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How to Make Iced Tea: 5 Easy Steps

Mar 28,2024 | TeaTsy Team

In recent years, variations of lemons, seasonal herbs, and fruits have brought new twists to the preparation of iced tea. Iced tea is simply a mixture of tea and water, and its brewing process is very simple.

This guide will walk you through the simple steps to make your favorite iced tea and enjoy a deliciously chilled beverage that will keep you cool all day long.

History of Iced Tea 

The thought of making iced tea was first conceived around the 1800s in St. Louis, the United States. The standard process then was to make hot tea and leave it to cool down for hours before consumption. 

Fast forward to 1904, a new way of making iced tea was introduced. Legends have it that this latest discovery was borne out of necessity for them to create something that would cool down their body during the hot summer. 

It was recorded that an English man named Richard Blechnyden, who had a tea pavilion at the Worlds Trade Fair in 1904, was the first person to make this present-day iced tea. 

During this time, Chinese hot black tea was entering the mainstream, and its adoption was at an all-time high across the United States of America. Fortunately, the World's Fair occurred during the summer, and no one wanted to consume hot black tea during the hot weather. 

So the ingenious Richard Blechnyden decided to get some iced block chips and pour them inside freshly brewed tea. This was a masterpiece that drew all visitors to the bow tent who savored the refreshing cold iced tea. 

Since this invention, iced tea has been popularized and spread to all nooks and crannies of the United States. Over 90% of the tea consumed in the United States of America is iced tea. 

Iced Tea

How to Make Iced Tea 

Brewing a delicious iced tea is such a simple process that you can get ready in a couple of hours. The following is the breakdown of the basic steps involved in making iced tea. 

Step 1: Select Your Favorite Tea as the Base Recipe 

The thing about making iced tea is that you can choose from any of the traditional and herbal teas as your base recipe. 

Although most people opt for black tea due to its wide range of flavors. Tea quality should always be your major consideration when choosing tea for a recipe. 

Step 2: Hot Brewing Method

This is the most common brewing method that’s used for making iced tea. Get your saucepan or teapots, pour water inside it, and let it boil. 

Once the water gets to its boiling point, remove it and add 1-2 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea or 1 teabag of your chosen tea type. Let the tea steep for 4-5 minutes to get a very smooth infusion. 

Step 3: Add Sweetener and Other Addons 

You can put sugar, honey, and any other sweetener of your desired choice. By placing the sweaters while the tea is still hot, the sweetener will be able to dissolve and sync with the tea. Garnish with lemon slices, mint or fruit as desired.

Step 4: Cool It Down 

There are two ways to do this. One, you can bring it to a quick chill by straining the hot tea into a pitcher that’s layered with iced cubes. 

Or, you should strain it inside a heat-resistant pitcher and let it cool naturally for like 30 minutes or 1 hour.  

Step 5: Servings 

You can now pour your iced tea inside teacups that are garnished with any additions for a delightful tea experience. 

How Do You Make Iced Tea With Tea Bags

How do you make iced tea with tea bags when all you have is tea bags? The process is similar to the one above.

Choose 3 to 4 bags of your choice. Heat water and bring to a boil. If you're using black tea, the optimal brewing temperature is between 200°F and 212°F. For finer black teas (such as Darjeeling), reduce to 180°F to 190°F. Use a temperature-controlled pot or thermometer to ensure the water is at the right temperature to avoid overheating, which can cause the tea to taste astringent.

After turning off the heat, add the tea bag and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the tea into a large kettle, let it cool at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes, then add 2 cups of cold water to adjust the concentration and stir evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours to cool completely. Then you can enjoy it.

Iced Tea

Modern Twists on Iced Tea

Cold Brew Iced Tea: Instead of boiling water, use cold water and let the tea steep in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours. This method produces a smoother flavor. Use the same ratio of tea to water and strain before serving.

Flavored Iced Tea: Infuse your iced tea with additional flavors by adding sliced fruits, herbs, or flavored syrups to the pitcher before chilling. Popular combinations include lemon and mint, peach, or raspberry.

Serve your iced tea in tall glasses, garnished with fresh lemon slices, mint leaves, or fruit. For a decorative touch, freeze edible flowers or fruit slices in ice cubes and add them to your glass. Iced tea pairs wonderfully with summer meals, outdoor barbecues, or as a stand-alone refreshing drink.

What Tea is the Best For Making Iced Tea 

Black tea is the most preferred tea that people offer to use for making iced tea. This can be attributed to the popularity of black tea among most Westerners. 

The turn of the decades has seen various discoveries that ushered in the usage of other tea types for iced tea. These discoveries were borne out of the unending human preference and appetite for a new tea flavor. The following are the best teas that fare better when iced. 

Black Tea 

Black tea has been the most preferred-based recipe for many iced tea. The reason for this has to be because of the multi-variant flavor options that sync well with ice and give you a remarkable cooling experience. There are various black tea types, like Assam, Darjeeling, Lapsang souchong, etc, that people use in making black tea. 

  • Assam is the most popular type of black tea and the most preferred of them all. Assam black tea is sourced from India and is among the most consumed black tea types in the Western world. 
  • The reason why this is the most preferred black tea for iced tea is because of its strong and pleasant malty flavor that can dilute well with ice. 
  • Assam black tea is such an effortless choice that you only need to brew, allow it to cool off, and add ice cubes and other things you want. 
  • Lapsang souchong is another great alternative that offers you a smoky dried flavor due to its brewing process. 
  • What’s incredible about using lapsang souchong as your base recipe for iced tea is the complex multi-note flavor that can fit into all occasions. 
  • Earl Grey is a blend of different types of black tea that gives a citrusy flavor when used as the base recipe for iced tea. Earl Grey offers a more balanced taste compared to other options on this list.

White Tea 

White tea is a good choice for a simple iced tea, and its uniqueness lies in its subtle and layered flavour. When it comes to the "strong flavours" to be wary of when using white tea, this actually refers to the unique flavour profile of white tea, not that it is any stronger than other tea varieties. Instead, white tea has a mild but complex flavour profile that includes floral, fruity and sweet herbal notes. These subtle flavours may become more pronounced in cold brews, especially if there is a lack of heat, which often helps to balance and blend the flavours of the tea. 

Oolong Tea 

Oolong tea has a strong, flavorful taste that does really well under cold conditions. We could attribute this to the unique processes that are required to produce oolong tea. So, you can go ahead to make all sorts of dazzling iced tea with any flavor of your choice. 

Green Tea 

Green tea is another great choice for making iced tea. Its subtle herbal flavor and natural sweetness make it an ideal base drink to refresh and quench your thirst on hot summer days. In addition to its refreshing flavor, green tea also has health benefits. Benefits such as antioxidant effects, reducing the risk of heart disease and supporting weight management.


The process of brewing iced tea is so simple that it has become a favorite of every tea lover and beverage enthusiast. With these steps and a little bit of creativity, you can create crispy and refreshing iced tea that will satisfy your taste buds and attract more crowds on hot summer days.

When you're done enjoying a delicious cup of homemade iced tea, don't forget to, properly clean your mug.