Iced tea is surprisingly easy to make by the glass or by the pitcher, and there are almost endless creative flavor combinations to try. The easiest way to make iced tea is to brew a strong iced tea concentrate*, which you then pour over ice cubes and add additional water as needed.
Basic Recipe for Quick Brew Iced Tea Concentrate
32 ounces (4 cups) water, heated according to the type of tea you are brewing
4-5 rounded teaspoons loose leaf tea
1 quart mason jar or other airtight container
- Bring water to the appropriate temperature in kettle or on stove-top.
- Add loose tea to pot or other vessel and allow it steep for at least 3-4 minutes. The longer it steeps the more concentrated it will be but should steep no longer than 4-5 minutes for green and whites and no longer than 5-7 minutes for blacks and herbals. You may also use a large disposable tea bag, large tea ball or other type of infuser in which to steep the tea leaves.
- Strain off tea leaves and discard and allow concentrate to cool in an airtight container and refrigerate. Refrigerated concentrate will keep for about a week.
- To make tea, use 1 parts tea to 3 parts water, for a stronger tea, add more concentrate and less water. Add ice and sweetener to taste, mix and enjoy!
- Alternatively, you can use the tea concentrate immediately by filling a pitcher with at least twice the capacity of the concentrate with ice cubes and then pour the hot concentrate over the ice. Doing this will simultaneously cool the tea and dilute the concentrate.
For a fun twist try adding chopped berries, stone fruits, herbs or spices to the tea while it’s steeping for fun flavor combinations.
If Southern Sweet Tea is your preference add ½ - 1 cup sugar to the hot concentrate after the leaves have been strained and stir until dissolved. Squeeze the juice from two lemons and add to the concentrated tea if desired. Our Southern Ginger Peach is a fantastic tea for this recipe.
*This is our preferred brewing method and according to the CDC, the practice of making 'sun tea' by steeping tea bags in a container of water in the sun provides an environment where bacteria are more likely to survive and multiply.