Top 5 pro tips for making perfect iced tea.
Warm weather calls for iced tea (and lots of it!).
It doesn’t matter if you prefer a classic black iced tea, or a fancy tropical iced tea drink, you still need to know how to brew the actual tea. And I’m not talking about tea bags here! I’m talking delicious, magical, full bodied, flavorful loose leaf tea. Because deep down we all know that loose leaf tea makes the best iced tea.
Here are my top 5 tips for making perfect iced tea every time.
1. Make sure you’re using the proper amount of tea.
One time I had a customer who raved about my Beach Bitch tea because she loved making it as an iced tea at home, but she felt like she had to buy it all the time because she was going through it super fast. When I asked her about her tea brewing process at home, it turned out she was using way too much tea.
If you’re making iced tea the traditional way (brewing hot tea and adding ice to it), you’ll want to double your hot tea recipe because you’ll be adding ice and you don’t want it to taste too watered down. My teas generally call for 1-2 teaspoons of tea for every 8 oz of water. So you’ll want to use 2-4 teaspoons depending on the tea you’re making. Personal preference does matter, so if you want super bangin’ flavor you can scoop your teaspoons on the heavy side. It’s really up to you!
But in general when you’re making iced tea, it’s good to double the recipe for how you would normally make it hot.
2. Type of water maters!
I know some people drink water from the tap and they really don’t notice taste. But when it comes to tea, it’s noticeable! You don’t want your tea reminiscent of hose water, do you?! Just remember to use filtered water because so nothing interferes with the delicious flavors of your iced brew.
3. Try cold brewing your tea so you don’t get a watered down mess.
Some people feel like their iced tea at home just tastes too watered down. This can definitely be a problem if you brew your tea hot and then immediately add ice to cool it down. Then when you pour it over more ice it just makes a watered down disaster. This can easily be avoided if you cold brew your tea, but it does take time.
If you cold brew your tea, you won’t go through as much as you would because you don’t have to double your recipe! Follow the same instructions for your hot tea; 1-2 teaspoons of tea for every 8 oz of water. Except instead of using hot water, you’ll use cold water. Measure out your tea, add it to your brewing vessel, pour the proper amount of cold water over it, cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Then strain out the loose tea when it’s done, and enjoy!
You could easily enjoy cold brew without ice, since it’s already cold. But you won’t have to worry about constantly adding ice to make sure it’s cool enough.
Fun fact about cold brewing your tea: it’s significantly less acidic than brewing tea hot then adding ice. So if you suffer from acid reflux or acidity really bothers you, cold brewing tea is a great alternative!
4. Make sure you’re using a tea that is actually good for drinking cold.
Technically, you can brew any tea and ice it. No one will hold it against you! But there are some teas that are better tasting over ice than others. For example, I would choose a dark, full bodied black tea over a light, aromatic white tea. I’m not saying white tea isn’t good iced, but it’s such a delicate tea by itself that the flavors you love may not withstand after being iced down.
5. Add sweetener while the tea is still hot.
This is a mistake that I’ve seen a lot of people make. Adding your sugar or any sweetener when your tea is still hot will help dissolve it so it blends together wayyyy better after you add ice. Have you ever tried to put honey into your iced tea? It just ends up becoming a chunky, sticky mess that sits at the bottom of your glass. Stir it in while your tea is still hot and it will almost immediately dissolve!
If it’s too late and you’ve already iced your tea, or you did the cold brewed method, here is a pro tip: make your own simple syrup by adding hot water to your sugar, honey, or sweetener. Simple syrup is generally equal parts sugar & water (so 1 oz sugar to 1 oz boiling water), stir together and you’ve got liquid sugar. Ideally you should let this cool before you add it to your iced tea, but if you’re just adding an ounce you can probably get away with not melting any ice too terribly.
So there you have it! My top 5 tips for making iced tea like a pro. Now go out there and make some amazing iced tea so you can have the perfect poolside brew for summer!