How to Make Iced Tea
To enjoy a refreshing, tasty and healthy glass of iced tea, start with whole, loose-leaf tea leaves. Your typical homemade black iced teas usually begin with tea bags, which are full of "tea dust" rather than whole-leaf tea leaves. Tea bags generally produce a lower quality tea, and you miss out on the full body and flavor that only premium, loose-leaf teas can provide.
Making homemade iced tea is very similar to making hot tea, however, there are a few differences. Follow these simple steps on how to make great tasting gourmet iced tea:
1. First, double the amount of loose tea used in a regular brew, based on this brewing chart.
2. If you prefer Sweet Iced Tea, add rock sugar while steeping for the best taste, rather than adding white sugar to the finished tea. The rock sugar will enhance the natural sweetness of your iced tea and easily dissolve in the hot water.
3. Immediately after the hot tea is brewed, pour it into a glass or pitcher filled almost to the top with ice. The sudden cooling keeps the flavor and scent of the tea intact.
4. Garnish your iced tea with a slice of lemon or sprig of mint for the perfect glass of cool, refreshing iced tea.
What Teas to Use for Great Iced Tea?
In general, our rooibos teas, black teas (which are traditional ice teas) and herbal teas are great over ice. Iced green teas can be delicious too, provided you choose a flavored or scented green tea that you enjoy. Mixing two or three teas together will create a unique iced tea brew that is often better than any single tea. So try something new!
For a little inspiration, here are a few of our favorite gourmet iced teas and iced tea recipes:
Rooibos Tropica Iced Tea: This is a delicious, refreshing iced tea with a fruity flavor. Perfect on a hot summer day—or any day for that matter—It will change the way you feel about iced tea! This can also be mixed with other loose leaf teas for a health kick.
Blackberry Mojito Iced Green Tea: Kick your iced tea habit up a notch with this minty green tea. Refreshing and delicious with a touch of rock sugar. And you can smile knowing you're drinking green tea, which is a delicious source of antioxidants.
Pineapple Kona Pop & Blueberry Bliss Rooibos Iced Tea: This divine concoction is a tropical delight! Use 1/2 of each loose tea and a touch of sugar. Perfect during a hot, summer day -- it will keep you coming back for more.
Raspberry Riot Lemon Iced Mate Tea: With enough caffeine to wake you up, this fruity tea makes a great iced tea. It's a bit different than your standard fruity teas, but is very refreshing and delicious with or without sugar.
Jasmine Oolong Iced Tea: Take a break from sweet and fruity teas with this richly scented Oolong. As an iced tea, it is refreshing and calming. Enjoy a glass while watching the sun set on a summer evening. Recommended without sugar.
Youthberry & Wild Orange Blossom Iced Tea: This one is super- healthy and delicious. Use 1/2 of each loose tea. It makes a great fruity iced tea that's more mild in flavor. Recommend using a little extra tea and steeping for only about a minute.
Iced Tea Brewing & Serving Vessels
Teavana also carries a few products that are great for making large amounts of homemade iced tea. For summertime picnics, bring along the Camellia Cylindre Glass Tea Maker (shown on left) and you’ll be able to view the tea leaves and color of your iced tea. This glass tea maker is made of strong heat resistant borosilicate glass so you can prepare the tea hot and place the tea maker in your refrigerator to cool until you’re ready to enjoy a glass of iced tea.
Also, our Tea Pitchers in general make iced tea brewing easy, since many of them have integrated tea leaf strainers. The top right image on this page features our Infuser Tea Pitcher, part of our wonderful Exotic Summer Tea Collection.
Finally, the new and improved PerfecTea Tea Maker II is a handy gadget to help you simplify the tea brewing process. Enjoy!