Making Iced Tea

I grew up drinking iced tea, sweetened with sugar.  Not the instant kind made from a powder that smelled strange and had a fake lemon aftertaste but actual iced tea that you brewed.  Not sun tea either although my mom had tried that a few times early on but then stuck to regular iced tea.

My mom even had a Mr. Coffee iced tea maker for a while but to be honest I was never really down with it.  It worked alright but it didn’t make things any easier really.  Making iced tea isn’t something that is very hard or time consuming.

When Scott and I first moved in together, our iced tea worlds collided.  He comes from an Instant Family so you can see how we would have butted heads.  I couldn’t get over someone liking a “fake” tea spawned from a powder containing lord knows what, when I could make iced tea that had three ingredients: Tea, water, sugar.

Eventually his addiction to powdered tea phased out and now he’s converted to proper iced tea.  I tell myself this is a result of his ever developing palate and not due to the fact that I finally declared that, “I’m not buying that stuff anymore.”  I’m pretty sure it’s the first scenario.

Making iced tea is really simple! And it can be a great beverage to have on occasion and especially handy when entertaining guests.  Plus, tea is really versatile and you can make so many different kinds!

Andrea’s Basic Iced Tea

  • 6 tea bags (like Lipton or your choice of whatever)
  • 2 Quarts boiling water
  • 1/2C Cane sugar
  • 1 gallon glass pitcher
  • Extra water

Either in your gallon pitcher or another glass container, add the tea bags and cover with boiling water.  Allow to steep for at least half an hour.  Remove tea bags and add the sugar, stir.  If you are not using the gallon pitcher for steeping the tea bags, then pour the tea into that at this point.  Top off with cold water until the gallon pitcher is full.

Chill, serve over ice, and enjoy!

When I say that tea is versatile, I mean that with this basic recipe you can change it up to suit your tastes!  Maybe you like green tea, use those instead.  Like mint tea?  Use half regular tea bags and half peppermint tea bags.

For fruit teas, the same half and half rule applies with using your favorite fruit tea or herbal tea blend.

Only have loose leaf teas?  Use a tea infuser!

Fresh fruit can be added to iced tea for some extra flavor and punch.  Even fruit juices can be added to teas!

Fresh herbs can be added to tea for a savory or minty background note.

Want a stronger tea? Just use more tea bags and steep for a bit longer.

I love iced tea most especially in the summer.  It’s a great drink to have as you’re sitting on the back patio enjoying a quiet moment or a tending to the grill.

Are you an iced tea drinker? What is your favorite kind of ice tea?  A Long Island Iced Tea doesn’t count!

13 thoughts on “Making Iced Tea

  1. I grew up in rural south Georgia, and sweet tea was a staple beverage for us! I still love ice tea (mostly unsweetened these days!) but only if it’s actually brewed – I’m with you on the nasty powdered stuff. I spend part of my summers back down south, and one of my treats while I’m there is an occasional glass of sweet tea. I still remember the shock of moving away from home and ordering tea in a restaurant, and being brought unsweetened… that seemed so foreign to me :)

  2. I grew up in the South, too, and tea is as much a way of life there as gravy and fried-everything. My favourite in the summertime is the half regular, half peppermint. Oh, who am I kidding? That’s my favourite year round. And I have fresh peppermint growing in my front yard. I’ve also got spearmint and chocolate mint in the garden, and am thinking of trying both of them in tea when (IF?!) it warms up here.

  3. Oh, also? I have never had/made sun tea that didn’t taste spoiled. Something about it sitting out there, even for short times, makes it taste awful. Almost as bad as that nuclear-waste instant stuff.

  4. As a self-respecting Yankee, sugar shouldn’t be anywhere near tea! In fact, I have driven cross-country a couple of times, and the house tea is always a good indication of how far east or west you are. My favorite tea is iced green tea these days. It is very refreshing.

  5. What do you mean LIIT doesn’t count?!?!?! It counts in my book!
    My Mom used to make sun tea growing up – she’d just put the whole jug in the pool and let it heat up in there (this was Texas, so the pool water alone was a brisk 85 degrees in the summer).
    I very rarely drink iced tea but it’s starting to grow on me as sometimes I don’t want water and it’s not as sweet as soda.

  6. I love Iced tea, but prefer it to be unsweetened. I’ve gotten to enjoy the puzzled looks I get when I specify unsweetened tea. Oddly enough, I do like a bit of sugar with my hot tea.

  7. I think I go against everything southern, I do not like iced tea. I love the instruction though because (supporting everything southern) I want to be hostess with the mostest and that means tea!

    love the color on the tea holder/dispenser!

  8. We are iced tea drinkers! We have been here since we first got together. We have brewed it on the stove, done iced tea, had the iced tea pot and now we are back to the stove top. It just works and it is easy! We do have reg and half decaf. No sugar now. We use to make it like humming bird food! YUCK! Now we add a little bit of stevia to our own glasses because sometimes you feel a little sweet and sometimes you don’t.

  9. hey, love your ice tea post!

    we are very much alike! hahhahah. are you doing anything with your psych/crim degree? I am not. hahhha

    i really like ur blog. very creative and fresh!! :)

    hope your having a great day!

  10. We didn’t drink tea much until like 4 years ago, we come from the North West, and hardly anyone drank Iced Tea there. I have made it in many ways, on the stove, in the microwave, and in the sun, all ways suited me just fine. We lightly sweeten ours when it gets in the glass, since we all have different taste buds.

  11. I am definitely an iced tea drinker!! Especially in the summer time. This post just inspired me to want to make a batch of my own! YUMMMMM! Now I just the need the sunshine to come out for good so I can relax in the sun with my iced tea! :)

  12. I’m an avid tea drinker and connoisseur.
    I grow my own different varieties of mints in my garden. From Peppermint, Spearmint, Ginger Mint, Apple Mint to Orange Mint and Lemon Balm. There is not a day that goes by when I have a Jug full of some kind of Mint Tea in the Fridge and now of course Sun Tea too with the hot weather and all. Unsweetened and fresh sprigs just like Mother Nature would have wanted me to enjoy it =) I Love It!

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