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If you need a refreshing summer drink for a hot day, then iced tea is a delicious option! Cool, fresh tea flavored with your favorite brand is simple to make from scratch and you can serve it to guests or drink it all yourself!
I know some of you may be thinking “Who doesn’t know how to make ice tea!” but keep in mind, it’s not as popular on the West Coast as it is in the South. Sweet tea is a common Southern drink that is full of flavor and really quenches your thirst on a hot, humid summer day.
Homemade iced tea is definitely the way to go if you are inviting guests over for a backyard barbecue or a summer pool party. You can make it using either the cold brew or the hot brew method depending on how much time you have before your guests arrive.
Arizona Iced Tea is really becoming one of the most popular ready to drink teas that you can purchase in USA stores, and Lipton Iced Tea is the most popular make it yourself tea in the USA. Many people may ask if iced tea is good for you, and as with many things, it is in moderation. Drinking too much can lead to health issues as a result of oxalic acid buildup, but enjoying it in moderation can be beneficial!
Tea pairs nicely with classic Southern dishes like cornbread, fried chicken, and peach cobbler. You can also make things like strawberry tea or raspberry tea to pair with new flavors and dessert recipes.
Many people consume tea as an alternative to caffeinated soft drinks, but you may be wondering how much caffeine is in iced tea. Well, depending on the type of tea it’s brewed or steeped with, it can contain anywhere from about 5mg to 90 mg of caffeine per serving. While it may not be as much caffeine as what’s in soda pop, it’s definitely a healthier alternative.
Iced Tea Ingredients
- Family Sized Tea Bags
- Lemon Slices
Many people like different iced tea brands and different flavors within the brands. The nice part about making homemade iced tea recipes is that you can customize it however you want and make it as strong or as watered down as you would like.
Lemon iced tea is probably one of the most popular flavored teas that you can make, but iced green tea and iced peach tea are also very popular flavored iced tea recipes. Iced chai tea latte’s are also a popular drink at Starbucks, but why pay a hefty sum when you can make multiple drinks at home for the same price!
If you like tea, then make it an adult beverage by making a long island iced tea. Often made with Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Triple Sec, and Gin, long island iced tea recipes contain a lot of ingredients but they really do make for an alcohol infused cocktail that can be enjoyed at home with friends and family.
Tea can be made a few different ways, but the most common is either cold brewing or hot brewing. If you’re wondering how to cold brew tea, it’s pretty simple. Just put the loose tea leaves in an infuser or the tea bags into a pitcher of water, put it in the fridge, and by the next day, you have cold brewed tea! Hot brewed tea is a little different in that you boil the water first, steep the tea, then refrigerate it until it’s cold.
No matter how you prepare your tea and what flavors you use, this recipe is one of the easiest ways to prepare tea and you can customize it however you like!
How to Make Iced Tea
FIRST STEP: Pour 8 cups of cold water into a pitcher with a lid.
SECOND STEP: Place tea bags inside the pitcher, with tea tags hanging out of the pitcher.
THIRD STEP: Place the pitcher in the refrigerator overnight or up to 12 hours.
FOURTH STEP: Remove tea bags and discard. If tea bags burst, strain tea mixture through a screen sieve.
FIFTH STEP: Heat the remaining ½ cup of water to a simmer, and remove from heat.
SIXTH STEP: Pour sugar into heated water, stir to dissolve
SEVENTH STEP: Pour sugar mixture into cold tea. Stir to incorporate sugar mixture.
EIGHTH STEP: Serve over ice.
NINTH STEP: Garnish with lemon wedges if desired.
If you are new to making tea or worried about the tea tags causing issues, remove the tags before steeping. When making hot brewed tea, the dangling tea tags can possibly catch fire, especially if heating over an open flame. If the tags are allowed to steep with the brewed tea bags in the water, it can potentially change the flavor of the tea and cause a slight bitter or off taste.
Pour some of the tea into an ice cube tray and freeze. Use these frozen tea cubes in place of normal ice cubes so the tea will not become watered down as they melt.
You can use loose leaf tea to make this recipe as well, but make sure you have a tea infuser or some sort of bag to put the loose leaves in. Loose leaf tea produces a stronger flavor, but bagged tea is faster to make. It’s really up to you on what you choose to use!
Storing this Recipe
IN THE FRIDGE: While this tea is best when drunk within 24 hours of brewing, it will last for up to 2 days in the fridge. Make sure to store in an airtight container in the fridge. To make your tea last longer, avoid putting sugar into it until just before serving. The sugar is what will make the tea go bad faster, and by leaving it out, it will store for up to 5 days in the fridge.
IN THE FREEZER: Place in an airtight container and store for up to 6 months in the freezer. Make sure to leave extra room for expansion when freezing liquids, especially if you’re using a glass container.
- 8 ½ cups water
- 8 family size tea bags
- 1 cup sugar
- Lemon wedges to garnish, optional
- Pour 8 cups of cold water into a pitcher with a lid.
- Place tea bags inside the pitcher, with tea tags hanging out of the pitcher.
- Place the pitcher in the refrigerator overnight or up to 12 hours.
- Remove tea bags and discard. If tea bags burst, strain tea mixture through a screen sieve.
- Heat the remaining ½ cup of water to a simmer, and remove from heat.
- Pour sugar into heated water, stir to dissolve.
- Pour sugar mixture into cold tea. Stir to incorporate sugar mixture
- Serve over ice.
- Garnish with lemon wedges if desired.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Add tea bags to water. Remove from heat and steep 10-12 min., depending on desired strength.
- Carefully remove tea bags.
- Add sugar to the hot tea mixture. Stir to completely dissolve sugar.
- Add the hot tea mixture to the remaining 4 cups of cold water.
- Refrigerate until cooled.