In the Kitchen

How to Make Your Own Iced Tea

Making your own iced tea. Sounds simple, and it is, but it’s not as straightforward as pouring your hot tea over ice. There’s so much more to life than watery, lukewarm tea. Also, you probably aren’t making one, singular glass. A pitcher of home-brewed, cold caffeine is a total crowd-pleaser, especially in the summer. And, you can mix and match teas and flavorings in infinite combinations to keep things exciting. Yes, iced tea is exciting. It’s summer, so go sit on patio with a chilled, sweet pitcher of tea, no?

Rules to Follow

  1. For basic iced tea, calculate one tea bag per one cup water (for 8 cups of iced tea, use 8 tea bags).
  2. Let the tea brew in hot, just-boiled water until fully steeped, then let cool.
  3. Don’t add raw sugar into a chilled iced tea. Always add sweetener while your tea is still steaming so it dissolves fully. Or, stir in a homemade simple syrup into your chilled iced tea (more on that later).
  4. Don’t over-steep. Ten minutes is plenty of time, then discard your tea bags. Over-steeping can make for bitter tea.

Basic Methodology

Place your teabags into a heatproof pitcher or large bowl. Add any aromatics (that you’ll remove later), such as lemon or orange peel, or even fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary. Pour over the right calculation of boiling water, and allow to steep for up to ten minutes. Remove and discard tea bags and aromatics, then transfer to fridge and let tea cool completely. Add ice right before serving.

Give it Flavor

The easiest way to flavor your iced tea is with a homemade simple syrup. Your finished syrup will melt seamlessly into your tea, sweetening it without the grit of raw sugar.

To make some, combine 1 cup white granulated sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and stir for a few minutes until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and now…add that extra flavor. Some of our fave choices are: lemon slices, fresh blackberries or peaches, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, or lavender. Let syrup and your chosen essences cool completely, then discard the pieces, and stir it in! Keep syrups in your fridge for up to 1 month in an airtight container.


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