As the scorching heat of summer approaches, there's nothing quite as rejuvenating as a tall glass of homemade iced tea. While tea bags are a popular option, using loose tea leaves can elevate the flavour and aroma of your brew to new heights. Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we'll guide you through the process of making delicious iced tea using loose tea leaves, allowing you to savour the full-bodied goodness of your favourite tea while staying cool and refreshed. Let's dive in!
Step 1 - Selecting the Right Tea:
Choosing the right tea is essential to achieving the perfect balance of flavours in your iced tea. Some popular choices include black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and herbal blends like hibiscus or chamomile. We personally recommend our Blue Lady Loose Tea but you can experiment with different teas to find the one that suits your taste!
Step 2 - Measuring the Tea Leaves:
The ideal ratio for making iced tea with loose tea leaves is typically 1 teaspoon of tea per 8 ounces (225ml) of water. However, feel free to adjust the quantity based on your desired strength. For a stronger brew, just increase the amount of tea leaves or use less for a weaker taste.
Step 3 - Steeping the Tea:
Place the measured loose tea leaves into a teapot or a heat-resistant container. Pour the hot water over the leaves and let them steep for the recommended time according to the tea variety. Typically, black tea requires 3-5 minutes, green tea 2-3 minutes, oolong tea 3-4 minutes, and herbal blends 5-7 minutes. Adjust the steeping time based on your personal preference for strength.
Step 4 - Straining the Tea:
After the designated steeping time, strain the tea leaves from the liquid. You can use a fine-mesh strainer, a tea infuser, or a teapot with an integrated filter. Make sure to remove all the leaves to prevent any bitterness or over-extraction.
Step 5 - Sweetening (optional):
If you prefer sweetened iced tea (we see you USA!), this is the time to add your choice of sweetener, such as sugar, honey, agave syrup, etc.. Start with a small amount, and then adjust to taste. Stir well until the sweetener dissolves completely.
Step 6 - Cooling and Serving:
Allow the freshly brewed tea to cool for a while at room temperature, then transfer it to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly. Once cooled, serve your delightful iced tea over ice cubes in tall glasses. Garnish with lemon slices, fresh mint leaves, or a splash of fruit juice for an added touch of flavour and visual appeal.
Step 7 - Enjoy:
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the blissful sensation of your homemade iced tea. Sip it slowly, allowing the flavours to tantalise your taste buds while the coolness quenches your thirst.
By following these simple steps, you can create a refreshing pitcher of iced tea using loose tea leaves that will impress your family and friends.
Looking for a quicker way to make iced tea? Have a look at tea infused syrups that you can add to ice and water here.