Halp! Iced Tea: 🍵 Varities and Recipies? 🍹


#1

So I want to serve tea at my next dinner party, but it’s just too damn hot now for hot tea. So I’m thinking I’ll serve iced tea. The thing is, I’ve never been a big fan of iced tea (this is how they know I’m not a native Southerner), and so never learned any clever iced tea recipes.

Any recommendations on which leaves are suited to it?


#2

I actually found this recipe earlier this summer, and it rocks. :slight_smile:

Earl Gray tea (bagged or loose, doesn’t matter; I used 4 teabags per quart)
Lemon, sliced (1 smallish lemon per quart)
1/4 cup sugar (made into a simple syrup; I prefer sugar-in-the-raw for this recipe)
1/3 cup orange juice

Bring the water to boil; add the teabags and sliced lemon to the water, steep; while steeping, make the simple syrup (i.e. dissolve the sugar in an equal amount of boiling water), add the syrup to the tea and stir it in. Allow to cool in refrigerator. Remove tea bags and lemon if you wish, and add orange juice. Serve over ice. Enjoy!


#3

Thanks! I love Earl Gray, but I didn’t know if it would translate well into iced tea, as I don’t have a lot of experience as to what iced tea is meant to taste like.


#4

I got this recipe for a 32-oz at a wedding shower:

eight bags of Lady Gray tea
one tablespoon of sugar
steep for 15 minutes (or more)

I prefer minimally sweetened tea, which is why I use very little sugar.

(Although I like lemon, I don’t like it in my ice tea.)


#5

I like this prepared Moroccan style, but then cooled and served over ice as in Spain.

I also like a half chilled green tea, half limeaid combo.

Despite mainly being a daily drinker of black tea!


#6

My main tea tends to be varieties from Assam, which get quite strong and IMO are the only kinds which are generally better with milk. Making an iced milk tea can be a whole other kind of delicious, but a little heavier.

Sometimes I like to brew some double-strength Assam (nice malty loose leaves with a bit of gold tips) with some green cardamom pods and/or cloves. When hot I prefer it with a little raw cane sugar, but this doesn’t stay in solution well with cooling tea, so I might resort to white granulated. Then mix it with milk and serve over ice. If you don’t mind it even more sweet and milky, then add sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar and milk.

Other good flavors to experiment with steeping are accents of a bit of cinnamon and/or dried ginger and/or fennel seeds and/or a faint hint of black peppercorn.


#7

As a baseline, your standard sweet tea is orange pekoe brewed normally and then sugar dissolved into it while it is still hot. Let it cool to room temp, then serve over ice. Not fancy, but most everyday-drinker home and restaurant iced tea is that.

I used to sub maybe a quarter green tea and only put in sugar until I could just taste it; sorry I don’t remember the proportions


#8

@popobawa4u and I seem to be the resident tea nerds here at BB. I second the tippy Assam recommendation, which has some heft in both body and aroma, hot or cold.

I have several recommendations beyond that, but they’re mostly contingent on your answer to one critical question: what’s your deadline?


#9

I’m cooking for the next party Sunday, so I’ll be hitting the tea house tomorrow after work for fresh leaves and trying some of these out tomorrow and Friday evening. Fortunately I have a pretty extensive spice rack as I find you can never have too many different seasonings to choose from.

That said, I’m taking notes on all of this to experiment and add another drink genre to my toolkit. I’ve been thinking that tea would be a good substitute for serving espresso and arguably a lot healthier for everyone.


#10

pretty brave admitting to not liking iced tea if you’re in the south, damn carpet bagger

After my two decades in Tejas, I miss readily available good iced tea. There needs to be an app that just tracks what restaurants have good iced tea.

Oh, and to answer you question, Luzianne Tea, 1 bag per pint of finished tea.


#11

I suppose you’ll be expected to serve sweet tea if you’re in the South. My San Diegan family always preferred unsweetened iced tea on hot summer days. There wasn’t much to it; half a dozen or so Lipton bags in a glass jar left in the sun for an hour generally did the trick, and then we’d pour it over ice (any remaining in the jar was stashed in the fridge, but we drank it like water, so we always had a jar of sun tea steeping).

When my parents retired to the Ozarks in the 90s they suddenly found it hard to find iced tea that wasn’t heavily sweetened in every restaurant they went to, so they kept just making their own sun tea with those same damn Lipton bags. It’s not a very interesting family tradition, but that’s the way we do iced tea.


#12

This is the only way to make sweet, iced tea. Ignore anyone not from the south on this.


#13

I agree with you that it’s a regional thing. Native Californians like unsweetened for hydration purposes (low humidity), and Southerners sip that sweet (ick) stuff.

That’s why I gave the recipe that I gave. It will please most everyone, and hey, people can add sugar and a lemon if they want.


#14

Nope… once it’s iced, you can’t really add sugar. It just don’t work. Sweeten while hot or not at all, I’m afraid.


#15

It’s funny how much we would drink. Much, much more than straight water, even out of the garden hose.


#16

The tyranny of sweetened tea must be ended!! It’s damn near impossible to find unsweetened without making it yourself, here in the north at least. I know some areas of the south you will get asked.

These days it’s 8 bags of Tetley British Blend black tea in a quart of water, then diluted to what you feel like at the moment. Strong in the morning, weak at night. Usually with a big slice a of lime, sometimes with some mint leaves from the garden in season. We find this tea better than your typical supermarket teas but not crazy expensive like Twinings. When I could easily get rough cut Ti Kuan Yin oolong in Chinatown that was my goto. I could buy 7" cube tins full of paper tea sacks, I still have those tins all over the place with everything from pistachios to cigars in them. What’s really weird is when you pour Ti Kuan Yin concentrate over ice it turns milky!


#17

Are you kidding? You can’t get SWEET TEA outside of the south… I think you’re confused!


#18

I guess I’m talking about bottled, it’s all sweet or artificially sweet. Snapple once had unsweetened, but I haven’t seen it in a store in ages. In the restaurants I guess it comes unsweetened a lot of the time, but I always ask.


#19

Oh! That’s different! Pretty much all bottled drinks are generally going to be sweet.

But yeah, try asking for sweet tea north of North Carolina or west of the Mississippi River… They hand you a spoon and some sugar packets… One day, I should map out the northern border of sweet tea land and figure out where the real south ends.


#20

Is that so bad? Extracting the sugar is not practical. But they should have simple syrup on hand so you don’t have to stir forever to get sugar dissolved in ice cold tea.