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Looking for the best way to make Ice Tea... [moved from Pennsylvania board]

I can never seem to get ice tea right? I dont know how much water for the number of tea bags and the right amount of sugar?? Anyone have a good recipe?

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  1. If you're using teabags, the standard tea bag ratio to water, is one teabag per 8oz/1Cup of water. For a gallon of iced tea, I would use 8cups of boiling water, and either 16 (for an extra strong brew) or 12-15 (adjust for strength), let brew for about 5-8 minutes, then dilute with an equal amount- 8cups- of ice and cold water.

    I like using loose-leaf tea, just because it is a better quality of tea, and with paper filters, I can make larger teabags to float in the boiling water. I also like substituting several cups of cold water/ice with a light juice like pomegranate or lemonade to sweeten it. Another sweetening option is to use several tablespoons of honey, and mix in the boiling water to sweeten it (I find that any sweetener dissolves easier in hot water than iced), and then add the cold water. Hope this helps!

    2 Replies
    1. re: teamuse

      Yes, that's how I make mine...1 standard size teabag per cup of iced tea. Also, after it's done steeping (I like mine strong so I let it steep a good 5 to 7 minutes) and if I want some quickly, I pour the hot tea into a metal loaf pan and put it in the freezer for a few minutes...cools it down pretty darn quickly. If you pour the hot tea over ice right away, it gets all diluted ... no flavor.

      1. re: Val

        I think when I use the gallon tea container, I use 11 bags. I make with ice water, just because I never noticed a difference. I am not a connoisseur of tea but I like mine. I set it in the sun to brew, I look for the color I prefer, and that is how I determine the strength. Lately I'm pretty hooked on mint tea (bag) and brew it the same way only in a smaller pitcher, probably half gallon range.
        First find the tea you like make a cup, and then adjust using math converting to a quart and so on. I would look for the color if you can, I have also taken the tea out of the bags, which just requires a little more time. Either way I go for the color.

    2. I like iced tea that's lightly sweetened and not too strong: a quart of strong hot tea (6 teabags or 2-3 tablespoons of loose tea leaves steeped for 5-7 minutes) sweetened with half a cup of sugar and diluted with ice and water to make a gallon. Your mileage may vary; dilute less if you want.

      Lately I've been experimenting with icing various inexpensive loose teas from the asian market. Green tea and oolong do very well. Jasmine and Pu-er--not so much. No teabag necessary; I brew in a pyrex measuring cup and strain the tea into a pitcher before sweetening and diluting.

        1. Sweeten it with simple syrup which is just equal parts water and sugar brought to a boil until sugar dissolves. That's how restaurants sweeten their tea... I live in the South (org. from PA tho) and they know their tea down here! Enjoy!

          1. I do a cold brew... about six tea bags to a pitcher of water. Put it in the fridge and about 6 hours later you will have perfect iced tea. Make simple syrup (cup of sugar, half cup water, simmered until clear) and add to taste. A few sprigs of fresh mint wouldn't hurt either.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Oh Robin

              I have taken my fellow chowhounds advice and have been making the simple syrup for a few weeks now. No more undissolved sugar floating around the bottom of the glass anymore! Although yesterday I fell asleep on the couch while making the syrup and woke up to hot and bubbling brown syrup. Took me awhile to clean the pot out! Richie