When the summer heat is in full swing, a refreshing iced tea is just what you need to cool down. But have you ever tried the cold brew method for making iced tea? It's a simple and easy method that produces a smooth and naturally sweet tea without any bitterness.
In this recipe, we'll show you how to make cold brew tea at home with just a few ingredients and minimal effort.
If you are familiar with cold brew coffee, then clod-brew tea will be right up your alley. Cold-brewed iced tea served over a tall glass filled with ice is the perfect thing to quench your thirst on a hot summer day. Once you make the basic cold brewed tea recipe, you can start to experiment with the method by using your favorite teas.
Instead of using hot water to brew the tea, or leaving the tea outside like old-fashioned sun tea, this recipe simply uses cold filtered water and lets the tea brew overnight in the refrigerator. Using this method allows the tea to be less bitter than an iced tea made from hot tea that has cooled down.
Cold brewing tea takes some time, but it's hand-off for the most part, and is an excellent way to prepare tea for a crowd.
For added flavor, you can try adding this mint simple syrup to your finished cold-brew tea.
- 6 bags of orange pekoe tea 8 cups of cold water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Ice, for serving
- lemon slices and mint leaves, optional garnish
See recipe card for quantities.
Using a large mason jar or pitcher, add the teabags, then fill the jar with water. Cover the jar and place it in the refrigerator at least for 8 hours.
Drain the tea into a pitcher and add the sweetener of your choice, stirring to dissolve.
Pour the tea into serving glasses filled with plenty of ice.
Garnish the glasses with lemon slices and mint, if desired.
🤔How long to steep cold brew tea
Cold brewed tea needs to be steeped at least 8 hours. The cold water will extract the flavor from the tea more slowly than if you were to use hot water. Plan ahead so you're not tempted to rush the process.
You can leave the teabags in the water for as long as 12 hours. Since the mason jar or pitcher you'll be using will be in the refrigerator, there won't be any concern for bacteria growth, like there is for other brewing methods, like sun tea.
- Orange Pekoe Tea(Lipton tea bags) - instead of traditional tea bags, you can use any type of tea you want. Some good options are white tea, Japanese green teas or even earl grey. This passion herbal tea blend or this strawberry watermelon tea would also be great options for this recipe
- Sugar - use honey or agave syrup to sweeten your tea. I have even seen recipes that use brown sugar to sweeten tea!
- Spicy - add cinnamon sticks or chai spice powder to the mason jar when you are adding the tea bags.
- Minty Iced tea- Use 1 cup of this homemade mint syrup instead of sugar when making this delicious iced tea.
- Fruit infused - add some fresh fruit. Strawberries, mango, or pineapple are great options. Fruit teas made with green tea using this brewing method are very light and refreshing on hot summer days.
The equipment needed for this cold-brew method is very minimal. A cold brew tea bottle is great if you are using loose leaf tea, and just want to make enough tea for one day. If you want to have enough tea to last you a few days, my favorite glass container to use is these half gallon mason jars. They are the perfect size for this brewing technique.
You can transfer the iced tea to a large pitcher with a spout for serving.
Store the cold-brewed tea covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can put the tea into smaller mason jars for a quick and easy grab-and-go drink glass of iced tea.
When you remove the tea bags from the glass jar, don't press the tea bags or try to squeeze them. The main benefit of cold-brewing tea is to have a smooth flavor. Pressing or squeezing the tea bags can make your tea have bitter flavors. As the tea steeps, the full flavor of the tea will be released even though the first few hours of infusion will look like nothing is happening.
📖Printable Recipe Card
Cold Brew Iced Tea Recipe
- 1 half gallon mason jar
- 1 glass pitcher
- 6 bags of orange pekoe tea
- 8 cups of cold water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Ice for serving
- lemon slices and mint leaves optional garnish
- Using a large mason jar or pitcher, add the teabags, then fill the jar with water. Cover the jar and place it in the refrigerator at least for 8 hours.
- Strain the tea into a pitcher and add the sweetener of your choice, stirring to dissolve.
- Pour the tea into serving glasses filled with plenty of ice.
- Garnish the glasses with lemon slices and mint, if desired.