As the warmer weather rolls in, I start to crave more iced tea. I drink lots of tea all year long but it’s usually hot herbal tea. It is nice to have an alternative of something cold to drink other than water though so I also like to drink unsweetened iced tea. I know all you southern sweet tea people are rolling your eyes but I just don’t like tea with a lot of sweet to it. Every once in a while I’ll pick up some slightly sweet raspberry iced tea if I’m out and need something cold to drink other than the water that turned hot in the car but even then I typically stick to my good ole unsweetened tea.
I also enjoy a good glass of passion tea lemonade made from tea bags and fresh lemon with a bit of stevia for sweetening but that’s not the same thing so I’m sticking to the fact that I like unsweetened tea…unless of course it’s a nice chai or green tea latte…okay so I guess there are always some exceptions. Moving on to how to make the simplest iced tea you will ever try.
Iced Tea – Two Ways!
I’ve tried making iced tea several ways but I’ve recently discovered my favorite and easiest way to make a large batch – cold brew in a large gallon pitcher. I love that I can make one big gallon of tea and have it cold and ready for me in the fridge with very little effort. It does make a lot but I’ll give you another easy way to make one serving of iced tea too so you’re all set whether you want just one glass or a whole pitcher!
Large Batch Cold Brewed Iced Tea
This is so simple it’s almost funny to call it a recipe. All you need is 12-18 tea bags of your choice. I prefer regular black tea or even decaf black tea. I’ve also made some batches with mostly black tea and 4-5 bags of a flavored herbal tea, lemon or raspberry would be good.
Place your tea into a gallon size pitcher with a spout. If the bags have string with tags, just remove those before placing in the jar. Fill jar with filtered water. Slightly stir and put in fridge for at least 8-10 hours. Once your ready to drink, just pull out the tea bags and lightly squeeze to let out the extra liquid and discard the bags.
Now your ready for a refreshing glass of iced tea! For extra flavor add some lemon slices or a packet of true lemon. You could also add other fruit or even some other kind of sweetener if you like it sweet. The amount you use would be dependent on your tastes.
Now go sit out in the sun and enjoy your tea!
One Serving Iced Tea
Sometimes you just want one glass not a whole pitcher or you don’t want to wait for the cold brew to sit all night long before enjoying your tea. Don’t worry, I’ve got another easy way for you to have your iced tea in no time!
You’ll just need one tea bag for every 8 ounces of water you use, some water, ice, a tea kettle, a ceramic mug or a tea for one set (this one is adorable), and a large drinking glass – I love my Pioneer Woman mason Jar drinking glass for iced tea! It’s 32 ounces so you would need four tea bags.
Place tea bag(s) into mug. Fill tea kettle and bring to boil on the stove top. Pour boiling water into mug with tea bag(s). I like using a tea for one because it’s easy to brew the tea in the top and then pour it out through the spout when it’s ready. Don’t worry if your mug isn’t big enough for the amount of water you need in your drinking glass. Just use enough tea bags for the amount of liquid in the glass you’ll be drinking from.
Let steep for 5-8 minutes. While tea is steeping, fill drinking glass with ice almost to the top or about three-quarters full. Squeeze tea bag into mug and discard the bag(s). Pour tea over ice. Add cold water if you brewed a stronger tea in a smaller mug. A lot of the ice will melt right away because the tea is so hot so you may want to add some more ice as well.
As with the cold brew method, you can also add other flavors or sweeteners if desired. Enjoy!
There you have it. Two simple ways to make iced tea.
If you like tea, what’s your favorite way to drink it?