Making iced tea using the hot method is great because it allows you to drink the tea right away…unlike the cold brew method.
Like anything else you could possibly make, perfect iced tea can only be made with perfect ingredients—in this case, only two ingredients—water and tea—so it’s more important than ever that your ingredients be absolutely perfect.
As far as the water, only use filtered tap water or spring water.
As far as the tea, , loose-leaf will yield a more full-bodied tea.
How much water and tea you use depends on which tea you are making…as well as how strong or weak you want your tea to turn out.
Brewing tea using the “hot method” is quick, easy and efficient….simply combine hot water with loose-leaf and tea and then let it steep before straining the tea and refrigerating to cool.
Brewing tea using the “hot method” also allows you to create more variations because you actually get to taste the tea as you are making it and adjust how much water you add and how long the tea steeps. However, brewing tea using the “hot method” will bring the bitterness and acidity of the tea…meaning that you may have to use more sugar or sweetener.
Simmer the Water
Bring half of the water to a simmer…not an actual “boil.” How hot you want your water to be will depend which type of tea you are making.
For white tea, you want your temp to reach 175–185°F…For green tea, you want your temp to reach 180–185°F…For black tea, you want your temp to reach 200–205°F…For herbal tea, you want your temp to reach 212°F.
Steeping the Tea
Once your water has reached the right temperature, add your loose tea or tea bags. Then let the tea steep for anywhere from four to ten minutes, depending on the desired strength.
Because your tea will become more watery as the ice melts and it cools down, you will need to steep your tea longer than you would hot tea.
If you’re making less than four cups of tea, use two tea bags or two teaspoons of loose-leaf tea for every single cup of water you are using.
If you’re making more than four cups, use eight cups of water and eight tea bags four tablespoons of loose-leaf tea.
As far as which tea to use, you want to be sure to use only high-quality tea…so choose the same quality of tea that you use to make hot tea…whether you are making black iced tea…green iced tea…herbal iced tea…or fruity iced tea.
Finishing Making Tea
Once your tea has strained for the appropriate amount of time, remove the tea bags or strain the tea. This will depend on if you’re using tea bags or loose tea.
If you are using sugar or sweetener to sweeten your tea…(which actually isn’t even a topic of debate where I’m from…if you don’t sweeten the tea, then we will not drink it)…add the sugar or sweetener while the tea is still hot.
Refrigerate until chilled. To keep your tea from turning cloudy, let the tea cool down to room temp before refrigerating.