Believe it or not, there are times even we crave something other than a warm cup of tea. Some settings simply call for something ice-cold and revitalising- we think no drink ticks those boxes like a refreshing iced tea.
Complete with the myriad wellbeing benefits and nuanced flavours of your base tea, iced tea takes on a whole new character, which is:
- Deeply thirst-quenching
- Easy to make
- Endlessly customisable
- A delicious alternative to water, soft-drinks and alcohol
How to make iced tea
Before you begin, here are some golden guidelines for making the best iced tea from your leaves.
Choose your method
Yes, there’s more than one way to do this! There’s cold and even ice brewing, but having painstakingly selected leaves that produce excellent flavour in hot water, we recommend hot brewing for Dragonfly teas. There are two ways to approach this method:
- Classic: Making tea as you usually would, then allowing it to cool before serving.
- Quick: Making a stronger brew with hot water and bringing the concentration and temperature down with cold water and ice.
Opt for quality
Your iced tea can only ever be as good as the leaves you brew it from. For the most interesting and enjoyable flavour profile, choose a high quality tea.
Use fresh, filtered water
Tap water contains minerals that can affect the tea’s taste; use filtered if you can! Don’t forget to boil a fresh kettle of water for every brew, too.
Brew, don’t stew
Save yourself a mishap by checking the recommended brewing time for your chosen tea. For example, green and black teas can turn bitter if brewed for too long, while rooibos and oolong teas simply develop a fuller taste.
Check the temperature
For green and white teas, let the kettle cool a little before pouring the water. This prevents scalding of the delicate leaves, which can cause bitterness.
Watch the ice
While ice is all-important in this chilled drink, too much melting into your tea can upset the dilution ratio and produce a weak flavour. If you like it very icy, you could use larger ice cubes (they melt slower), or start with a stronger brew.
Experiment with your iced tea creations!
There are endless possibilities when making iced tea. Try different base teas (you could use green tea instead of black tea, for example) and complementary ingredients, such as citrus fruits, orange slices, fresh berries, herbs and sweeteners. Start with flavour combinations you know you love, then get creative!
Now you’re ready to get brewing, here’s our super simple basic recipe to make iced tea, in which the taste of the tea does the talking. Enjoy in its pure, refreshing form, or use to start experimenting:
Quick and easy iced tea
Our delicious basic iced tea recipe uses a concentrated hot tea brew, cold water and ice to cut down on prep time. A shortcut to refreshment! Serves 4.
- 4-5 tsp of your favourite loose leaf tea or 4-5 teabags
- 300ml freshly boiled water
- 600ml cold water
- Sugar, honey or agave syrup to sweeten
- Ice cubes
- Garnishes, such as lemon slices, fresh mint leaves and edible flowers
- Check for the recommended water temperature and brew time of your chosen tea and brew your leaves/teabags accordingly.
- Remove your leaves/teabags and pour the hot tea into a heatproof 1-litre jug.
- Top the jug up to nearly full with cold water.
- Sweeten to taste.
- Add plenty of ice to glasses before pouring over your tea and garnishing.
Which tea to use
The secret to the perfect iced tea is finding out what’s perfect for you. Which tea makes for the best base is down to personal preference - that’s part of the fun!
To start you off, you could try something classic and fragrant, such as our organic Earl Grey for the basic iced tea, above. The uplifting notes of bergamot sing in the pared-down recipe.
Iced tea recipes with fresh fruit
Still need inspiration? Here are two ways you can make iced tea with fresh fruit using the classic hot brewing method (best begun the night before):
1. Peach iced tea
The ultimate summer holiday iced tea.
- 2 Dragonfly Organic Traditional English Breakfast teabags
- 1 litre boiling water
- 500 ml cold water
- 3 peaches pitted and chopped
- 2-3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- Ice cubes
- Add teabags to boiling water and steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove teabags and allow tea to cool before popping in the fridge.
- Put the cold water, peaches and honey in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the peach skins come away.
- Strain the liquid over a fine sieve, mashing the peaches to extract the juice.
- Add the peach water to the chilled tea, pour over ice and serve.
For something stronger, try muddling in a splash of rum. Delicious!
Adapted from: Hungry Healthy Happy Peach Iced Tea
2. Iced rooibos raspberry tea
Make a pitcher of this caffeine-free cooler to enjoy while relaxing in the sun.
- 4 Dragonfly Organic Rooibos teabags
- 1 litre boiling water
- Honey or sugar to taste
- 100g fresh raspberries
- A handful of fresh mint leaves
- Place teabags in a heatproof jug and fill with boiling water.
- Allow to brew for 8-10 minutes and remove teabags.
- Sweeten to taste.
- Add whole raspberries and mint leaves and leave to cool, then stir well and serve over plenty of ice.
Adapted from: Iced Rooibos Tea With Raspberries & Mint
Have you tried making your own iced tea? We’d love to see your creations! Tag us in your iced tea pictures over on Social and let us know your recipes for iced tea perfection!