For a tea lover, nothing welcomes summer better than a tall glass of homemade iced tea. Not that something as magical as cold brew tea needs a season dedicated to it! Refreshing, relaxing, and ready to be paired with practically any meal, it’s perfect for year-round drinking. Pour yourself a glass when you need the energy to tackle a long to-do list or a reminder to chill and take it easy. A delicious homemade iced tea will always, always do the trick.
The world of iced tea is exciting and diverse. From classic preparations to new and often unusual pairings of tea leaves, herbs, fruits, and spices, there’s enough variety to keep you brewing through the summer.
We’ve picked out and reviewed a few amazing and must-try options at the end of this article.
But first, let’s look at a few basics about making a perfect glass of homemade iced tea.
How to make iced tea from scratch
While you can simply buy bottled iced tea from a store, it won’t come close to the fresh flavors and mouthfeel of homemade iced tea that you brew from scratch. Iced tea offers a lot of freedom to try things out in your own style. But even for beginners, a basic version is easy to make.
Making iced tea with premeasured iced tea pouches
By far the simplest way to make a delicious iced tea is to use a premeasured iced tea pouch. Many popular tea shops offer these pouches that are usually good for half a gallon of iced tea. You can simply follow the brewing instructions, and don’t have to measure or check the taste for every batch.
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2 QT Iced Tea Pouches – Passionfruit Jasmine Tea
Buttery, fresh, lilac. We've taken the guesswork out of measuring out the perfect pitcher of iced tea with convenient biodegradable iced tea pouches. Drop one bag into your 2 quart iced tea pitcher, fill with the appropriate amount of water and you're good to go! Passionfruit Jasmine This award-winning blend of select black and green teas, jasmine blossoms, and passionfruit essence has a long-lasting, sweet flavor and astounding aroma for a perfect well-rounded cup. Comes in packs of 4 pouches.
2 QT Iced Tea Pouches – Classic Black Tea
Brigh, brisk, smooth. We've taken the guesswork out of measuring out the perfect pitcher of iced tea with convenient biodegradable iced tea pouches. Drop one bag into your 2 quart iced tea pitcher, fill with the appropriate amount of water and you're good to go! Classic Black Start your day in a bold way with our Classic Black blended black tea. This organic loose leaf black tea is a hand blended mix of whole leaf Nilgiri tea and smooth, rich Yunnan golden buds. Comes in packs of 4 pouches.
Orchard Iced Teas
Like a roadside fruit stand in summer, this exhilarating, high-quality sampler offers the best of the orchard in three fresh flavors. Total weight 2.1 oz, makes 6 quarts. This set includes:peach oolong iced tea - Oolong tea with the summer flavor of perfectly ripened fruit. Steep hot or refrigerate overnight in cold water.blood orange iced tea - Deep vibrant color and sweet flavor. Hearty with a good balance of orange peel dryness and fruit juiciness.mango iced tea - An Adagio favorite. Citrusy Ceylon black tea, lush mango flavor. Juicy texture and floral aroma, creamy-dry finish.
How to make cold-brewed iced tea
However, if you really want to enhance your homemade iced tea flavors, all leading tea brands recommend cold brewing. A cold brew iced tea retains the signature notes and flavors of your favorite tea without any of the bitterness associated with its tannins. Cold-brew iced teas also last longer in the fridge.
To make a delightful cold brew tea, place the tea bags in a pitcher or large teapot. Pour cold or room temperature water over this (keeping in mind the thumb rule: 8 ounces of water per teabag). Let it steep overnight, strain, chill and serve with any add-on flavors or spices you like!
Iced ingenuiTEA Teapot
The most convenient teapot you will find anywhere - we guarantee it. When the tea is ready, simply place it atop our Glass Pitcher. This will cause a valve at the bottom to release: crystal-clear tea flows down, while the mesh filter retains all the leaves with one of the best infusers on the market. Super easy to clean and dishwasher safe. You will wonder how you got along without one. 28 oz. Made in Taiwan with Tritan, a plastic specially-formulated to be safe in hot-temperature applications and is 100% BPA-free. The filter basket is stainless steel. Made in Taiwan | 28 oz | 4.5" diameter | 7" tall
Making iced tea with black or green loose leaf tea
The process is similar to the one used for teabags. You can either steep your loose leaf tea in hot water for 3-5 minutes, then chill or pour it over ice. But the best way is to cold-brew it.
