How to make iced tea at home
When life gives you lemons, learn how to make iced tea.
In need of a refreshing pick me up for a warm day? Yeah you are! Then read on, tea lover and become an iced-tea-master!
Iced tea, or “ice-tea” as some may call it, has long been the tea beverage of choice in countries like the USA, but never really taken on here in the UK. Until recently that is, when we’ve started to see it more and more whilst we’re out and about. So we’re here today to tell you how to make iced tea at home in super easy steps!
Here at Batch Tea we LOVE iced tea!
So much so that we make loads of it, mix it with other stuff to make awesome Tea Mocktails for our Tea Event Bar, and even mix it with infused spirits to make awesome Tea Cocktails! Then we make them for people at festivals, weddings, birthdays, corporate do’s and whatever event you can think of! But that’s a story for another day…
Read on for the basics on how to make iced tea at home before we’ll throw in a few of the extra special iced tea recipes we’ve picked up or created.
Prepare to be refreshed!
What you’ll need…
Making iced tea is really easy. All you really need is the same stuff you’d use to make hot tea, some lemons and ice, which, unless you live in a hut in the desert should be easy enough to get hold of. You’re then going to cool said hot tea down and add ice.
The secrets to a great iced tea though are to brew your tea strong! As it cools you will find a lot of the flavour doesn’t come through. And what does ice do? It melts! So this will water down your infusion further.
So be bold. Brew strong!
A Neutral Base
It’s best to use a fairly neutral tea base, such as our Absolute Assam or Lover’s Leap Ceylon tea, rather than, say, a strong Assam BOP or a floral Darjeeling (though they also make great alternative styles of iced tea!
If making a classic iced tea with black tea, you’ll want plenty of sugar and lemon too. This balances any bitterness you’ll get from the strong black tea, and also makes it super refreshing and yummy.
If you’re wanting to make iced tea with a speciality tea, you might be better to make a cold infused tea then add ice to drink. This way you’re not blitzing the delicious tea with a long steep and then flavouring it. By cold-infusing it you allow the beautiful subtleties of the tea to flow into the water more peacefully and naturally, allowing you to maintain all those beautiful notes that you enjoy so much from that tea.
They say a watched pot never boils. Well, let me tell you from experience, a watched jug of iced tea never cools!
You’ll need around half an hour minimum to get the tea down to temperature, but best to prepare in advance and make at least 1 hour before you want to enjoy the brew, so as to avoid pacing up and down desperately waiting for the tea to cool.
Equipment & sundries
- A kettle to boil your water
- A tea strainer / sieve to separate the leaves from the water once sufficiently steeped
- A jug / jar / bowl / something else to cool your tea down in.
- Of course you’ll need ice (er… “Iced tea” – clue in the name, anyone?)
- A dessert or tablespoon for stirring
- A glass to drink from! Better yet, a few glasses so you and your friends can enjoy the delicious iced tea together!
- Straws just make it feel even more summery!
- Optional lemon slice & mint sprig to garnish
Classic Iced Tea Recipe
Makes around 1 litre / 4 glasses finished iced tea
- 10g Loose Leaf Absolute Assam
- 500ml boiling water
- 500ml ice
- Juice of 2-3 lemons
- 50-100ml simple syrup (if you don’t have simple syrup you can use 8-10 cubes / teaspoons solid sugar, but you should adjust the method. See Making Iced Tea without Simple Syrup)
- More ice to serve
- Bring the water to the boil and, meanwhile, measure out your tea leaves into a big tea pot with strainer (what if I don’t have a pot with strainer?)
- Pour your boiling water over your leaves and allow to steep for around 6-8 minutes, making a nice, strong brew. Remove leaves and pour the tea into your serving jug (if applicable)
- Add your ice to cool the brew down
- Add your lemon juice & Simple Syrup to taste. The sugar and lemon should combine to perfectly balance bitterness of the strong tea. You don’t want it too sour or too sweet. Add a bit of lemon, then sugar to balance. If it’s still too bitter add a bit more lemon to overcome the bitterness then a bit more syrup to balance the sourness.
- Allow to cool right down, which may take around a further half hour – 45 minutes and, just before your guests arrive, throw a big handful of ice in there.
Don’t have simple syrup? Fear not!
If you’re using solid sugar instead of syrup you’ll need to adjust the method to add the lemon and sugar while the tea is still warm.
- Follow Steps 1 & 2 as above.
- Add your lemon juice
- As the tea starts to cool add the sugar cubes and stir to dissolve. After the first 5 or so start to taste after each one to get the perfect balance. The sugar and lemon should combine to perfectly balance bitterness of the strong tea. You don’t want it too sour or too sweet.
- Allow to cool right down, which may take around 60-75 mins and, just before your guests arrive, throw a big handful of ice in there.
- Serve and refresh!
- Some other great iced tea recipes
We hope you enjoy our classic iced tea recipe. If so, or if not, leave a comment below!
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