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Iced Tea Recipe (Extra Easy)

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

Iced Tea Recipe (Extra Easy)

5 from 91 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
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.

Author: Natalya Drozhzhin
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $1-$3
Keyword: homemade iced tea, iced tea
Cuisine: American
Course: Drinks
Calories: 43
Servings: 6 servings (makes 1/2 gallon)

Ingredients

  • 8 cups water, divided
  • 6 bags black tea
  • 1/3 cup sugar, optional, adjust to taste

Instructions

  1. 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. 

  2. 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.

  3. Add the remaining water to the tea. Leave it refrigerated until fully chilled (about an hour).

  4. Serve with ice, lemon slices, and fresh mint if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Iced Tea Recipe (Extra Easy)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 43
% Daily Value*
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 1mg0%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Sugar 11g12%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Myranie
    June 16, 2022

    Hey Natasha ! First of all , I love how simple are your recipes but always so tasty. I was wondering , my jar for Iced Tea can contains only 4L of water , so I cut your ingedients in half , and honey instead of sugar , would it work ? Thank you for everything you done 😊😊😊

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 16, 2022

      Hi Myranie, yes, you can halve the ingredients in this recipe. I hope you love it!

      Reply

  • Peggy
    June 14, 2022

    I add one Raspberry Tea bag to my brew, it gives the tea a sweetness and a little variety. While the tea is still warm I add 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 14, 2022

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

      Reply

  • Leanne
    June 13, 2022

    I’ve found that British tea bags make the strongest, bitter free ice tea. Those Brits know their tea.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 13, 2022

      That’s great to know. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

    • Diane
      July 28, 2022

      I make mine with English tea…Yorkshire Gold. Also add juice from one lemon. Delicious

      Reply

  • Julie
    June 13, 2022

    Tip-I have a salt shaker full of baking soda for tea and coffee. If you add a few dashes of baking soda to the tea, it takes the acid aftertaste away and makes it more alkaline.
    Almost all bottled water has sodium bi-carbonate (baking soda) in it. So it is like making tea with bottled water vs. tap water.
    One shake in a cup of coffee removes the acid as well.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 13, 2022

      Thanks a lot for the suggestion and idea, Julie. We appreciate it!

      Reply

  • Alva Fuentes
    June 13, 2022

    I simply fill my clean coffee carafe with cold water & pour it into my coffee maker then a couple tea bags in the empty carafe and turn on the unit. Once it’s done I pour the brewed tea into a pitcher & Chill it.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 13, 2022

      Sounds good!

      Reply

  • Kate
    June 13, 2022

    Could this recipe be used for green tea bags instead of black? Would you make it the same way? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 13, 2022

      Hi Kate, 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.

      Reply

  • Sarah K
    May 4, 2022

    Just to make sure – when you say 6 tea bags, you do mean the small, regular sized tea bags? (As compared to like those large Lipton tea bags).

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 4, 2022

      Hi Sarah, see the picture reference in the recipe blog for a visual. They are standard tea bags.

      Reply

  • Isa L.
    April 23, 2022

    This is so good! next time I will try adding some lemon wedges. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 24, 2022

      You’re welcome and sounds good, Isa!

      Reply

  • Stacy
    April 8, 2022

    Needed a tea recipe and chose yours. Hoping any family you have in Ukraine are safe.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 9, 2022

      Thank you, Stacy! I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Sherrie
    March 12, 2022

    How much loose tea would you use instead of tea bags in this recipe?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 12, 2022

      Hi Sherrie, I have instructions for this in the recipe notes under “Tips for the Best Iced Tea”, keep scrolling and you’ll see it there.

      Reply

  • Penelope Scott
    January 7, 2022

    This recipe was amazing, but I was wondering could I use raspberry tea bags?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 7, 2022

      Hi Penelope! I bet that could work! I always recommend making the recipe as written and then adjusting to your preference. I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Brian Moakley
    December 11, 2021

    Thank you for the recipe – it’s very easy to make and I look forward to trying it with all sorts of teas.

    Quick question – in the nutritional information, you list it per serving. What is the serving size? 8oz? 16oz?

    I only ask because I’ve been tracking meals lately. Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 11, 2021

      Hi Brian, depending on how much your water cooks down, this recipe should make 1/2 a gallon (about 64 ounces). Since this serves six people, that is about 10oz per person. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Deven
    August 6, 2021

    Will you share what brand of tea you use?

    We’ve gone to restaurants and have had that very sharp, crisp feeling tea and we can’t seem to be able to replicate it.

    The tea we make at home just doesn’t have that same “sharpness” or clarity we have at restaurants. We’ve also tried the baking soda addition that other people have mentioned.

    We also only use filtered water (I don’t like tap, we used to get sick from it back in Texas) and have even tried expensive water bottles – so, I’m starting to feel like it’s a tea brand issue or we aren’t preparing it correctly.

    Any insight would be appreciated!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 6, 2021

      Hi Deven, some sharpness can be lost with sugar and sweeteners and the type of sweetener used can also affect the clarity. Teas will vary in flavor but some good ones to try are: Wholefoods 365 Organic Black team, Numi Organic Breakfast Blend, Newmans Own black tea, PG Tips, Tazo black tea and Twinnings.

      Reply

  • Nataliya
    August 4, 2021

    Hello, can you please share where did you buy these drinking cups for this iced tea? thank you

    Reply

  • aarjav
    July 26, 2021

    it is super tasty

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 27, 2021

      Thank you!

      Reply

      • LISA CHESTNUT-KUSZMAR
        June 12, 2022

        Nastasia,
        great video loves your show. but can you show me with video so I have a better idea of how to make iced tea for summer thank you?
        ps. keep up the great work.

        Lisa

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          June 12, 2022

          Thanks for the suggestion, Lisa. We cannot create videos for all of our written recipes at the moment but hopefully, we can do more videos from my old recipes later on in the future,

          Reply

  • Bonnie Cramer
    July 22, 2021

    I am addicted to Peach Mango Crystal Light green tea. Bad thing is it has aspartame. Trying to find a recipe that has similar taste. I have some fruit flavored Skinny Girl Syrups on order. Going to experiment with your method but use the SG syrup for sweetener.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 22, 2021

      I hope you love this recipe, Bonnie!

      Reply

  • Cindy
    July 21, 2021

    Thank you for this recipe Natasha! The best iced tea I’ve ever made. Served with lemon slices. Perfectly sweetened and so refreshing!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 21, 2021

      That’s so great, Cindy! I’m so happy it’s the best you ever tried!

      Reply

  • Kristen
    July 20, 2021

    This iced tea was the simplest I have ever made and the best. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 20, 2021

      Hi Kristen, I am so happy to hear that. Thank you for the wonderful review.

      Reply

  • Natalie
    July 20, 2021

    This is one of those summer drinks that no one can get enough of! Super easy too!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 20, 2021

      So refreshing! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Natalie!

      Reply

  • Erin
    July 20, 2021

    We love this easy recipe during the summertime. We’ve used black tea and herbal, both are wonderful!

    Reply

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