Iced Black Tea

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Brisk and refreshing, there’s no better way to keep cool than with an iced black tea. See how to brew the perfect cup in minutes with this step-by-step recipe.

Iced Black Tea in a clear glass.

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Iced Black Tea

Iced black tea is a brisk, chilled drink that can be made with any variety of black tea. It can be enjoyed sweetened or unsweetened and with milk or without.

This classic recipe is very simple to make. Black tea is brewed in hot water, then cooled down and served over ice. The key to making a black tea that isn’t too bitter is steeping it at the correct temperature for no longer than 5 minutes.

Cold brewed iced tea, on the other hand uses a different method of steeping the tea bags in the fridge ahead of time for several hours.

Iced black tea is also easy to customize by adding seasonal fruits, fresh herbs, or flavored syrups.

The cool, delicious tea is perfect for bridal showers, summer potlucks, and other celebrations.

RELATED: Lemon Iced Tea

Recipe Highlights

  • This refreshing Iced Black Tea is made with black tea, sugar, water, and ice.
  • Like all black teas, this drink contains caffeine.
  • Any black tea will work, so feel free to use your favorite one. English Breakfast tea, Assam, and Earl Grey tea are all great options.
  • This recipe makes 16 ounces (2 cups) of iced tea but can easily be increased to fill a pitcher.

RELATED: Lavender Iced Tea

Ingredient Notes

Black Iced Tea ingredients, labeled, on a white tabletop.
  • Black tea: Any black tea can be used, like English Breakfast or Ceylon.
  • Sugar: White sugar is used here but you can substitute with brown sugar or any other sweetener.
  • Water: For the best tasting iced tea, use filtered water.
  • Ice: It’s best to use filtered water to make the ice, too.

For full ingredients and detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Tea bags steeping in a teapot.

Step 1: Put tea bags and hot water into a teapot. Cover and steep.

Boil water on the stovetop or use an electric kettle with a temperature setting. For best results, make tea ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator.

Stirring tea in a teapot.

Step 2: Remove tea bags and stir in sugar.

Pouring water into a teapot with black tea.

Step 3: Add cold water. Chill tea in the refrigerator.

Pouring black tea into a pot with ice.

Step 4: Pour tea into a cup with ice.

RELATED: Lavender Iced Tea

Recipe Notes

Use tea bags, tea sachets, or loose tea.
Tea bags or sachets are easier to clean up, but you can also go with loose tea. Use a tea sachet in place of the tea bag, or 1 ½ teaspoons of black loose tea.

Don’t oversteep the tea.
Black tea gets more astringent and bitter the longer it’s steeped, so be sure to set a timer and brew for no more than 5 minutes.

Prep the tea ahead of time.
The iced black tea can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.

RELATED: Starbucks Iced Black Tea Copycat

Tea Sommelier’s Tips

  • Omit the sugar to make it an unsweetened iced black tea.
  • Swap the sugar for a flavored syrup to make a flavored iced tea. Ginger, hibiscus, and peach all pair beautifully with black tea. Start with 2 tablespoons and add more if you like your iced tea sweeter.
  • Add fresh squeezed lemon juice to make this a lemon iced tea.
  • Fresh herbs like mint or basil not only give iced black tea a pop of color, but also add bright aroma. Gently muddle the leaves to release their flavor.
  • To make this a richer, creamy drink, add milk or top with a flavored cold foam.

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes

Questions You May Have

What are the health benefits of black tea?

Black tea contains antioxidants, and has been found to protect heart health and promote digestion.

Is it okay to drink black tea every day?

Since there are health benefits to black tea, it’s okay to drink a cup every day. However, like everything else, it’s best enjoyed in moderation. Since black tea is caffeinated, those who are sensitive to caffeine may want to drink less.

What’s the difference between iced tea and sweet tea?

Iced tea can be made with or without sugar, but sweet tea, as its name suggests, is always sweetened.

Iced Black Tea being poured into a clear glass.

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5 from 1 vote

Iced Black Tea

By: Jee Choe
Brisk and refreshing, there's no better way to keep cool than with an iced black tea. Learn to brew the perfect cup in minutes with this step-by-step recipe.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 1 serving (16 ounces)

Ingredients 

  • 2 black tea bags, (or 1 tablespoon loose tea)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 cup ice

Instructions 

  • Put tea bags and ½ cup of hot water into a teapot.
    Boil water on the stovetop or use an electric kettle with a temperature setting. Set water temperature to 195°F.
  • Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags.
    Steeping for longer will make the tea bitter.
  • Stir in sugar until it dissolves. Add ½ cup of cold water.
    Place in the refrigerator for for 30 minutes to cool.
  • Pour cooled down tea into a cup with ice.

Notes

  • Any black tea can be used, like English Breakfast or Ceylon.
  • White sugar is used here, but you can substitute with brown sugar or any other sweetener.
  • Tea bags or sachets are easier to clean up, but you can also go with loose tea.
  • Black tea gets more astringent and bitter the longer it’s steeped, so be sure to set a timer and brew for no more than 5 minutes.
  • The iced black tea can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Omit the sugar to make it an unsweetened iced black tea.
  • Swap the sugar for a flavored syrup. Ginger, hibiscus, and peach all pair beautifully with black tea. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more if you like your iced tea sweeter.
  • Add fresh squeezed lemon juice to make this a lemon iced tea.
  • Fresh herbs like mint or basil not only give iced black tea a pop of color, but also add bright aroma. Gently muddle the leaves to release their flavor.
  • To make this a richer, creamy drink, enjoy with milk or top with a flavored cold foam.

Nutrition

Calories: 92Carbohydrates: 24gFat: 0.1gSodium: 24mgPotassium: 0.5mgSugar: 24gCalcium: 14mgIron: 0.01mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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