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How to Make Iced Tea - Includes 3 Videos!

I’m proud to say, I grew up on good, ol’ fashioned Southern Sweet Tea.  Everyday, all summer long, we had a big plastic gallon of tea in the fridge, and it was always sweet. There was nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than to run in the house, fill the biggest glass available with ice, and gulp down the sweet tea nectar before returning outside to the relentless sun.


Nestea Plunge

A genius marketing campaign from the 70’s & 80’s made my generation long for a “Nestea Plunge” where you would fall backwards into a swimming pool upon drinking a glass of iced tea.  We didn’t have a swimming pool (or air conditioning for that matter) but I remember resting the cold glass against my cheek and for just a moment, feeling the imagined sensation of taking that cool, full-body plunge - it was pure childhood joy.

Southern Sweet Iced Tea

I honestly can’t remember a time before I knew how to make iced tea.  I guess if you are a thirsty kid, you beg your momma to show you how.  First heat the water in a small pan and add two family-sized tea bags.  1½  cups of sugar goes into the pitcher before pouring the hot tea over.  Stir to melt the sugar, then fill the pitcher to the top with cold tap water and stir.  Quick, simple, cheap, delicious and full of sugar.

Fine Teas

So now I’m an adult with a teashop of my own and hundreds of teas at my fingertips. I still enjoy an occasional nostalgic glass of sweet iced tea from my youth (I’ll forever love it)  but I’ve so expanded my appreciation of tea and have discovered the world of Fine Teas.  It’s a world where zero sugar is needed (resulting in zero calories), health is a big part of the equation, and rich flavor and aroma possibilities are endless.

Try it Iced

As an American, I have no preconceived rules about which teas should be prepared hot and which are best iced.  I will try any tea both hot and cold to see which I like best.  This willingness to be open has resulted in many surprising and delightful discoveries (like iced cinnamon orange tea.)   

I want to show you how to make some of my all time favorites:


How to Make a 16oz Glass of Iced Tea


Method: Ingenie Infuser
Tea: Orange Creamsicle
Orange Peel
Freeze-Dried Yogurt Granules
  1. Heat water to 208 degrees (boiling is 212)
  2. Add two teaspoons of tea to the infuser
  3. Pour 2-3 inches of hot water over the tea
  4. (Add a teaspoon of sugar if desired)
  5. Let stand to infuse for 5-10 minutes (for a rooibos)
  6. Stir once or twice during steeping time
  7. Fill glass to the top with ice
  8. When tea is finished steeping, slowly strain over ice
  9. Stir & enjoy


How To Make a Half-Gallon of Iced Tea*


Method:  Measuring Cup & Strainer
Tea: Red White & Blueberry
Premium White Bai Mu Dan Tea
Red Goji Berries, dried
Blueberries, freeze-dried
Natural & Artificial Flavor
  1. Since this is a white tea, heat 2 cups of water to 175 degrees 
  2. Add 8 heaping-teaspoons of tea to the measuring cup
  3. Fill measuring cup with hot water
  4. (Add 1/2 cup of sugar if desired)
  5. Steep for 2-3 minutes (for a white tea)
  6. Stir once during steeping time.
  7. Fill Half-gallon pitcher with ice
  8. When tea is finished steeping, strain over ice
  9. Stir, add more cold water to fill pitcher

*note:  there are eight 8oz cups in a half-gallon


How to Cold Brew Iced Tea


Method: Cold Brew with Infuser Basket
Tea: Moroccan Mint
Gunpowder Green Tea
Peppermint Leaves
  1. Since we are cold brewing, you don’t heat the water
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of tea to the infuser basket, inside the glass
  3. Fill glass with tap or filtered water (cold or room temperature)
  4. Replace lid and put in the refrigerator overnight
  5. In the morning, lift basket with tea leaves out
  6. Stir or shake tea and enjoy