Time to Spill the Tea! How to Make Iced Tea

By Nicole Irving, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief
Glass of iced tea

Did you know that, on any given day in America, 159 million people are consuming tea? And, of those, 70 – 85% are drinking it iced, according to a 2022 report by the Tea Association of America. Why shouldn’t they? It’s refreshing, it’s cold, it’s healthy, and you can sweeten and flavor it to perfection! We’re here to share how to make the perfect glass of iced tea!

A staple at summertime picnics and parties, the iced tea version that we know today (although made with green tea) came on the scene in 1879, according to the website RevolutionTea, when the recipe was printed in the cookbook “Housekeeping in Old Virginia.” The recipe from Marion Cabell Tyree used boiled green tea that steeped for the entire day. Tyree noted that a goblet was to be filled with ice, dusted with two teaspoonfuls granulated sugar and then filled with the tea. Viola, the creation of iced tea!

According to the Tea Association of America, 84% of the tea consumed in 2022 was black tea, the tea of choice for iced tea. Black tea contains no sodium, fat, carbonation, or sugar and is rich in flavonoids and other health benefits.

How to make the perfect glass of iced tea

There are three ingredients needed for iced tea, water, tea (loose or tea bags) and ice. Depending on how you like your tea, either strong or light, will apply to the amount of water you add and how long you steep your tea bags in the water.

For those who like it sweet, the one thing to note is that sugar will not melt in cold tea. Ahhh, you will need to add it to the hot tea! This will melt the sugar crystals and allow it to blend nicely with the tea. Once sweetened to perfection, add ice. This process creates the perfect sweet tea!

Iced tea recipe (unsweetened)


  • 8 cups water
  • 5 black tea bags (Lipton works great!)
  • Ice


  • Boil water in a large pot.
  • Once it boils, turn off and add tea bags.
  • Let tea bags steep for 5 minutes.
  • If you like “strong” tea, let it steep for 10 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, take out the tea bags and discard.
  • Cool tea in pot to room temperature.
  • Once cool, add tea to a pitcher and refrigerate.
  • Serve over ice.


If tea is too strong or bitter, add a cup of water to it, stir and taste. Repeat until your desired taste.

Sweet tea recipe


  • Before you let it cool, add granulated sugar.
  • Start with adding ½ a cup, stir until dissolved. Taste, and repeat as needed until desired sweetness.
  • Let sit to room temperature.
  • Once cool, add tea to a pitcher and refrigerate.

Other tea add-ins!

  • Basil leaves
  • Honey
  • Lemon
  • Mint leaves
  • Orange slices
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Raspberries

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