How to Make Iced Tea
How to Make Iced Tea
Making iced tea at home is a breeze! We recommend one of two ways to brew iced tea: traditional hot brew method or eco-friendly cold brew method.
If you plan on sweetening your iced tea, we recommend using the hot brew method.
Follow this step by step guide to make iced tea using the traditional hot brew method.
Step One: Start by measuring your loose leaf tea. Generally, you should measure 1 teaspoon loose leaf tea per cup iced tea. However, fluffier blends such as white teas and chamomile may require as much as one tablespoon or more, while denser teas such as gunpowder may require less than one teaspoon.
Flip over the tea label on your Arbor Teas bag to find our suggested serving size per cup.
Place the tea in a T-sac to make a do-it-yourself teabag or directly in an infuser, and then place the T-sac or infuser in your heat resistant glass or iced tea pitcher.
Making tea for lots of people? One quart iced tea generally requires ½ ounce loose leaf tea.
Step Two: Next, heat your water to the temperature suggested below. Use fresh water whenever possible - water that has been sitting in your kettle overnight may impart a flat or stale taste to your tea. Be careful not to boil your water for too long. Over boiled water can sometimes impart an unwanted taste.
Black & Pu-Erh -- 212° F
Oolong -- 195° F
Green & White -- 180° F
Herbal -- 212° F
If you don’t have a thermometer handy to measure your water temperature, no worries! Here’s an easy way to estimate 180° F, 195° F and 212° F.
180° F = bubbles form on the bottom of the pot
195° F = the first bubbles begin to rise
212° F = full rolling boil
Step Three: Make a double strength infusion by steeping your tea for the amount of time shown below using half the amount of water you would normally use when making hot tea.
In other words, measure 1/2 cup (4 oz) hot water for every final cup iced tea.
Simply pour your heated water over the tea-filled T-Sac or through the tea-filled infuser. Be sure the tea is covered completely with water. When enough time has elapsed, remove the T-sac or infuser.
Keep in mind that brewing your tea too long can extract an undesirable bitterness from the leaves, so steeping time does matter! For a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea.
Black & Pu-Erh -- 3-5 minutes
Oolong -- 4-7 minutes
Green & White -- 2-3 minutes
Herbal -- 5-7 minutes
Step Four: If you wish to sweeten your tea, dissolve sugar or honey in the hot brew.
Chill! If you plan on drinking your iced tea immediately, pour the double-strength infusion directly over an equal amount of ice.
To drink later, dilute your double strength infusion with an equal amount of room temperature water (1/2 cup (4 oz) room temperature water for every final cup iced tea). Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Then place in your refrigerator. This method allows the tea to cool gradually, which helps avoid clouding caused by chilling most teas too rapidly.
Note: It is OK if your iced tea clouds! There are many reasons this can occur; a clouded tea can sometimes signify a higher quality tea filled with desirable tea solids, or one that has been cooled too quickly. Regardless, a clouded iced tea is certainly not a bad iced tea! Teas from the Nilgiri region of India seem to resist clouding better than other tea varieties.
Can't get enough iced tea info? Check out our Iced Tea Tips page for several fun variations on iced tea!