How To Make Iced Tea With Tea Bags

From our experience, we have noticed two distinct kinds of tea drinkers. One group insists on loose leaf tea being the only way to make a proper cup, and the other group is happy with the convenience of using tea bags. At Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company, our team also has divided opinions on which is better, but there is one thing that we all agree on – iced tea is just as delicious when made by either method. So, before you visit an online tea and coffee shop with the belief that loose leaf tea is better for making iced tea, try our foolproof method for getting the most flavor from your humble tea bag, and then decide which method is best for you.

Choose an Adequate Size Container

This may seem like an obvious thing but remember that we may be adding cold water and ice to our tea at a later stage. If you are making a single serving, then your favorite mug will suffice. Otherwise, find a bigger container so we can top it up later. Make sure the container is clean and able to withstand heat, and also an appropriate shape so that it can easily fit in your fridge.

Use Fresh Water

Add fresh water to your kettle or pot. We want to treat the water gently as it is one of the most important ingredients. Try to use fresh water so it remains as aerated as possible. Each time you boil water you are removing some of the oxygen from it, and we want to retain as much of the oxygen as possible. Bring the water to a rolling boil, so the water is agitated and super-hot. This is the ideal point for our water, so you can reduce the heat and move on to the next step.

Add the Hot Water to the Tea Bag

Place the bag into your mug or container and we will add our freshly boiled water. A large portion of the taste comes from this step, so by adding freshly boiled water, you are already increasing the taste levels of your brew. With experience, you will find out the ideal number of bags to use but remember that we will be adding cold water at a later stage so you can also thin it down if the flavor is too strong. With this in mind, it is maybe better to err on the side of the brew being strong rather than weak, as we can easily adjust that later.

Be Patient

Once the bags are releasing their flavor, we want to let them steep for several minutes. Since we are going to be serving it cold, we can let the bags steep for a little longer than normal to allow as much flavor as possible to be extracted, but not so long that the mixture will become bitter. Herbal and fruit teas generally take longer to release their flavor, so in this case, we could leave them to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Black teas are typically fine after 3 to 5 minutes, while green or white teas normally require around 1 to 2 minutes to release the most flavor. Once you’ve reached your required steeping time, remove the bags. Make sure to not squeeze the bags as this will release tannic acids into your mixture and make it bitter.

Allow the Tea to Cool

Although we are going to place the container inside a fridge, allow the mixture to cool to around room temperature first before placing it in the fridge. Now we will cover the container, and how long you leave it in the fridge depends on whether you will add ice or not when serving. If not, then we would recommend waiting at least an hour to be properly chilled. Even better is to let it sit for longer. However, when possible, we would always recommend serving your tea over ice cubes anyway.

Serve with Cold Water and Ice Cubes

When serving, you now have another chance to bring the mixture to your preferred taste. Add some cold water and ice cubes to your container and serve. It is a little harder to sweeten iced tea with sugar since sweeteners like honey or sugar need a hot liquid to help them blend properly. If you wish, you can add honey or sugar before cooling the mixture. Alternatively, you can melt some sugar in a little hot water and then add it into your mixture before serving with the ice cubes.

Enjoy Your Iced Brew

Tea has many benefits, and there is nothing more refreshing on a hot day than a cool glass with ice. The only thing we need now is a hot day to try it. As Tom Holt famously put it: “American-style iced tea is the perfect drink for a hot, sunny day. It’s never really caught on in the UK, probably because the last time we had a hot, sunny day was back in 1957.” Once you perfect making iced tea this way, you can play around with different flavors. Check out some different tea online and spice up the flavor of your iced brew.

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