You can make cold brew iced tea using practically any kind of tea – white tea, black, green, oolong, or rooibos. The ideal steeping time may vary a bit from tea to tea. Cold-brewed white or green tea can be steeped for 6-8 hours. On the other hand, black tea or oolong may need 8-12 hours for the best flavor and strength.
Choosing a good quality tea is essential.
Daily Darjeeling Black Tea from Himalayas
Premium Darjeeling Tea Second Flush with crisp, berry-like nuances A full-bodied black tea loose leaf that has signature Darjeeling second-flush attributes of wood and dried fruit Our premium loose-leaf teas can be brewed both hot and cold Tea is vacuum packaged for preserved freshness and aroma An enthralling cup of summer black tea from the fascinating region of Darjeeling. This is a light, second-flush black tea with crisp, berry-like nuances that shall captivate you from the first sip! The brownish-black leaves are short, tightly-rolled, and interspersed with some green flakes. The liquor is mellow and unimposing, with notes of date palm and fermented barley that are discernible but fade away quickly. Indulge in a brisk and flavourful cup of tea that has signature Darjeeling second-flush attributes of wood and dried fruit.
Making iced tea with teabags
If you don’t have premeasured iced tea pouches, you can also use your regular tea bags. As a general rule of thumb, a small teabag will need about 8 ounces of water. You can easily use quite a lot of teabags thorough the summer. Buying tea in bulk can help you save money. A common practice is to brew it just like hot tea (3-5 minutes in filtered hot water). Let the brew cool down to room temperature, and then chill it in the refrigerator. You can also speed things up by directly pouring the brewed tea over ice.
What to add to your homemade iced tea
Iced teas are often sweetened with honey as sugar can take a while to dissolve in cold water. They can also be paired with a wide variety of herbs and fruity add-ons like lemon, peach, strawberries, and mint for flavored teas.
Starwest Botanicals is happy to provide you with the highest quality Peppermint Leaf as part of our extensive offering of bulk organic herbs and spices. Depending on how you would like to use it, you can select from natural or organic cut and sifted (C/S) Peppermint Leaf or Peppermint Leaf Powder Peppermint Leaf, which also known as Mentha piperita, Brady mint, balm mint, curled mint and lamb mint, has many useful properties.
If you aren’t sure what would work best, here are some great cold brew iced tea blends from leading tea brands that you can start with.
Top 7 iced teas to try this summer
Combining a light, fresh green tea with punchy, tart cranberries, this set of cold brew tea bags is the perfect addition to your summer collection. It makes a “crisp” yet “smooth” homemade iced tea that is “just sweet enough to not need any sweetener.” The aroma of this tea is “pure but not overpowering,” making it a “nice pick-me-up in the morning.”
Black tea lovers will dig this fruity blend. “Very crisp,” with “subtle fruity undertones” that “don’t overpower the amazing taste,” this cold brew tea “pairs really well with breakfast.” Its “discreet peach flavor” does not come in the way of the “clean black tea base.” This tea “also goes a long way,” lasting for up to 3 rebrews.
Ayurvedic Rose Herbal Green Tea
100% Natural Tea Organic Green Tea Leaves mixed with 21 Medicinal Herbs from India A delicious flavour of rose in every sip with a gentle sweetness in the background The tea is characteristic of an earthy aroma of rose with bright liquor Heals, energizes, rejuvenates and refreshes Soothing and beneficial for total well being It is an ideal anytime drink tea A delectable cup of herbal green tea mixed with exotic and medicinal herbs sourced from the mystical Himachal Valley in Northern India. Our proficient blenders have sourced premium, pure green teas from the heavenly regions of Kangra and Assam. The base is then blended with fresh aromatic Indian spices and an array of exotic and ancient herbs like Holy Basil (Tulsi), Indian ginseng, Indian Valerian, Red Sandalwood amongst others. All of the 21 herbs are blended in specific ratios by our blenders to bring to you a bright, aromatic liquor with grassy and woody notes.
