Iced tea is practically synonymous with summer. It's the perfect refreshment on a hot day, and the mere idea of a cold pitcher filled to the brim summons fond memories of summers past. From the first clink of ice in a glass to the last rejuvenating sip, it's a soothing treat meant to be enjoyed by everyone under the sun.
Without tea bags or Tea Forté's iced tea pyramid infusers on hand, it may sound complicated to brew a batch of this beloved seasonal favorite, but the process of making it with loose leaf tea is more straightforward than it might seem. It's actually a simple three-step recipe: steeping the leaves with the appropriate time and temperature, letting it cool, and serving it over ice.
Our double-walled POOM Glasses make the perfect vessel for serving refreshing iced tea. Photo by @naughtyteas
Perfect Summer Iced Tea Blends
While Tea Forté offers a phenomenal selection of specialty Tea Over Ice ® blends and iced teaware, you can also steep any of your favorite hot tea blends and simply serve them chilled over ice. Which loose leaf tea blend you use to make your iced tea is completely up to you, and there's a broad array of sumptuous flavor profiles to choose from.
Floral Iced Tea
For a floral iced tea, consider a blend like Hanami, an impressionistic cherry blossom green tea; Wildflower Honey Citrus, an ambrosial citric summer green tea; or Peach Blossom, a delicate white tea with sweet hints of stone fruit. Peach Brûlée is a slightly sweeter stone fruit black tea blend, and for some cool summer berry goodness, Black Currant is another perfect fruit-forward black tea selection. Want no caffeine? Try the Mango Citron herbal blend, a lush tropical getaway in a glass.
Classic Summer Cocktails
To get creative with your iced tea selection, consider blends that offer elements often found in classic summer cocktails: Radiance, for example, has a distinct rosemary note reminiscent of the garnish used in an ice-cold gin & tonic, complementing its grapefruit base. Invigorate offers the zing of ginseng root and a touch of matcha with the subtle herbal/floral hint of elderberry, also popular in crisp, refreshing bar concoctions. The upside to both of these tea blends from The Wellbeing Collection: their energizing ingredients (including powerhouse antioxidants) and nonalcoholic nature make them a perfect bottomless energy drink on a hot day.
Flavor Forward Iced Teas
Last but not least, for a flavor-forward iced tea with unforgettable pink hue, try the gently tart Hibiscus Blossom or Cherry Cosmo blends, each with its own light, fruity aftertaste, or Strawberry Hibiscus, a tantalizing oolong tea with familiar strawberry balancing the tang of tropical flower petals.
STEEPING ICED TEA WITH LOOSE TEA
- Begin by preparing hot water, following the temperature and timing guidelines recommended for the type of tea you’re making.*
- To steep, pour hot water over the leaves and steep for the blend's recommended period of time. For a batch of iced tea large enough to fill a pitcher, use 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea per 1 cup of water. For example, if you're making 8 cups of tea, then steep eight 8 teaspoons of loose tea leaves in 8 cups of water. Add an additional 1-2 teaspoons of tea leaves for a stronger, bolder flavor, or if using a delicately-flavored tea.
- To sweeten, add 1/4 cup of sugar or honey per 1 gallon and adjust to taste. Be sure to add the sweetener while the tea is still hot and stir well until fully dissolved.
- Once steeped, pour the tea into a serving pitcher and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or let cool to room temperature and serve over extra ice. For an tasty and decorative flourish, add a slice of citrus, sprig of fresh mint, or garnish of your choice to each glass.
*For black and herbal teas, a water temperature of 208 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended; for oolong, green and white teas, 175-185˚F degrees is best to avoid burning the delicate leaves. As for timing, steep black and oolong tea for 3-5 minutes; green or white teas for 2-3 minutes, and herbal teas for 5+ minutes.
Make it even easier
To step up your loose iced tea service this season, consider some specialty teaware like the Tea Jay Iced Tea Maker or a gorgeous French Press with an eye-catching copper pull handle. Both of these accessories make it easy to brew an extra concentrated batch of tea, which you then pour over ice to quickly chill, dilute, and serve in just minutes. For more iced tea preparation methods and ideas, click here and make it a thirst-quenching summer to remember.
Making iced tea with loose tea is easy with the Tea Jay Iced Tea Maker.