Iced tea is the most consumed type of tea in the western world. Unfortunately, most of iced tea is not tea at all. To avoid sugar, artificial flavors, preservatives and drinks with almost no nutritional value, it’s time you take leaves into your hands and try out some refreshing iced tea recipes. The best thing about home-made iced tea is that you can use any loose leaf tea you want and create flavors you enjoy the most. From milky to caffeine free teas, there is a right iced tea for everyone. Try out these 8 ideas for best iced teas for summer.
1. Milky Iced Tea for Summer
Thai Iced Tea
This refreshing black tea is great for hot days if you want to replace your usual cup of afternoon milk tea with something more refreshing. Be aware though, this iced tea contains sugar and won’t taste the same in an unsweetened version. Use strong black tea such as Kenilworth Ceylon or Organic Assam. You will also need star anise, cloves and cardamom, whole milk or half and half and sugar. Use about 10 grams of tea for 4-5 cups of water, ½ cup of sugar, 1-2 cardamoms, star anise and cloves. Preparation is similar to making chai tea.
Bring water to a boil, add sugar, spices and tea leaves. Boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat off and let it steep for at least 15-20 minutes and strain. Fill glasses with ice, add tea and half and half. This tea will taste great without the spices, so leave them out if you want a cleaner taste of iced black tea.
Iced Matcha Latte
If you love matcha, you will love matcha latte. Sweet, refreshing, green, this drink is a favorite of many tea lovers around the world. You will need matcha tea powder, milk, water, ice and a spoon. Use ½-1 teaspoon of matcha powder per cup and use a spoon to mix it with 30-50 ml of water until powder is fully dissolved. Add milk of your choice and top up with ice. You can add a bit of spiciness with cardamom and make it sweet with a spoon of honey. Try experimenting with different milks. Our favorite choice is a creamy cashew milk.
2. Caffeine Free Iced Tea
Hibiscus Iced Tea
Hibiscus iced tea is pretty, refreshing and caffeine free. For a very simple recipe, use dried hibiscus flowers, dried rose petals and honey. Use about 1-2 spoons of hibiscus flowers per 500 ml of water and 1-2 teaspoons of dried rose petals. Let it steep for at least 20 minutes, strain add honey and pour into glasses filled with ice.
Rooibos Iced Tea
Naturally sweet, caffeine free and bursting with antioxidants, rooibos is a great choice for iced teas. For a fast preparation, use already flavored rooibos tea. Our choice? Banana Delight, Simple Strawberry Herbal and Herbal Pinacolada. Brew it in a traditional way using double the amount of leaves, add a lot of ice, shake in a cocktail shaker and top up with cold water. Even better, rooibos tea blends well with milk, so you can easily make iced latte by reducing the amount of water and adding milk. To add a bit of sweetness use honey or agave syrup.
3. Herbal Iced Tea
Mint Iced Tea
For a real thirst quenching herbal tea, try a blend of peppermint and spearmint leaves with a pinch of lavender flowers for an extra breezy note. We recommend using fresh mint and spearmint leaves, but dry will work as well. Use a teaspoon of each mint and spearmint leaves and a pinch of lavender for every 2 cups of water. Boil water and steep the leaves for 15 minutes. Fill glasses with ice and pour in tea. Use honey or stevia leaves if you prefer sweet tea. Use cold-brewing method for a lighter version of this iced tea.
Basil Iced Tea
Basil is probably one of the most understated herbs in the western tea world. It blends great with green tea, oolong tea and sour fruits like lemon and orange. Our choice? Put a handful of fresh, washed basil leaves into a pitcher together with washed and sliced lemon, few mint leaves and lemongrass. Add fresh blueberries for an additional note. Let it steep for a few hours in the fridge. Enhance the recipe and make it a real tea iced tea with adding a spoon of Chinese sencha green tea.
4. Real Tea Iced Tea
Iced Green Tea
Iced green tea is the classical iced tea that will never let you down. It tastes delicious both pure and flavored. Our favorite choice is Chinese sencha because it’s fresh and light, and perfect for cold-brewing in the fridge. Learn how to cold—brew tea here. If you want to make your own green iced tea blend, we recommend the following cold-brew recipe: use a spoon of pure sencha green tea leaves, 4 inches of fresh cucumber, juice of ¼ of lime or lemon and 1.5 liter of water. Let is steep for at least 3-4 hours in the fridge before serving with ice.
Iced White Tea
White teas are a great base for iced tea. They are light, refreshing and don’t need any sweeteners at all. They are the best option for extra hot summer days when you are tired of water and want just a bit of flavor to help get you through the heat. Choose flavored white tea instead of pure white tea because pure tea won’t offer enough taste especially if cold-brewed. Our choice? Simple Blueberry White with hibiscus and tart blueberry flavor.
What is your favorite iced tea recipe? We would love to hear your summer ideas for staying hydrated.