Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cold-Brewed Iced Tea: It's Easy, Delicious and Won't Make You Sick

It's spring, and that means it's time for iced tea. I used to make sun tea, but Kansas Dad sent me an article a few years ago that convinced the biologist in me that making sun tea was asking for trouble. You can read more about it here. Basically, letting the water and tea get all warm and cozy for hours on end in the sun creates the perfect environment for germs to incubate. Apparently, it won't kill you, but it might make you really sick. I've got a family to tend so I decided not to take the risk anymore.

You can just brew tea as normal with a teapot and boiling water, then stash it in the fridge until it cools. I decided to try something different. Last summer, I started cold-brewing my tea. It's incredibly easy.

I use a tea ball for both hot and cold tea. I like to fill mine as full as possible, especially for iced tea. Fill the jar with water and place in the fridge. Let it sit in there overnight or at least for a few hours. (By the way, when this jar breaks (and it will), I'm going to buy a regular glass pitcher for my tea instead of one with a spigot. Those things are just too hard to clean adequately. We have a nice glass pitcher for cold water in our fridge we found for about $10 at a superstore.)

In the morning, I pull out the tea leaves, stir the tea and enjoy. If you like your tea more potent, just leave the tea leaves in the jar until all the tea is gone.

You don't need a pitcher or fancy jar, of course. Any plastic container or Mason jar would work just fine.

You don't need fancy tea, either. I love my loose teas for hot tea in the winter, but cold-brewed Lipton is just fine with me all summer long. If you are in the market for a special iced tea, Long Island Strawberry Green Tea makes incredible iced tea this way. Even Kansas Dad approves.


  1. We use mint tea and black tea when brewing our iced tea. We boil though, and may or may not add some sugar to the hot water before cooling. ;-D A tasty summer refreshment indeed.

  2. Monica, I like to add fresh mint to the jar, too. We don't have any yet, but hopefully soon it'll start coming back. I also generally prefer black teas to green, but Kansas Dad read about some health benefits of green teas, so we tried a few. The Long Island Strawberry was the best of them all.


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