How to Make Iced Tea

Drinking iced tea is more than refreshing: it’s revealing. Tasting a tea or herbal infusion at a cool temperature can unlock incredible flavors and aromas that aren't apparent in a hot cup. And it's easy to make the best iced tea all summer long.

There are two methods: cold brew or a hot concentrate. For cold brew tea, simply let the leaves unfurl naturally in cold water, then strain and pour. Four hours is enough for the flavor to infuse, but you can also steep overnight; it's nearly impossible to overbrew a batch. We find this method showcases a tea's inherent sweetness and, in the case of many green teas, umami qualities. It's also great choice for delicate white teas and buttery Taiwanese oolongs, such as our Nantou Four Seasons.

For a quicker iced tea, use the hot concentrate method: steep tea leaves for several minutes in half the amount of water you'd normally use, then immediately dilute with an equal volume of ice or cold water. This method can produce a stronger-tasting tea than you'd get by slowly chilling a hot pitcher of tea in your refrigerator, and compared to cold brewing, it yields a richer brew with a heavier body, just the thing for black teas like Assam or Ceylon, which benefit from the full extraction power of boiling water, or any herbal.

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Cold-Brew Iced Tea

Yields: 1 gallon

Steep 1 oz (28 g) tea in 1 gallon cold water for four hours, refrigerated.

Strain. Serve over ice.

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Hot-Infused Iced Tea

Yields: 1 gallon

Steep 1 oz (28 g) tea in 1/2 gallon boiling water for 5–7 minutes.

Strain; dilute with 1/2 gallon ice or cold water. Serve over ice.

Recipes can be halved or doubled, as desired. Experiment with both cold and hot infusing; you may prefer one method over the other. Some of our favorites over ice include Darjeeling 1st FlushLemon Verbena and Scarlet Glow.