Steeping a cup of hot, healthy tea on a cool day is the perfect way to warm up. But what about those hot summer days? Nothing says summer like a cold glass of iced tea.
If you’ve been running down to the corner store for your iced tea, you’re spending too much money! You can make iced tea at home; it doesn’t take much time and you’ll always have tea on hand. Here’s what you’ll need to brew the perfect iced tea, no matter the season.
Ingredients for Making Iced Tea
Iced tea, or ice tea as some people might say, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. First, you’ll obviously need a pitcher and water. Then, you’ll need to decide on your tea.
Most people would agree that black tea is best for iced tea. However, you also can’t go wrong with an orange pekoe. Alternatively, you could play with a flavored tea to see how it tastes iced.
Green tea drinkers, you can use your greens. Just remember that the rules for brewing are the same as if you were making a hot cup. Don’t let the water fully boil. Only heat the water to 180 degrees or so before you steep your bags.
While you can make iced tea with loose tea, it’s not as simple as choosing to use tea bags. The best way to steep loose tea for iced tea is with a few tea balls.
Finally, you’ll need sugar. White sugar works fine, or you can use raw maple sugar. Raw sugar tends to be a bit sweeter than processed sugar, so you may need less in your recipe.
If you’re an artificial sweetener user, leave your tea unsweetened then sweeten by the glass. It’s thought (though not conclusive) that some artificial sweeteners, when heated, can release carcinogens.
Recipe for Iced Tea
Once you’ve chosen your ingredients, the rest is simple!
- 6 cups water
- 5 to 6 tea bags
- ¾ cups of sugar
First, set two cups of water to boil in a pot on the stove. Of course, if you’re making green tea, you’ll let the water heat to 80 degrees. You could also use an electric kettle to set the perfect temperature.
Once your water is boiling, remove the pot from heat. Place five tea bags in the water, or six if you’d like your tea a bit stronger. Use normal-sized tea bags, not the “jumbo” iced tea bags you can find at the supermarket.
Allow your tea to steep for around 15 minutes, or until it’s the desired strength. Then, remove the tea bags, pour the tea in a pitcher, and add sugar. For this size recipe, you will generally use around three quarters cup of white sugar. Of course, you’re free to sweeten as you see fit.
Finally, once the sugar is dissolved, add four cups cool water to the mixture. Allow your iced tea to cool, and serve over ice!
How to Make Flavored Iced Tea
If you’re the type who likes to play with recipes, iced tea provides plenty of options. Just about every flavor profile you’ll find in the store is something you can create at home.
Here are a few suggestions for ingredients you can add to your iced tea.
- Lime juice – use 4 limes
- Lemon juice – also use 4 lemons
- Peach juice
- A splash of cranberry juice
- A sprig of mint (add when the liquid is hot)
- Concentrated lemonade
- Maple syrup (yes!)
Remember that half the fun of making your own iced tea is playing with flavors. Don’t be scared to experiment – you might create a new classic!