Sweet, brisk lemon iced tea that’s super refreshing. With just 5 ingredients, get the steps to make this quick and easy lemon iced tea recipe in less than 10 minutes!
Lemon Iced Tea
This lemon iced tea is as easy as making iced tea and adding in lemon juice. Sound easy? It is!
You can make cold brew iced tea and add lemon juice and sugar, but that will take at least 8 hours. This recipe is for those who want their lemon iced tea fast! Fast, as in less than 10 minutes from start to finish fast. No need to refrigerate to cool this drink down.
The secret to making this iced tea so quickly is ice. A lot of it.
Ice quickly cools down the hot tea so you can drink it right away.
I’m using freshly squeezed lemons which give it that brisk, bright taste and tea sachets to make a basic iced tea. You can also use tea bags if you don’t have tea sachets.
Difference Between Tea Bags, Tea Sachets, and Iced Tea Pouches
For a classic iced tea that’s ice chilled, I like black tea in tea bags, tea sachets, or iced tea pouches instead of loose tea since they’re easier to use. They’re easier to clean up and you don’t need a strainer.
Tea bags have the lowest quality of tea since the tea leaves are broken and usually contain tea dust and tiny tea bits instead of good quality whole tea leaves. The tea bags are flat, not leaving a lot of room for the tea leaves to expand. A tea bag usually contains one teaspoon of tea.
Tea sachets contain higher quality tea than tea bags and sometimes can even be the same quality as loose tea. Sachets are pyramid shaped, leaving more room for the tea leaves to expand as it brews. Tea sachets usually contain two teaspoons of tea and cost more than tea bags.
Iced Tea Pouches
Also called family-size tea bags, iced tea pouches are made for 1 or 2 quart pitchers (4 or 8 cups). The tea quality can range depending on the tea company but they usually contain 4-10 teaspoons of tea depending on the size of the pouch.
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What I Used to Make This Lemon Iced Tea
How to Make Lemon Iced Tea
This is a 2 quart lemon iced tea recipe which makes 8 cups. You’ll need a 2 quart pitcher with a leakproof lid so you can shake the ice and hot tea together. If you don’t have a leakproof lid, you can just stir the ice instead of shaking it upside down.
We’re mixing together hot tea and ice so make sure you’re using a pitcher that can handle drastic temperature changes.
Bring 4 cups of water to a simmer and turn off heat.
In a 2 quart pitcher, steep 5 tea sachets in 4 cups of hot water for 5 minutes. Discard tea sachets.
Brew the tea by putting in the tea sachets and hot water in a pitcher for five minutes. The longer the tea is in the hot water, the more astringent and bitter the tea will get. I don’t like to let it steep more than 8 minutes even if I want a strong brew.
I don’t use boiling hot water to brew the tea since that can lead to super cloudy tea. I use my electric kettle and set the water temperature to 170°F.
Juice 3 lemons.
While the tea is steeping, juice the lemons and strain out the pulp and seeds. Set aside.
Stir in 1/4 cup of sugar into the hot tea until completely dissolved.
I don’t like to add raw sugar since that takes forever to dissolve.
Add 5 cups of ice to pitcher and close with leakproof lid. Shake pitcher for 15 seconds.
I like to close the lid and turn the entire pitcher upside down then right side up 15 times.
Add lemon juice.
I close the lid again and shake to fully incorporate the lemon juice with the iced tea.
I line my cup with 3 thin lemon slices around the inside then add the ice before pouring in the iced tea.
Lemon Iced Tea Tips
- Sugar can be adjusted to your liking. I’m using 1/4 cup of sugar which is 4 tablespoons.
- I’m using 3 lemons but if you have large lemons, use 2.
- Don’t shake the pitcher with the lid on to dissolve the sugar. Shaking with the lid closed while the tea is hot creates too much of a vacuum and it’s a no-no.
- About 10 teaspoons of tea is used for this recipe since I expect the tea to be watered down a bit when it’s poured into cups filled with ice. If you like a weaker tea, go with 8 tea bags or 4 tea sachets.
- Black tea is what’s used for classic lemon iced tea but feel free to experiment with other types of tea.
- If your tea gets cloudy, add some hot water and stir but cloudy tea is perfectly fine to drink.