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Tea Notes

Discover the world of tea, from the history of its cultural significance to the science of its benefits and the art of its preparation.

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Discover the world of tea, from the history of its cultural significance to the science of its benefits and the art of its preparation.

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How to Make Iced Tea
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How to Make Iced Tea

3 Min Read | May 23, 2018

How to Make Iced Tea

Iced tea is a refreshing beverage synonymous with hospitality, summertime relaxation, and warm backyard memories. After the first known iced tea recipe was recorded in 1876, the drink rose to prominence when it was served at the 1904 World’s Fair and word began to spread. Around the world, it’s been one tall, cool glass after another ever since.

One of the most refreshing ways to cool down on a hot day, this invigorating treat is often made with black tea, but can also be prepared from green, white or herbal tea if you’re in the mood for something less expected. Traditionally made in large batches and served from a pitcher with a generous amount of ice, it can be sweetened or unsweetened (simply called “sweet tea” and “unsweet tea” in the American south).

Toi Pouring  Wood  Ice  Lemons

Fresh Tea Over Ice and our POOM glass

HOW TO MAKE CLASSIC ICED TEA

The most popular way to make iced tea is also the simplest. For classic iced tea, just prepare a pot of hot tea the way you normally would, following the temperature and timing guidelines recommended for the variety of tea you’re using.

As a rule of thumb, black tea should be made with water heated to 208 degrees Fahrenheit and brewed for three to five minutes. Herbal tea should also be made with 208-degree water, but steeped for five minutes or more to bring out its full flavor. White and green teas are best prepared with water heated to a slightly cooler 175 degrees, and they should only be steeped for two to three minutes to avoid bitterness.

For a full batch, brew your tea using a 1:1 ratio of tea bags, pyramid infusers, or teaspoonsful of loose leaf tea to cups of water. In other words, if you’d like to make eight cups of iced tea, use eight cups of water and eight teabags (or pyramid infusers, or teaspoonsful of loose leaf). If you like your tea strong, add an extra serving or two of tea as you steep the batch. If you like it sweet, add ¼ cup of sugar per gallon of water and stir until the granules melt.

Once brewed, pour your hot tea into a glass pitcher and refrigerate it for at least four hours. Serve it chilled over ice and add a slice of citrus or sprig of fresh mint to each glass if you desire.

How to make sun tea

Coldbrew Bucket

Traditional Sun Tea Glass Containers with Dispensers

Another fun variation on this warm weather favorite is sun tea, named as such since it’s made with the heat of the sun. This summertime drink evokes the feeling of sitting on a back porch, whiling away an afternoon in the shade. Since it won’t get nearly as hot as it would on a stove, it will take longer to steep, but once ready, it can be served over ice immediately without refrigerating.

To make sun tea, use a glass pitcher and add eight tea bags, pyramid infusers, or teaspoonsful of loose tea for each gallon of water. Cover the pitcher loosely and set it outside or on a windowsill in direct sunlight for two to four hours. If you like it sweet, add simple syrup until you’ve reached the desired effect.

Once the tea has steeped to taste, serve it over ice and garnish it however you’d like. Traditionally, a slice of lemon is expected.

How to make cold brew tea

Iced Tea Tea Forte

Cold Brew Pitcher Set

Cold brew tea is the happy medium between classic iced tea made quickly on a stove and sun tea made slowly outdoors. Made over a period of hours in the refrigerator without any heat at all, it’s a simple, modern take on a classic drink.

For this method, combine just over one part tea to one part water in a glass pitcher -- in other words, if you’re making a pitcher of tea with eight cups of water, use ten tea bags, pyramid infusers, or teaspoonsful of loose tea. Let the pitcher sit for at least four hours in the refrigerator so the batch can reach its full flavor. For sweet cold brew tea, add simple sugar to taste once the tea has fully infused. Serve over ice, garnished as you wish.

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