Since its invention in 1904 by Richard Blechynden, iced tea has been an American staple. It’s a popular drink that many people enjoy in coffee and tea shops.
While many people are willing to pay high prices in restaurants for iced tea, it’s possible to prepare this beverage at home and enjoy it at a low cost.
Whether you like drinking tea in the morning or evening, learning how to make iced tea with tea bags can be a life-saving skill.
It can save you a lot of time and money as you won’t have to walk down to coffee shops to have an energizing drink on a hot day.
Iced tea also has a refreshing taste and makes a special drink for a hot summer day. You’ll always thank yourself for learning how to prepare this beverage!
If you want to learn how to make iced tea with tea bags, here are 7 perfect tips that can help you make a stronger batch of delicious iced tea.
How to Make Iced Tea with Tea Bags
1. Choose the High-Quality Tea Bags
If you want to make great-tasting iced tea, you need to be picky about your tea. Go for only high-quality tea bags to make perfect iced tea.
There are some tea bags with tea that is blended specifically for iced tea. These tea bags come with orange pekoe black tea, which is the best for a classic iced tea.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try other types of tea. It’s still good to buy the type of tea that suits your personal preferences, provided it can yield a stronger flavor.
It’s also important to choose tea bags made of high-quality and reliable material. Poor-quality material of a tea bag can interfere with the taste and flavor of your iced tea.
Along with the material used, it’s crucial to consider the shape of the tea bags you are using. Some shapes deliver better results than others.
In this case, flat and pyramid-shaped tea bags offer the best performance, leading to richer and full flavors.
2. Use Soft or Filtered Water
When making iced tea with tea bags, it’s essential to pay attention to the type of water you use as it can affect the overall results.
Water is very important in tea brewing as it takes a more significant percentage of the drink. So, if you use tap water, which is often hard and unfiltered, there are higher chances that your tea won’t taste better.
Hard water has minerals that can cause the tea components like tannins and oil to separate and make the tea appear cloudy.
When you add ice to tea made with hard water, it will form a cloudy layer on top or even separate the flavorings in the drink.
The best thing to do is ensure that you use only clean, filtered water. It will make the final infusion taste better to reveal the tea’s aromas and flavor.
Additionally, you should not overlook the quality of ice cubes you are using to serve your drink. Keep in mind that poor-quality ice can easily ruin a delicious brew.
Some ice cube trays make poor-quality ice cubes, especially when not cleaned often. Be sure to wash your ice cube trays often for better-quality, smooth, and strong ice cubes.
3. Make Fruit-Infused Iced Tea with Tea Bags
Iced tea tastes great when mixed with fruity flavorings such as raspberry, peach, cherry, strawberry, or passion fruit.
To make fruit-infused iced tea, you can use fresh fruit or fruity syrup. In this case, fresh fruit will offer better results than fruit-infused syrup.
However, a fruit-infused syrup is still a great option if you don’t have access to fresh fruits and want your iced tea to taste great.
What’s interesting about fruit-infused iced tea is that you can make it with different types of fruits to discover new flavors.
Here is how to make a fruity iced tea:
- 1Pour your clean, fresh water in a kettle or saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Remove the water from heat and put your tea bags in it (2 tea bags for each cup of water). Then let tea steep for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Once you finish steeping, allow the tea to cool for about 10 minutes until it reaches room temperature. Then add two more cups of cold water.
- Stir the tea and refrigerate for about 2 to 3 hours.
- Sweeten the tea with a half cup of white sugar. Then cut a few pieces of fruits you want to use. If you are working with syrup, use about five tablespoons.
- Stir the tea well to combine it with the fruits. Serve the drink in a glass filled halfway with ice cubes and garnish with a sprig of mint or cinnamon powder.
4. Make Vanilla Ice Tea with Tea Bags
Are you the kind of a tea lover who prefers creamy iced drinks? Vanilla iced tea is for you. It offers a perfectly amazing strong tea drinking experience.
You can easily make this type of iced tea at home using tea bags with Earl Grey Cream Tea. This tea is a mixture of black tea and French vanilla-infused with bergamot orange.
It results in a smooth, sweet, and robust drink with rich flavors and aromas. Here is how to make it:
- Heat about 4 cups of water on the stove and remove it from heat once boiled.
- Add four vanilla-flavored tea bags and leave them to steep for two minutes.
- Transfer the tea into a glass pitcher and allow it to cool for about two hours.
- Squeeze one lemon into the tea to add lemon flavor. You can also use one tablespoon of lemon juice as an alternative.
- Sweeten the tea with one tablespoon of simple syrup or any other preferred sweetener. However, if you want to use sugar, you’ll need to add it before the tea cools to dissolve and disperse evenly.
- Serve the tea over ice cubes and a spoon of vanilla cream in tea glasses.
5. Watch the Steeping Time
When making iced tea with tea bags, it’s essential to check your package instructions and see the recommended steeping time.
Generally, most black tea bags steep for about 2 to 5 minutes to produce a flavorful iced tea.
