Are you a fan of iced tea? It’s a great drink — especially on hot days, and a far healthier alternative to soda. Once you know how to make simple iced tea, the possibilities are endless. There are so many wonderful flavors to enjoy!
Whether you use tea bags or loose tea leaves, iced tea is easy to make. It costs a lot less than soda or even lemonade. And you can have a fresh batch ready in minutes. Read on to learn how to make plain, unsweetened, or flavored tea.
What are Some Simple Recipes for Making Iced Tea?
The summer sun can be relentless. One of the best ways to ensure a healthy and fun summer is to stay hydrated. That means downing lots of cold water.
But, iced tea is another great way to keep your thirst quenched on hotter days.
Steeping tea from loose tea leaves and mint leaves can be fun and easy. And one of the best parts of making tea is that you really can stay in control of how your tea tastes. Brewing tea longer can give it more strength.
You can also infuse tea with fruits like raspberry or sliced lemons to add sweetness or tartness. The burst of freshness may help you beat the heat!
Let’s Talk Tea
There is a simple art to brewing tea. Every artist knows making something wonderful can become costly. But you don’t need all of the tools and gimmicks to make a good cup of tea. If you’d prefer to stay away from expensive strainers and kits — you’re in luck. All you really need is a tea bag.
Look for larger tea bags so that the leaves inside can expand as they absorb the hot water. A tight tea bag can prevent a deeper infusion of scent and flavor. The tea bags that are shaped like pyramids happen to work exceptionally well.
And if you can find whole-leaf bagged tea, you’re in luck. Whole-leaf teas tend to be more flavorful and aromatic. Now, who’s ready to start steeping tea?
Delicious Unsweetened Iced Tea in Minutes
Whether you’re using oolong tea, white tea, or a traditional black tea, the method is pretty much the same. You start by…
Unless you’re making sun tea in a giant container, every pitcher of tea begins the same way. Fill a tea kettle or small pot with a couple of cups of water. Without adding the tea, allow the water to boil. Once the hot water is ready, switch the heat off… and this is where things get interesting.
Hot water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Most black and herbal tea can start steeping at that temperature…
But oolong, white, and green tea does better a little cooler.
Water for white and green teas should be between 170 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Oolong should be brewed between 180 and 190. So if you’re brewing one of those, either stop before you reach a boil, or let the water cool again, post boil.
How Does Steeping Affect the Flavor of Matcha?
There are some INCREDIBLY temperature sensitive teas, like matcha tea. Matcha tea is usually processed green tea leaves that have been ground into a powder by stone. Matcha and green tea can grow bitter if left to steep for too long.
The best thing to do is to taste your green tea as it steeps. When it hits the flavor profile you like best, you’re good to go.
Steeping Your Tea
Steeping your tea for 4 or 5 minutes should give you a nice depth of flavor without becoming too bitter. If you like a lighter tea, simply brew your tea for 2 or 3 minutes and check the flavor profile by sipping.
If you’re brewing black tea, a tiny pinch of baking soda can help neutralize the tannins. This will smooth out a bit of the black tea’s tang. Your tea will taste a little smoother.
Cool Your Tea
Once the tea is steeped to your taste, take the tea bags out. Let your tea cool for 10 minutes or so. Then, add your tea to a serving pitcher — you can brew a big batch, if needed.
Place your pitcher of tea in the refrigerator for a few hours, and then serve when ready. Fill your cup to the brim with ice, and pour your tea over the ice whenever you’re thirsty. You’ll enjoy a refreshing treat that is low-calorie and good for you.
Peach Iced Tea
To stay on the healthy side, sweeten your tea with fruit. You can do this instead of using sugar or artificial sweeteners as ingredients. Fresh fruit works best for flavored tea, but you can also use frozen fruit. In fact, you can use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes to keep your tea cold.
Simply follow the recipe above.
Once your tea is cool, chop 1.5 cups of fresh peaches, and mix with your tea.
If you’d like to get fancy, you can blend your peaches and let more fruit juice mix with your tea for added sweetness. See? No need for sugar!
Just grab a sprig of mint to top your glass and serve. Once you start serving fresh fruit tea, like peach iced tea, you’ll likely attract a lot of company.
Iced Tea to the Rescue
Now you know how to make iced tea. And you can avoid using sugar if you sweeten your tea with fruit.
Tea is quite versatile… but it’s also convenient. In fact, if you’re traveling and don’t have access to a kettle or stove for heat, simply fill a jar with a few tea bags and water. Then let it sit in the sun for a day. The tea will be tasty and rejuvenating.
Large tea bags protect the integrity of loose tea leaves a little better than tight tea bags. Opt for larger tea bags when you can. Your tea can be infused or garnished with a number of delicious fruits, herbs, or flowers (have you ever tried rose tea?). So play with flavor. You may create your new favorite iced tea beverage.