Despite what you may have heard, iced tea is super easy to make at home. All you need is tea and water, plus a little sugar to taste, if you need a little extra sweetness.
There are lots of ways to take advantage of tea's exhilarating, summer cooling properties but to keep it simple we tend to stick to two iced tea methods: either the cold brew method or flash chill method. Neither is fiddly to make and you don’t need to buy fancy equipment (a standard mug or measuring jug will work just fine, we promise!)
Once you've got the basics sorted you can experiment with different teas and added flavours. With regards to what tea to use, most black leaf breakfast blends will work well, as will fruit infusions, rooibos and green teas. Our best advice to newbies is to just stick with the less delicate teas to start with and see how you get on.
A general rule of thumb would be to use two heaped teaspoons of tea to half a litre of water for black, white and greenteas, and three or four for rooibos and fruit infusions. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what you like!
Cold Brewing tea is probably the easiest way to make iced tea and the one we do most. It requires no special technique- just add your tea to cold water (lemonade is also good!) and pop in a lidded jug in the the fridge. This method does take a bit of forward thinking because it needs a good few hours to start brewing; generally we leave it in the fridge overnight so it's a great grab-and-go drink for the next day.
For flash chilling, the idea is to brew your tea as you would normally, but with extra tea so that you have a more concentrated version. Immediately after the hot tea is brewed, strain and pour it into a glass or jug filled almost to the top with ice. The fast cooling will keep the flavour and scent of the tea intact. Within a minute or two much of the ice will have melted, leaving you with a glass of iced tea that just needs a straw!
If you like sweetened tea then having some sugar syrup around can be a good idea. It's perfect for sweetening cold drinks where regular sugar wouldn't normally dissolve with ease.
Simple Sugar Syrup Recipe
1 cup water 1 cup sugar
Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir until the sugar dissolves. It just takes a few minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. It will keep in a lidded jar in the fridge for up to a month.