
    Round two has about 6 cups water and slightly less than 1/3 cup sugar and about 8 minutes steeping.
    For round three, I use about 4 cups water and about 1/6 cup sugar and 6 minutes steeping.

    I also buffer the acidity of the tea with a very small amount of baking soda (about 1/4 teaspoon with every round.)

    The total is about 18 cups of iced tea utilizing 6 teabags for ultimate thriftiness.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 7, 2022

      Thank you for sharing that with us!

      Reply

    • Ken Konrad
      August 21, 2023

      THANK YOU Jay Dixon!!! I was wondering how to “pull this off”. When I make regular (hot) tea I reuse the tea bags and it pretty simple, but I know the ratios are different when it comes to iced tea. Thank you so much for posting, saving me the “guess work”. Your post is going in my cook book!- Ken

      Reply

  • Douglas Bereczki
    July 16, 2022

    Awesome! This is the recipe for iced tea that I have been making for over 40 years. I have tweaked it from my Mothers recipe, (6 tea bags steeped for an hour, 1 cup of sugar, juice from 1 lemon. and 1/2 gallon of water.) I steep the tea for a half hour in water juuust before boiling, add 1/3 cup of sugar, and juice from 1/2 of a lemon! I use Lipton black tea.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 16, 2022

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Douglas!

      Reply

      • Douglas Bereczki
        July 2, 2023

        Since I posted the above I have read quite a bit about brewing tea. I now steep it for 10 minutes as stated in your recipe. I heat the water to 190*. This ‘system’ produces consistent fantastic results every time.

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          July 2, 2023

          Thanks for sharing!

          Reply

  • Carol
    July 10, 2022

    I’ve been making fresh brewed tea for over 40 years! I add lemon juice to mine. The “Real Lemon” brand. No substitutes!

    Reply

  • Kk
    June 23, 2022

    This is super delicious and easy! I do have a question though, if I wanted to make 12 servings instead of 6 (so double the recipe), how long would I steep the tea bags for? Would it still be for 10 minutes or longer since there’s more water?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 23, 2022

      Hi, I would steep for the same amount of time if you are just doubling everything straight across including the tea bags. Or you can steep it to your desired color and taste.

      Reply

  • Ellen
    June 21, 2022

    This is better than store bought any day of the week .I make it all the time. I cut back on soda and drink the tea which is healthier. Thank you.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 21, 2022

      Wonderful to hear, Ellen! Thank you for the feedback.

      Reply

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