According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A, about 85% of all tea consumed in America is iced. Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to start making iced tea again. This recipe makes a perfect batch every time! Feel free to follow one of the variations to mix things up a bit.
We’ll start with a basic recipe. Each of the variations uses the basic recipe but builds on it:
Basic Iced Tea Recipe
8 cups water
3 tablespoons loose tealeaves or 6 tea bags
Bring eight cups of water to a simmer on medium heat. Transfer to a pitcher and add loose tealeaves or tea bags. Refrigerate for at least eight hours. Just before serving, strain out the leaves or tea bags. Serve over ice. Makes approximately six servings.
Sweet tea is basically iced tea made with black tea leaves and sweetened with sugar. It’s best to add the sugar while heating the water, otherwise the granules will settle to the bottom of the pitcher without dissolving. To make sweet tea, just follow the basic recipe listed above, but add ¾ cup of granulated sugar while heating the water. If you have fresh spearmint from your garden, feel free to throw some in the pitcher for a refreshing summer treat!
Thai Sweet Tea
Though this version of iced tea is similar to American-style sweet tea, the flavor is a bit different. Just follow the basic iced tea recipe listed above. However, when heating the water, add ½ cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup sweetened, condensed milk, and four whole anise pods. This recipe tastes best with black or oolong tea. If you decide to use jasmine tea bags for this recipe, omit the anise pods.
Iced Chai Tea
Chai tea is both spicy and sweet and traditionally served with plenty of milk. Pour it over ice in the summer for a refreshing treat! To make chai iced tea, follow the basic iced tea recipe listed above. While simmering the water, add one cinnamon stick, ½ teaspoon whole cloves, ½ teaspoon allspice, ¼ teaspoon whole peppercorns, and 1/3 cup honey. You may also omit the spices and substitute regular tea bags for chai tea bags. To serve, fill a glass with ice, ½ cup milk, and top it off with the chilled, spiced iced tea. Stir and enjoy!
Lemonade Iced Tea
Lemonade and iced tea compliment each other perfectly! Just follow the basic iced tea recipe listed above. You can either use black, green, or oolong tea bags. When it’s time to serve it, fill a glass with ice. Pour lemonade into half the glass and top that with the chilled iced tea. Stir and enjoy! You can use any lemonade recipe you like, or you can buy it ready made. This is a refreshing beverage for a warm day!