Lemon Iced Tea

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Make the perfect glass of refreshing lemon iced tea at home with 5 ingredients, including black tea and fresh lemon juice.

  • Properly brewing tips from a Tea Sommelier so the tea is never bitter.
  • Tea is brewed hot, the chilled to make this lemon iced tea.
Lemon Iced Tea being poured into clear glass.

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Lemon Iced Tea

Lemon iced tea combines black tea, fresh lemon juice, and sugar to make a bold and refreshing drink.

When making lemon iced tea, it’s important to use the right amount of lemon juice and sugar so that the drink has the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Lemon iced tea is black tea that is brewed hot then cooled down and served over ice. Fresh lemon juice is added to flavor the tea.

To prevent the tea from tasting bitter, the black tea needs to be steeped at the right water temperature for no more than 5 minutes.

Cold brewed lemon Iced tea uses a different method that steeps tea bags in cold water in the fridge for 6-8 hours.

RELATED: Peach Iced Tea

Recipe Highlights

  • This lemon iced tea is a cool, brisk beverage made with black tea, lemon juice, sugar, water, and ice.
  • Black tea is brewed hot and made into a tea concentrate so that the tea will cool down quickly.
  • Filled with practical tips from a tea sommelier to make the perfect lemon iced tea.

RELATED: Lavender Iced Tea

Ingredient Notes

Lemon Iced Tea ingredients measured in cups and labeled on a table.
  • Black tea: Any black tea, like English breakfast, can be used. Tea bags are the easiest way to make this drink, but you can also use loose tea or tea sachets.
  • Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds the best sweet-tart flavor.
  • Sugar: White sugar is used in this recipe, but you can use any sweetener you prefer.
  • Water: For the best tasting iced tea, use filtered water.
  • Ice: Use filtered water to make ice if you can.

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

Step-by-Step Instructions

Tea bag 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 with sugar.

Step 2: Remove tea bags and stir in sugar.

Pouring water into a tea pot with tea.

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

Pouring tea into a cup with ice and lemons.

Step 4: Pour tea into a cup with ice.

RELATED: Raspberry Iced Tea

Recipe Notes

Don’t oversteep the tea.
Set a timer and brew the tea for no more than 5 minutes. The longer you steep black tea, the more astringent and bitter it’ll get.

Use tea bags, tea sachets, or loose tea.
Tea bags or sachets make for quick and easy cleanup, but you can also use loose tea. Use 1 ½ teaspoons of black loose tea or 1 tea sachet instead of 1 tea bag.

Fresh squeezed lemon juice provides the best flavor.
To make squeezing lemons fast and easy, use a citrus juicer, which catches pulp and seeds. The drink is made with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, which is juice from half a lemon.

Lemon Iced Tea in clear glass.

Tea Sommelier’s Tips

  • Instead of sugar, try a flavored simple syrup like ginger, mint, strawberry, peach, or hibiscus. Start with 1 tablespoon then add more to taste.
  • This lemon iced tea can also be made with green tea instead of black tea. Use green tea bags in place of black tea bags.
  • Add thinly sliced lemon into the glass as a pretty garnish.
  • Adding fresh herbs like mint or basil will make the lemon iced tea brighter and more flavorful. Gently muddle the leaves to help release their flavor.
  • This lemon iced tea can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • If the tea turns cloudy, add some hot water. It’s natural for the drink to look this way because tannins are released during the brewing process. It’s still safe to drink as long as you’re still in the 4-day window.

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes

Questions You May Have

Can lemon iced tea be left out overnight?

No, iced tea should not be left out overnight because bacteria will start to grow. If you have any tea leftover, store in the refrigerator for no more than 4 days.

Is there caffeine in lemon iced tea?

Yes! Lemon iced tea is made with black tea, which is caffeinated.

Why is my iced tea bitter?

Tea gets bitter when it’s brewed for too long or at the incorrect temperature. Make sure to steep the tea at the proper length of time and temperature for the best flavor.

Lemon Iced Tea in clear glass.

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5 from 3 votes

Lemon Iced Tea

By: Jee Choe
See how easy it is to make the perfect glass of lemon iced tea at home using this simple 5-ingredient recipe that has the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Yield: 1 serving (16 ounces)

Ingredients 

  • 2 black tea bags
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, (juice from half a lemon)
  • 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 lemon juice and 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 to make lemon iced tea. 
  • This lemon iced tea can also be made with green tea instead of black tea. Use green tea bags in place of black tea bags.
  • Tea bags or sachets make for quick and easy cleanup, but you can also use loose tea. Use 1 ½ teaspoons of black loose tea or 1 tea sachet instead of 1 tea bag.
  • White sugar is used in this recipe, but you can swap in any sweetener you prefer.
  • Don’t oversteep the tea. Set a timer and brew the tea for no more than 5 minutes. The longer you steep black tea, the more astringent and bitter it’ll get.
  • Instead of sugar, try a flavored simple syrup like ginger, mint, strawberry, peach, or hibiscus. Start with 1 tablespoon then add more to taste.
  • Add thinly sliced lemon into the glass as a pretty garnish.
  • Adding fresh herbs like mint or basil will make the lemon iced tea brighter and more flavorful. Gently muddle the leaves to help release their flavor.
  • This lemon iced tea can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • If the tea turns cloudy, add some hot water. It’s natural for the drink to look this way because tannins are released during the brewing process. It’s still safe to drink as long as you’re still in the 4-day window.

Nutrition

Calories: 99Carbohydrates: 26gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 24mgPotassium: 31mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.03mg

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

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