Just because the cold season is over, doesn't mean you have to stop drinking your favorite hot brews.
Many teas can make a delicious iced tea in just 5 minutes. Just brew a hot, double strength concentrate, dilute it with cold water, then either add ice or chill it in the fridge. Below, you'll find very quick and easy recipes for making a single cup or a half gallon of iced tea.
For a Single Serving...
Ingredients + Tools
Makes one 16-oz cup
2 tsp of tea leaf for most teas or 2 tbsp for fluffier teas *
Water (bottled or filtered are recommended)
A brewing vessel similar in size to your drinking vessel
Tea infuser (basket or paper are best)
* See package label for suggested portions.
Heat water to suggested temperature for the type of tea you are brewing (see package label or our hot tea brewing chart).
Scoop dry tea leaf into an infuser and place infuser in brewing vessel (pot or mug).
Fill the brewing vessel just halfway with hot water.
Allow to steep for 4-5 minutes, then remove tea infuser.
Fill your 16-oz glass or cup with ice.
Pour the brew over ice and enjoy!
For a Half Gallon Concentrate...
Ingredients + Tools
Makes a half gallon (64-oz or 2 qts)
½ cup of loose leaf OR 1½ cups for fluffier teas *
32-oz of hot water
32-oz of cold water
64-oz (2 qt) pitcher or brewing vessel
Tea infuser or a large iced tea brewing bag
Iced tea concentrate can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
Heat water to recommended temperature for the type of tea you are brewing (see package label or our hot tea brewing chart).
Scoop dry tea leaf into an infuser and place infuser in brewing vessel.
Fill the vessel just halfway with hot water, ensuring the tea leaves are fully submerged within the infuser.
Steep for desired time for desired strength of concentrate. (But be careful not to over-steep or the tea might become bitter.)
Remove tea infuser and fill the remainder of the vessel with cold water.
Pour the concentrate over ice and enjoy!
The main thing to remember when making iced tea is not to use extra leaf or brew for longer time, but rather use less water.
While it's true that a longer brew means a stronger brew, avoid over-steeping your tea for too long as it may become bitter. See our hot tea brewing chart for recommended time ranges.
Remove the tea infuser when tea is finished brewing to avoid over-steeping.
Use proper amount of leaf in proportion to hot water during brewing.
Our Favorite Iced Teas
When it comes to brewing tea, taste is quite subjective so we encourage you to experiment! Try an iced Jasmine Peony, Cascadia Breakfast, or Feel Better. Premium teas also make wonderful iced drinks. We ourselves love a good "coolong", a chilled Yuzu Sencha, or an iced Yellow Mudan so exquisite you almost feel guilty for the privilege of having it. And if their price point makes them seem too precious to throw into a pitcher, just make a single glass (often you can resteep the leaf several times for more servings).
A note about cold brewing...
All agricultural products carry the risk of containing pathogens. As a dried product that undergoes meticulous processing, tea is generally safe and very low-risk—but we still do not recommend cold brewing. We advise that you brew your tea hot then chill it, as hot water helps kill any potential bacteria.
We're often asked about cold brewing because of its growing popularity in the coffee industry. However, during processing, coffee undergoes a much hotter heat treatment (roasting) than most teas. As well, poor storage practices at home can sometimes affect safety. Brewing tea hot then chilling it is generally safer, quicker, and easy enough to do.