How to Make the Best Iced Tea this Summer
Friday, August 09, 2019
— Updated May 13, 2022
Bring on the sun! It seems like we waited forever for winter to make its way off stage, but now, as we make our way through the long, sultry days and balmy nights, we’re happy to have a dripping, iced-out glass of tea.
What Is the Best Black Tea for Iced Tea?
The classic iced tea you get at most restaurants or make at home is most likely black tea—typically Assam or a blend of Assam and Nilgiri teas. If you’re looking for that particular nostalgic flavor, Positively Tea has Organic Assam TGFOP and Organic Nilgiri FBOP. Both of these make amazing iced tea all by themselves, but we’ve found that a blend of two parts Assam to one part Nilgiri creates an outstandingly smooth and delicious blend. Whether you enjoy it with lemon, sweetened, or straight out of the fridge, this blend will transport you to a lazy mid-summer day.
What About Fruity Iced Tea?
Fruit teas have blown up, so if you’re looking for a little more variety in your summer bevs, our black tea fruit blends, such as Ginger Orange Peach, Passion Fruit, Mango Tango, and Juicy Peach lend themselves particularly well to making the thirst-quenching brews you’ll be craving as the temperatures soar! Bring a fresh batch to your next BBQ and it’s guaranteed to be the hit of the party! Check out the cold brew method below and sweeten with sugar, honey, or stevia if you like.
Time to Thai One On!
Thai iced tea (or cha yen) is a big favorite of ours and is a delicious change of pace when the heat rolls in. Start with Positively Tea’s Organic Ceylon or Organic Golden Monkey and brew ‘em hot. Make a strong batch so that the flavor of your tea soars through the other flavors. As you add the loose tea, add:
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise pods
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons of almond extract
- 1/2 of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- Steep for five to ten minutes and strain.
- Stir in half a cup of sugar and one cup of sweetened condensed milk, then chill.
- When you’re ready to serve, pour over ice and add with coconut milk or whole milk.
Can I Make a Tea Latte?
A close cousin to thai iced tea is the iced chai latte. For this, you’ll need to start with our Organic Masala Chai. You could start with any of Positively Tea’s chai blends, which frees you from having to find and measure the spices yourself! Using the cold brew method below, make a strong batch of tea. Mix two parts tea to one part milk—whole or almond (or any other type that you like)—and sweeten with sugar or honey. Serve over ice for a wonderfully spicy treat. If you want to turn it into a dirty chai latte, add a shot of espresso. We recommend Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Organic Drago.
If iced tea lattes are your thing, you’ll want to try these as well: Organic Butterscotch Black, Organic Pumpkin Spice, or Organic Choco Coco Joy They’re so good, you may not want to drink them hot anymore!
What’s the Best Way to Sweeten Tea?
If you like your tea sweet but don’t like to add calories, be sure to check out our Organic Stevia Leaf Herbal Tisane. Add stevia to your mix when brewing your tea or use it on its own to make a calorie-free simple syrup to add some sweetness to any beverage.
We’ve Got Brewers, Too (Not the Milwaukee Kind)
Need a new brewer to try out these recipes? You’re in luck! Check out the Hario® Ka-Ku Cold Brew Tea Bottle. It’s lightweight, shatter-resistant, and features an internal filter system—designed to sit in your fridge upright or laid down without leaking. We’ve also got the Toddy® Artisan, which, while marketed as a coffee cold-brewer, works exceptionally well for tea. We’ve even got the Toddy® Commercial Model, which makes two and a half gallons of cold brew coffee or tea, so save that one for when you’re really thirsty.
Tea is a journey. Enjoy it.
How to Cold Brew Tea
- For every 8 cups* of water, measure out 10 - 12 tablespoons of loose-leaf.
- Combine water and tea in a sealable container.
- Refrigerate for at least 16 hours, and anywhere beyond that (up to 36 hours) for added strength.
- Strain your tea and enjoy!
- If you like to sweeten your tea but it’s already chilled, we’ve found that a bit of simple syrup works better than granulated sugar.
* One US cup = 8 fluid ounces. 8 US cups = 2 quarts or one-half gallon. If you’re using the metric system, 8 US cups is just a little shy of 2 liters. A tablespoon is about 60 ml (by volume) or 2 grams (by weight).