Nothing beats sipping a refreshing and thirst-quenching glass of iced tea on a hot summer day. While you can always buy pre-packaged iced tea from the store, homemade iced tea is worth the extra effort and allows you to tweak the recipe to your personal taste. There are several ways to brew iced tea, with each method producing a unique flavor and taste. In this ultimate guide, we explore four different ways of brewing iced tea: koridashi, make hot and refrigerate, ice-brewing tea, and cold brew.
1. Koridashi – Ice Brew
This method takes some patience. Instead of using water, use ice to steep the tea. As the ice melts, it slowly releases the flavor from the tea, resulting in a smooth, sweet yet mellow flavor.
First, start with loose leaf tea and ice made with filtered water. A recommended dose of tea is 1-2 teaspoons of tea for every 6 ounces of ice. Put the tea in the bottom of a cup and add the ice on top. Then let the ice melt. Don’t rush the process by heating up the cup or adding hot water. Once the ice is melted, strain the tea and enjoy.
2. Make Hot and Refrigerate
Another way to make iced tea is by steeping tea bags or tea leaves in hot water, and then chilling it in the fridge. This method is quicker than cold brewing and retains the full flavor of the tea, but it may result in a slightly bitter taste.
To make iced tea using the hot method, boil water and steep tea bags or tea leaves in it for 2-5 minutes, depending on the tea variety. Our tea labels have brew temperatures for each type of tea. The general rule of thumb is one tea bag or one teaspoon of loose tea leaves per cup of water. Add sweeteners or flavorings while the tea is still hot, so they dissolve easily. Once the tea has steeped, remove the tea bags or strain the leaves and allow the tea to cool before placing it in the refrigerator. Serve the iced tea over ice, garnish with lemon wedges or sliced fruit.
3. Ice-Brewing Tea
Ice-brewing tea, also known as flash-chilling, is a method that involves brewing hot tea, pouring it over ice cubes, and serving it immediately. This method results in a smooth and less bitter taste, similar to cold-brewed tea.
To ice-brew tea, steep tea bags or leaves in hot water at a ratio of 2-3 tea bags or teaspoons per cup of water. Once the tea is brewed, transfer it to a glass that’s filled with ice cubes. The tea will melt the ice cubes, cooling the tea and diluting the strength slightly. To make a more potent tea, use fewer ice cubes. Add sweeteners or flavors to the hot tea before pouring it over ice.
4. Cold Brewing Tea
Cold brew tea is very similar to cold brew coffee. Start with 1-2 teaspoons or tea bags per cup of filtered water. Let the tea steep at room temperature for 6-8 hours. You can test the strength every so often for your desired taste preference. Once it’s done, remove the tea, add ice and enjoy.
Homemade iced tea is a delicious and healthy alternative to sugary drinks. Depending on your preference, choose a brewing method that suits you and experiment with different tea varieties, sweeteners, and garnishes. Whether you use the cold-brew, hot and refrigerate, or ice-brewing tea method, you’ll enjoy a refreshing glass of iced tea on a hot day. Don’t forget to experiment with different tea blends and brewing techniques. Let’s sip on some iced tea and cheers to a brighter and refreshing day!