How to make the perfect iced tea, in three delicious variations
The iced tea is THE summer drink! It's so refreshing and energizing at the same time. If you buy it often, know that it is very easy and especially much cheaper to do it yourself . And this often avoids artificial ingredients as well as a good amount of sugar. There are just a few small rules to follow.
Here is the basic recipe as well as three delicious ideas for a change.
Which tea to use?
Iced tea is often made with traditional black tea, but almost all kinds of tea can be enjoyed once cooled. You can even make iced “herbal teas” or use flavored tea, which will add flavor.
To take into consideration: the better the tea, the better the result will be. For the connoisseur, there is nothing better than using loose leaf tea. To infuse it, it sells bags to fill yourself.
You are free to sweeten your iced tea to taste, but one thing is certain: even if you have a sweet tooth, homemade tea may still be less sweet than store-bought tea.
Whether you use granulated sugar, maple syrup or honey, it is necessary to add it while the tea is hot, usually just after it has been brewed.
If you want to add the sugar after the tea is cold (to give everyone a chance to sweeten it in their glass), there are a few options: superfine sugar (it's written on the packaging; this one it dissolves well even when cold), stevia or simple syrup.
Simple syrup is made by bringing an equal amount of water and granulated sugar to a boil, then turning off the heat immediately after. You can use it as soon as it has cooled down and keep it in the fridge for several days.
Do not try to put granulated sugar in iced tea; the sugar will not dissolve, but will instead fall to the bottom of the glass.
Also, don't forget that like hot tea, iced tea can be drunk unsweetened very well! You can simply add a few fruits that will sweeten the taste.
To make iced tea, you can easily double the amount of tea that you would use to make hot tea. Why? First, because the cold has the property of making the flavors less pronounced and second, because if you use ice, the tea will become more diluted.
Pay attention to the infusion time: for a robust and tasty iced tea, it is better to put more tea bags than to let the bags steep longer, otherwise the tea will develop its tannins and become more acrid.
Should we boil the water?
This is the traditional and fastest way, but not necessarily. For purists, the best way to make iced tea is cold infusion, that is, to fill a pitcher with cold water and place tea bags directly in it. The pitcher then goes in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours before removing them and sweetening (see note above) or flavoring to taste. It seems to make the most delicious iced tea ever, with a very "pure" taste. Try it if you have the time!
How long does iced tea keep?
It is advisable to keep it in the fridge for about 2 days, 3 at most, otherwise it risks losing its "freshness".
So it is better to make smaller amounts more often.
The basic recipe
Makes a pitcher of iced tea
- 6 cups of water
- 6-8 good quality black tea bags
- About ½ cup of sugar (to taste)
- Lemon and / or lime slices
- Boil the water and pour it into the pitcher.
- Add the tea bags and let steep 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the bags and add the sugar.
- Stir with a spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Let cool a little before putting in the fridge, or add a good quantity of ice to cool it more quickly.
- Place lemon or lime slices in the pitcher to flavor the tea.
Green tea also makes great iced tea! Since this type of tea is particularly susceptible to becoming bitter, the teabags are not allowed to steep for more than 2 minutes.
Add cucumber slices and grapefruit wedges. Their respective flavors complement each other perfectly! You can also add a few fresh mint leaves.
White tea has a very mild taste. Formerly, it was only reserved for emperors because of its rarity and its preciousness! It is also very good in iced tea.
Add pieces of ripe peaches and fresh basil. Another interesting addition: ½ tsp. chia seeds per glass.
Rooibos tea is a red “tea”, which does not contain caffeine. We add here 1 or 2 sachet (s) of herbal tea with hibiscus, which gives a very nice color to the drink, as well as seasonal berries.