How to Make Iced Tea: A Step-by-Step Guide
Making you own iced tea couldn’t be simpler. All you’ll need is a tea of your liking and a large glass jar or pitcher. Use a ratio of 1/2 ounce tea per quart water. That works out to about 2 tablespoons loose tea or 5-6 tea bags. Strong black teas are the traditional base for iced tea, but feel free to experiment with green teas and herbal teas to find a flavor you like.
Bring a pot or kettle of water to a simmer — but not boiling. The optimal temperature for tea is about 180 degrees F, or when bubbles just begin to break the surface of the water. Pour the water into your pitcher or jar, then add the tea. Adding the tea to the hot water is gentler on the tea, and makes for a milder flavor.
Meanwhile, make a simple syrup (if you like your tea a little sweet) by combining equal parts granulated sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool, pour into a bottle and refrigerate.
After five minutes, the tea should be steeped and dark. Do not leave to steep longer than five minutes or the tea will become tannic and bitter. Remove the tea bags or loose tea and discard. Let the tea cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Enjoy your tea over ice and, if desired, add slices of lemon or sweeten with the simple syrup you prepared earlier.