10 Jun How To Make Iced Tea at Home with Tea Bags
Nothing goes better with sunny days spent on the patio or by the pool than a glass of iced tea. While you might typically get your tea from a bottle or the coffee shop down the street, this classic warm-weather beverage is easy to make at home with tea bags!
As the cold weather finally recedes and we move closer to the glorious days of summer, here’s a refresher on how to make delicious iced tea in your own kitchen:
Step One: Use the Right Tea-to-Water Ratio
Before you simply plunge tea bags into a mug, you must make sure you’re using the right amount of tea and water. This is true regardless of what tea brewing method you’re following because the ice cubes will eventually dilute the tea. Brewing double strength will ensure your beverage still tastes good, right down to the last, watered-down sip.
Moreover, it’s important to use twice as many tea bags – not just steep the bags twice as long. Brewing with more tea will yield a fuller, stronger flavor that can withstand dilution. Steeping for a longer time will also produce more flavor, but it will likely be bitter and astringent due to over-extraction.
Not sure how much tea to brew? One cup of tea is generally considered to be six ounces, and hot tea is typically brewed with one tea bag per six ounces. Therefore, you should use two tea bags for every six ounces when making iced tea. For example, a 24-ounce batch would call for eight tea bags.
Step Two: Brew Your Tea Hot or Cold
When you’re ready to make your tea, you can use either a hot or cold brewing method. Hot tea leaf brewing is the traditional way tea is made; however, some are produced by infusing cold water with tea bags (much like cold brew coffee).
To brew with hot water, heat the appropriate amount of water in a stovetop glass tea kettle (or another kettle of your choice). A glass whistling tea kettle is particularly nice to have, as you can place the bags directly in it and watch the water change color as the tea infuses. When using something other than a glass stovetop tea kettle, transfer the water to a proper teapot before you infuse it.
If you’d rather brew your iced tea with cold water, simply fill your kettle, teapot, or carafe with cold water and place the appropriate number of tea bags. Then, let the water sit in the refrigerator for eight to 12 hours, and the tea will infuse on its own. Be careful not to exceed 12 hours, as this will produce a bitter flavor. When your tea is done brewing, remove the bags and serve over ice.
When making iced tea, you can opt for tea bags or loose leaf tea. However, tea bags are a much easier option. Because you might have to adjust how much tea you brew to ensure a strong flavor that will resist dilution, it’s more convenient to brew with bags, which can be added to a kettle or teapot with ease. A tea infuser on the other hand, can only hold so many leaves for loose leaf tea brewing. For example, you can’t cram two cups’ worth of tea into a single-cup tea infuser, but you can add two bags to one teacup.
Optional Step: Sweeten Your Iced Tea
Depending on your preferences, you might want your iced tea to be sweet. Sugar or any other sweeteners should be added after brewing the tea and before cooling it. This ensures that the sugar molecules don’t interfere with the extraction process but still allows you to dissolve the sugar with ease.
Step Three: Cool Your Iced Tea
Once the tea is brewed, all you have to do is cool it. You can either pour the tea directly over ice for immediate enjoyment or place it in the refrigerator until it cools down. Either way, it’s best to serve it with ice to ensure it’s cold and refreshing.
Ready to enjoy this classic spring and summer beverage? Café Brew has everything you need to brew delicious iced tea at home. Explore our selection to find high-quality glass stovetop tea kettles, tea kettle parts, and more. Or, contact us today to learn more about our products!