Best Homemade Iced Tea: Solar Tropical Iced Tea (Extra Easy)
Crisp and refreshing homemade iced tea is easy to make and scale up for a crowd. A refreshing glass of cold iced tea is budget-friendly and delicious on a hot day. You can whip up a jug in no time, sweeten it with sugar or syrups, or infuse it with the flavorings of your choice. This is always a hit at Saturday brunch. Serve it with your favorite sweetener, or enjoy it unsweetened.
We’re sharing all the tips and tricks you need to make the most flavorful, refreshing, sweetened, or unsweetened iced tea.
How to Make Iced Tea
Homemade iced tea only requires a few simple steps and ingredients. Follow the process below, and you’ll quickly sip tea on the porch.
- Brew the Tea: Bring half the water to a boil in a saucepan and remove it from the heat. Add in the tea bags and allow them to steep for 10 minutes. Or you can allow it to sit at room temperature to steep.
- Remove the Tea Bags: Remove the tea bags from the hot water. Add the sugar and whisk until completely dissolved if you want sweet tea.
- Allow the tea to come to room temperature: Once the tea reaches room temperature, refrigerate for at least an hour or until chilled.
- Serve: Serve the tea over ice with lemon slices and fresh mint.
Tips for the Best Homemade Iced Tea
Below, find some tips and tricks to help you make the best-iced tea.
- Be sure to measure the water. To prevent your tea from turning out too strong or too watery, measure the water to ensure you aren’t adding too much or too little.
- Experiment with different teas. If you do not like fruity-flavored teas, try using matcha or green tea instead. You could also go caffeine-free and use a variety of herbal teas. Mint tea is incredibly delicious iced.
- Play around with different sweeteners. You can sweeten your tea with honey, agave syrup, coconut sugar, or maple syrup. Play with different sweeteners and tea combinations to see what you like best!
- Use filtered water. Use filtered water instead of tap water to get the smoothest flavor. There are lots of additives and minerals in tap water that can dull the taste.
Storing Iced Tea
Store iced tea in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use a pitcher with a sealable spout so your tea doesn’t soak up the smells in your refrigerator.
Note: As the tea sits, you may notice some tea particles settling at the bottom of the pitcher. That’s perfectly natural and normal, and there’s no need to shake before serving.
How to make iced tea
Basic iced tea from bags recipe
- 6 tea bags
- 1 cup sugar, or sweetened to your preference
- 3 lemons, two juiced and 1 sliced
- 1 orange, sliced
- small bunch mint
- ice to serve
- Pour 1.5 liters of boiling water over the tea bags, then stir in the sugar and honey. Leave to infuse for 10 mins, then strain and transfer to the fridge to chill.
- Pour the chilled tea into a large jug, then stir in the lemon juice, lemon slices, mint, and orange slices. Fill the rest of the jug with ice and stir very well.
- Pour the iced tea into tall glasses with lots of ice to serve.
How to flavor the perfect iced tea
A simple but effective way to add extra aromatics to your iced tea. Herbs that work well include mint, basil, and lemon thyme. You could also try kaffir lime leaves. Just avoid herbs that are solely savory, such as coriander and chives.
A fresh sprig of elderflower can pep up a simple iced tea. Submerge a large handful into your iced tea and leave it to infuse as it cools. Alternatively, add a good glug of elderflower cordial to the tea before you add any sweetener. I have tried Natasha’s iced tea, and it is almost as good as my best homemade iced tea. Natasha’s Kitchen.
Sliced peaches, apricots, fresh berries, and citrus fruits complement tea well. You could also add chopped cucumber for a refreshing taste.
For an adults-only version of iced tea, add some shots of your choice of alcohol. A spiced rum, Pimm’s, or gin would all work well. Add to your iced tea after it’s been chilled. Iced tea can be converted into an enjoyable alcoholic beverage. Here are some recipes to consider BBC’s good food
Commonly asked questions
Is iced tea good for you?
Iced tea does have health benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants and has much less acidity than coffee, making it an excellent option for folks with a sensitive GI system.
What is sun tea?
Sun tea is an old-fashioned method of brewing iced tea. You brew sun tea by putting a water pitcher in the sun with tea bags or loose tea. Over the day, the tea will steep in the natural sunlight. Once brewed, place it in the refrigerator to chill.
Can I cold brew my iced tea?
Absolutely! You can cold brew your iced tea by placing tea bags or loose-leaf tea in filtered water. Let the mixture steep in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours or until the tea tastes to your liking.
Ready for more drink inspiration? Check out my recommendations…
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Best Homemade Ice Tea
Solar Tropical Iced Tea
- 15 January 2024
- 10 to 12
- 1 hr
- 100 Cals/Serving
- 8 to 12 tea bags (hibiscus, mango, elderberry, or your preferred variety)
- 1-gallon water
- Sweetener of your choice (sugar, honey, or a sugar substitute) to taste
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- Ice cubes
- Lime slices (optional)
- Fresh mint leaves (optional)
- Step 1
- Boil Water: Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil in a pot or kettle or let teabags sit in water at room temperature
- Step 2
- Steep Tea: Remove the water from heat and add the tea bags. Let the tea bags steep in the hot water for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your desired strength. Adjust the steeping time to suit your taste preferences.
- Step 3
- Sweeten: While the tea is still hot, add sweetener to taste. Start with 2-4 tablespoons of sugar, or adjust according to your preference. Stir well to dissolve the sweetener.
- Step 4
- Cool: Allow the tea to cool to room temperature. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pot in the refrigerator for a faster chill.
- Step 5
- Remove Tea Bags: Once the tea has cooled, gently remove the tea bags, squeezing them to extract any remaining liquid. Discard the tea bags.
- Step 6
- Serve Over Ice: Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour the cooled tea over the ice.
- Step 7
- Garnish (Optional): Garnish with lemon slices or fresh mint leaves for extra flavor and a decorative touch.