4 cups water
4 tablespoons loose leaf tea (your choice of flavor)
Lemon slices or mint leaves (optional, for garnish)
Sweetener (such as sugar or honey) to taste (optional)
Boil the water: Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a kettle or saucepan.
Add the loose leaf tea: Once the water has boiled, remove it from the heat and add the loose leaf tea to a heatproof pitcher or container. Choose a high-quality loose leaf tea that suits your taste preferences (see below for suggestions).
Steep the tea: Pour the hot water over the loose leaf tea in the pitcher. Allow the tea to steep for the recommended time, usually 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust the steeping time based on the strength of flavor you desire.
Strain and cool: After steeping, strain the tea to remove the loose leaves. Let the tea cool to room temperature for a while.
Refrigerate: Once the tea has cooled, refrigerate the pitcher until chilled or for at least 1 hour.
Serve: Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour the chilled tea over the ice. Add sweetener (if desired) and garnish with lemon slices or mint leaves for extra freshness and flavor.
Choosing the Best Tea for Iced Tea
When selecting loose leaf tea for making iced tea, it’s important to choose varieties that lend themselves well to the cold-brewing process and deliver refreshing flavors. Here are a few popular options:
Black teas like Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, or English Breakfast are popular choices for iced tea. They offer robust flavors that pair well with sweeteners and can withstand the addition of ice without losing their character.
Green teas, such as Sencha or Jasmine, can create a light and refreshing iced tea. They offer a milder taste profile and delicate floral or grassy notes.
Herbal teas like hibiscus, chamomile, or mint can make excellent caffeine-free iced tea options. They infuse well in cold water, providing vibrant colors and naturally sweet or soothing flavors.
Fruit-infused teas or blends like berry, peach, or tropical fruit teas can create delicious and vibrant iced teas. They often have a naturally sweet taste and make for a refreshing summer beverage.
Remember, the quality of the loose leaf tea is crucial for the best flavor. Look for teas from reputable sources and experiment with different varieties to find your preferred taste.