Herbal iced tea is a refreshing drink on a hot day. Learn how to use any herbal tea bag to make iced tea with both hot and cold brewing methods.
Summer is finally here. As the days get warmer and the sun stays up for longer, a scalding hot cup of tea may no longer hit the spot.
Fear not though, because the hot weather doesn’t mean missing out on your favourite herbal brew. Iced tea is traditionally made with black tea but can just as easily be made with herbal tea bags. The result is a refreshing and thirst-quenching summer drink that is also full of herbal goodness.
There are two main methods of making iced tea – hot-brewed or cold-brewed. As the names suggest, the key difference is the temperature of the water you use to brew your herbal iced tea.
We’ll take you through both methods in this blog post. Making iced tea does mean planning ahead a little, no matter which method you choose. As a result, we suggest making a batch at a time, not one glass.
Although you can use loose leaf tea to make iced tea, it’s a bit more of a faff. We prefer to use tea bags, which work perfectly and make the measuring and clean-up much simpler.
As for which tea you use – that’s really up to you and your personal tastes. We find iced herbal tea works best with lighter, fresher flavours, which add to the refreshing nature of this cooling beverage.
But you can experiment with any of our herbal tea range to find flavours that suit your tastebuds.
Herbal Iced Tea Recipe – Hot Brew
Once you’ve chosen your preferred herbal tea, it’s time to get making. Hot-brewed herbal iced tea is very simple to make, but you will need to allow some time for the tea to cool.
Make sure you have a large, heat-resistant container that will fit in the fridge. This recipe makes around 1 litre of iced herbal tea, so your container will ideally need to be large enough to accommodate around 1.5 litres, especially if you are adding fruit or fresh herbs to your recipe.
In your container, place:
- 6 bags of your chosen herbal tea
- The juice of half a lemon
- 4 tablespoons of honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar (adjust to taste – agave is especially sweet so add with caution if you’re using it as your sweetener)
- A handful of fresh fruit or herbs (optional) – some great options include lemon, orange, or lime slices, wedges of peach, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries, fresh mint, fresh sliced ginger, or some sprigs of lemon balm
Boil 1 litre of water in your kettle, or in a saucepan on the hob. Once it reaches the boil, switch off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
Pour the water over your tea bags and other ingredients. Allow everything to steep for 4-5 minutes. Then, remove the tea bags, giving them a good squeeze to get all the goodness out.
Once your tea has cooled to room temperature, place it in the fridge to chill. You can add a handful of ice to help bring the temperature down faster.
Add ice to a glass and pour over your chilled herbal iced tea. Add more maple syrup if needed and garnish with some fresh fruit or herbs.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Herbal Iced Tea Recipe – Cold Brew
The other option for making herbal iced tea is to use a cold brewing method. As the name suggests, this involves steeping your tea bags in cold water instead of hot.
This method takes longer than the hot brew method, as you’ll need to allow around 12 hours for the cold water to extract all the herbal goodness from your tea bags. It’s best prepared the evening before, so you wake up to a delicious glass of cold-brewed iced tea in the morning.
The advantage of using a cold brewing method for making your herbal iced tea is that you’ll end up with fewer bitter notes than if you use a hot brewing method. Honestly, this makes the most difference if you’re making your iced tea with black tea, but you will notice a change in taste with herbal teas too.
If you want to cut back on the amount of sweetness you add to your iced tea, cold brew is a great method to try. Many herbs have a naturally sweet taste anyway, so you might even be able to leave the maple syrup or honey out entirely.
Again, this recipe makes around a litre, so make sure you have a large enough container (that will still fit in your fridge). As with the hot brewing method, you can experiment with adding fresh herbs and fruit to your herbal iced tea to make it even more delicious.
Since we’re using cold water for this recipe, we also want to use 8 herbal tea bags instead of 6, so that there’s enough flavour in the final brew.
Start by putting your tea bags of choice in your container, plus any herbs or fruit you want to add. Pour over a litre of cold water and put the container in the fridge.
Leave the tea to steep for around 12 hours. (NB: If your herbal tea blend includes green tea, you might want to shorten this to 8 hours – green tea can turn bitter if steeped for too long).
Once your herbal iced tea has brewed for long enough, remove the tea bags, remembering to give them a good squeeze. Pour yourself a glass over ice and add some fresh fruit or herbs to garnish.
If you want to add some extra sweetness to your iced herbal tea, maple syrup or agave nectar are great options. Sugar won’t dissolve since the tea is cold, but you can use sugar syrup if you prefer.
Relax and enjoy the sunshine!