I’m on sort of an iced tea kick this summer, and this cold brew iced tea method has kept up with my new sipping habit beautifully.
It all started when I picked up a packet of home-grown herbal tea from my friend Duane. He grows all kinds of medicinal herbs, and his soothing blend of chamomile and holy basil really spoke to me.
Darrol Henry and I have been drinking cold brew iced tea like it’s our jobs ever since. Darrol calls it “Wizard Tea,” because he calls Duane The Wizard.
You might recognize this brewing technique from my grab-and-go sun tea recipe a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to give this cold brew iced tea method its own post, though, because it works well for more than just that recipe.
And it’s so, so easy. You guys know that simplicity is my favorite quality in a recipe.
The recipe below makes four cups of tea, and you can modify it easily to make as little or as much iced tea as you want. Since it takes a couple of hours to brew, I feel like four cups is a nice amount. This pitcher lasts me and Darrol Henry two to three days.
Why Cold Brew?
Steeping your tea in boiling water is faster, so why bother making cold brew iced tea that takes two hours? There are a few things I like about making my iced tea this way:
- You brew in your serving container. I really dislike washing unnecessary dishes, y’all.
- You don’t have to wait for it to cool. Once it’s ready, it’s ready. You can pour over ice and drink it immediately.
- It tastes better. Like cold brew coffee, I think that cold brew iced tea has a much smoother flavor than steeped tea. I rarely need to sweeten it.
Most of the cooking time is really waiting time. It’s not like you’re in the kitchen for two hours. I like to set this up before heading out for an errand. By the time I’m back, the tea is almost ready.
Cold Brew Iced Tea Recipe
Yield: 4 cups of cold brew iced tea
You can use any tea infuser or tea ball to make your iced tea, but I really like my drop-in infuser. It’s perfect for the 4-cup pitcher that I use for brewing. It holds almost exactly 4 tablespoons of tea, so I don’t even have to measure!
- 4 tablespoons loose tea (or 4 tea bags)
- 4 cups water at room temperature
- Put tea into a tea infuser or wrap it in cheesecloth, and submerge it in your water. You can do this right in the pitcher you’re planning to store the tea in.
- Set the pitcher on the kitchen counter. Most teas brew up in around two hours. It might be a bit more or less depending on the temperature in your kitchen and the type of tea. The big exception that I’ve run across is hibiscus tea. This one only needs around 30 minutes – it brews up so quickly!
- When your tea has reached your desired strength, remove the infuser, and stick the pitcher into the fridge. Serve chilled or over ice.