The water temperature also determines how long you should steep your tea bags as cold water requires more steeping time.
When steeping tea bags in hot water, the process shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Beyond that, you’ll ruin the drink as some delicate flavors will be lost, leaving you with overly bitter tea.
Moreover, you shouldn’t put the tea bags into boiling water as this will also lead to bitter tea.
When making cold brew iced tea, you steep the tea bags in cold water, which usually takes about 8 to 12 hours.
Steeping your tea bags in cold water for less than eight hours will result in weak tea with less flavors due to under extraction.
Similarly, you may end up with bitter tea if you steep your tea bags in cold water for more than 12 hours.
6. Don’t Store Your Tea in a Plastic Container
Did you know that plastic containers can absorb and release flavors to your tea? Well, this is real, and you can end up drinking tea with plastic and some other disgusting taste.
Moreover, tea can easily pick up flavors and smells from the surrounding, and so you will want to store it in a closed container. The best way to steep or store tea is by using a sealed glass container.
But before you pour your tea into the glass container, make sure that the container is clean and smell-free to avoid ruining your drink.
You shouldn’t also use a metallic container as it will give your tea a metallic taste.
When storing your tea in the refrigerator, it’s important to ensure that it’s cooled to room temperature but not warm. Otherwise, you’ll end up with cloudy tea.
7. Make Cold Brew Iced Tea with Tea Bags
For most tea lovers, cold brew makes the delicious iced as there are no bitter or tannic flavors.
So, can you put a tea bag in cold water and still get the best results? The answer is yes, but you will have to wait for up to 12 hours.
Cold brew tea is a great deal as it remains fresh-tasting for many days compared to hot brew iced tea.
Here is how to make cold brew iced tea with tea bags:
- Place about eight tea bags in the bottom of a glass container or teapot. The tea bags should have your preferred type of tea. It can be green tea, black tea, or flavored tea bags.
- Pour 8 cups of room temperature or cold water in the glass container over the tea bags. Then stir gently to ensure that all the tea bags are well-soaked in the water.
- Cover the container with its lid and place the tea in the refrigerator to steep for about 8 to 12 hours. You can also leave it to steep at room temperature on the countertop.
- After 12 hours have passed, remove the tea bags and discard them.
- Serve the tea over ice cubes in tea glasses with lemon-fresh. You can add sweeteners of your choice, including honey or sweetened condensed milk.
- Store the remaining tea in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Why Use Tea Bags When Making Iced Tea?
Tea bags are small porous pouches filled with loose dried tea leaves infused in boiling or hot water to make tea. They come with different types of tea from various brands.
While most tea masters prefer using loose leaves when steeping tea, there are many benefits of making iced tea with tea bags. They include:
Convenience: Tea bags are the most convenient way to make coffee within a few minutes and with less or no mess. You just have to ensure that you buy high-quality teabags with your favorite type of tea leaves.
- Simplicity: It’s easy to put a tea bag into a cup of hot water or teapot with boiled brew your tea effortlessly. You won’t need extra dishes or equipment. Tea fanatics who appreciate simplicity and convenience often use tea bags when steeping tea.
- No Straining: Once you finish steeping the tea, you just have to remove the teabag and toss it into the bin or compost pile. You don’t have to worry about strainers or infusers to separate the tea leaves from the tea.
- Faster Brewing: Tea bags are perfect for iced tea as preparing this type of tea can be a lot of work, especially if you are using fresh flavorings. They make the brewing process much easier and quicker to allow you to do other things. This is very handy if you are preparing for a tea party.
If you want to get the best results when making iced tea with tea bags, go for larger tea bags with enough space for the filling to absorb water and expand.
Such tea bags provide enough room for a complete infusion of flavors, aromas, and taste. Hence, you will end up with a robust and delicious cup of iced tea.
Avoid tiny, confined tea bags as they can be bad news. They limit infusion, leading to under extraction and less flavor.
The Best Way to Store Iced Tea
If you prepare too much iced tea than you can finish, you don’t have to dispose of the remnants. There are ways that you can store it to last longer so you can consume it later.
While it’s possible to store iced coffee for several days, the taste will deteriorate with time. A three-day cup will not taste like a freshly brewed cup, but it will still be safe to consume.
Keep your iced tea in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing flavors and odors from other foods in the fridge.
Sugar is the primary cause of accelerated bacterial growth in any iced tea. If you want your tea to last longer, you should use other sweeteners like honey or syrup instead of sugar.
If you want the flavors in your tea to last longer, you will be compelled to use high-quality tea.
When preparing tea for later consumption, try adding fun recipes for it to last longer. An excellent example of such a recipe is the green tea sangria.
Even if you store your tea very well, don’t consume it if it has a funny smell and changed the color.
Iced tea is one of the best ways to refresh on a hot day. If you have high-quality tea bags, you can make hundreds of different flavors using multiple methods.
However, it’s easy to end up with a bad-tasting drink if you don’t know how to make iced tea with tea bags. You can use the above tips to get the best results.