Iced tea is a great refreshing drink during the hot days. You can buy many kinds in the stores, however majority are full of sugar and other unhealthy additives.
But what if you could make your own homemade iced tea, perfectly tasty and also good for you! Below you can find a very easy recipe that is also very adaptable!
What ingredients do you need for a homemade Iced Tea
The ingredients for the iced tea may vary, depending on your taste. You can choose them as desired:
1. Tea: black, green, white, herbal or fruit tea… You can use teabags from any brand you like, loose tea or even fresh herbs, such as mint or thyme. You can also make a mix of teas – just choose carefully the combination, preferably not more than two kinds together.
2. Lemon: It gives a nice fresh taste to the iced tea so using it is highly recommended. You can substitute it by lime.
3. Sweetener: honey is my preferred sweetener for iced tea but you can use also stevia, coconut sugar, agave syrup or brown sugar.
4. Mint leaves: they are a great addition to any herbal infusion.
5. Fresh fruits: for even better experience you can add pieces of fresh fruit in the iced tea: peaches, oranges, raspberries would go very well. The fruits are optional too but they give a special touch to the iced tea.
Best Iced Tea recipe
There are two ways of making iced tea: hot brewed and cold brewed. I normally prefer hot brewed and especially for herbal infusions it works better in my view. In case of black or green tea you might want to try cold brewed as it is known for leaving less tannins in the infusion and making it sweeter and less bitter.
How to make Iced Tea
First thing is to brew the tea (or the herbs). If you use hot water, you need about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the kind of tea and how concentrated you like it. In case of cold water (not recommended for herbs) you need 4 to 8 hours.
For the tea on the photos I used fresh mint leaves and teabags with dried thyme. I brewed them with hot water for about 10 minutes and passed the tea through a sieve into a pitcher. I added lemon juice, lemon slices, mint leaves, peach slices, honey, cold water and ice.
Is Iced Tea healthy
Store bought iced tea usually contains high quantities of sugar and often also artificial colours and other unhealthy additives. Homemade iced tea can be healthy, if you avoid sweetening it with refined sugar. The natural additions like lemon, fruits and mint leaves are all good for you.
This is a recipe with different variations so I will be very glad if you share what ingredients you used for your iced tea.
Homemade Iced Tea Recipe
- 4-5 bags of tea by choice*
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 cups of cold water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons of honey*
- lemon slices
- ice cubes
- fresh mint, optional
- fresh fruit slices, optional
- In a small kettle or a heatproof bowl soak the tea in 1 cup pf hot water Brew for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove the teabags (if using loose leaves, pour the tea through a mesh sievand transfer the liquid to a pitcher.
- Add honey and juice of one lemon. Stir to dissolve the honey.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into the pitcher and stir. You can serve right away.
- Alternatively brew the tea with 5 cups of cold water for 6 to 8 hours (not recommended for purely herbal infusion). In this case you need to stir well the tea after adding the honey until it dissolves.
- In case you prefer loose tea leaves or herbs, use 1 tbs for each bag. If you want to make the tea with fresh mint or thyme, use about two handfuls of herbs for the same quantity of water.
- The herbs need to be brewed for longer time than the tea: 5-15 minutes for dried herbs and 15-30 minutes for fresh herbs.
- Instead of honey you can use other sweeteners. Adjust the quantity according to your taste.