This healthy tea has a green tea base and lots of healing herbs and spices like immunity-boosting Holy Basil, rose petals, lemongrass, cinnamon, cloves, and mint. “Delicious, spicy, herbal, and floral,” this tea is “relaxing yet invigorating.” Tea drinkers love how “you can really taste the spices that went into making it.” Though “full-bodied and vitalizing,” it’s “not too strong” and has a “nice earthy taste.”
Lime in the Coconut
Key Lime And Coconut Green Tea. "You put the lime in the coconut and drink them both up." If you don't know it, look it up; especially the Muppets version on MP3.This 'Muppet' inspired blend turned out to be a keeper! Lime in the Coconut green tea is a ridiculously tasty blend of superior Indian Assam and fine Chinese green teas tossed with shredded coconut, lime juice and sunflower petals. You'll love this coconut tea so much you'll scream, "Doctor!" Try it with a little sugar and becomes a desert tea. Buy Lime In The Coconut loose leaf green tea with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.Use 1 to 2 heaping teaspoons per cup of just below boiling (steaming) filtered water and steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
Lime, coconut and green tea is a perfect combo for any time of the year. Add ice and a touch of honey and turn this into a great summer tea! A little bit of whiskey and it’s even better (I hear) 😉
Boulder Blues Iced Tea Pouches
Our most popular green tea is now available in convenient iced tea pouches! This well-rounded blend of premium Japanese Sencha and high-grade Chinese Dragonwell combines to create a rich bluesy-smooth base, while wild strawberries and rhubarb flavors add a refreshing surprise. Makes the perfect gourmet iced tea!
A fine drink for refined tastes, this set of cold brew tea pouches brings together Japanese Sencha and Chinese Dragonwell teas, with hints of rhubarb and wild strawberries. The “subtle natural sweetness” and “almost creamy quality” of this green tea make it a beautiful “cold and fruity iced drink” that even “those who are pickier about tea” can enjoy.
Herbal Tea Blend Of Fruits And Blossoms. Fruity Dream herbal fruit tea is as amazing on the eyes as it is on the taste buds. A naturally caffeine free, fruit infused tea with vitamin boost and packed with flavors. We spared nothing with this blend of hibiscus blossoms, rose hip peels, apple preserves, kiwi bits, strawberry slices, elderberries, citrus peels, strawberries, marigold and cornflower blooms and apricots will bring you back for more and more. Buy loose leaf fruity tea, naturally decaffeinated tea, with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Use 1 heaping tablespoon to each cup of filtered or spring water at a full boil and steep for 7-10 minutes or to taste.
A caffeine-free herbal blend of dried fruits on ice with a little bit of honey is very refreshing and brings out all the floral and fruit tastes. Can be steeped alone or in combination with any black or green tea.
Peach Oolong Iced Tea
Full-leaf tea in pouches that make iced tea easy and delicious. Simply place overnight in a pitcher of water. Awake to find a tea rich in flavor and aroma, at a price that's a fraction of the supermarket-bought teas. For quicker preparation, steep in hot water for five minutes and add ice. Contains oolong tea from Taiwan with the summer flavor of perfectly ripened fruit. Be a peach and try this tea. Makes 32 ounces.
Taiwanese oolong tea with its fresh floral notes meets a perfect match in ripened peach. Tea drinkers call it “summer in a glass”. This tea “smells heavenly when brewing”, has a “nice and toasty” flavor that is “just peachy enough”, and tastes “great without sugar” even though it’s “not super sweet”. Cold steeping is the most popular way to brew this “smooth and delicious” iced tea.
More tea, please!
Isabelle is a freelance writer, self-taught tea nerd, and tea blending enthusiast. She is a herbalist with a strong interest in Ayurveda. Each year Isabelle travels extensively, returning with tea samples from around the world. She is a big fan of handmade teaware and Japanese green teas.