How to Make Cold Brew Iced Tea
There are few things more iconic than iced tea on a hot day. When it comes to brewing, it’s easy to pour your favorite tea over ice and enjoy. But there’s another way to prepare iced tea that yields even better, more well-rounded flavors without the risk of oversteeping.
Cold brewing is the best way to make iced tea and it’s just as simple as the traditional hot-to-cold method. In fact, it’s easier--and healthier!
3 Reasons to Cold Brew
1. Balanced Flavors:
Brewing makes all the difference to a cup of tea. Leave the tea bag in too long and it’s bound to get bitter. Take it out too soon and it will taste weak. With cold brewing, you don’t have to worry about timing. Cold water extracts flavors more slowly and naturally so the result is less bitter and more clean than hot tea.
2. No Ice:
Ice is generally used to cool the tea, but it can also water down its unique flavor profile. When you cold brew, there’s no need to add ice since the tea is chilled in the refrigerator.
3. Health Benefits:
Cold brewed tea retains more antioxidants than hot brewed teas. Studies also show that cold brewed teas contain about half (or two thirds) the amount of caffeine.
Cold Brewing Instructions
Quick Single Serve:
- Drop 1-2 tea bags in a glass of 12oz water or water bottle.
- Let tea bags steep for at least ten minutes (or to taste).
- Add 4 Tbsp. loose leaf tea (or 4 tea bags) to 1 qt. filtered water.
- Refrigerate green teas, white teas, and herbals for 2-6 hours and black and oolong teas for 6-10 hours. Or, brew to taste.
- Strain and serve.
For Energy Tea Bags:
- Drop. Throw tea bag(s) in your water bottle. We recommend 1 tea bag per 8oz of water, or steep to taste
- Go. Start drinking immediately or let brew for a few minutes to get the full flavor.
Our Energy Teas brew much more quickly because they are fine cut (as opposed to whole leaf). The greater surface area enables the flavors to develop faster. Plus, the matcha, vitamin C and stevia release immediately--which is good news if you’re on the go and just can’t wait!
For Iced Tea Portion Packs:
- Place 1 Organic on Ice® pre-portioned tea bag into 1 gallon of filtered water.
- Refrigerate for the same duration as regular tea.
Pro tip: Since it's hard to oversteep cold brewed teas, experiment with various steeping times. You can even place your tea in the refrigerator overnight so it’s waiting for you in the morning.
Want to ramp up your cold brew tea? Here’s a fun variation from Linda, our CEO & Co-Founder:
"Cold brew tea is the best--quick, easy and super yummy. My favorite is to pour sparkling water over our white tea. It’s what I call Sparkle Brew! It makes the tea taste that much better." - Linda Appel Lipsius
Make It Yours
Have a taste of your tea. It will likely be perfect as is. But if you usually take your tea with a bit of sweetener or lemon, have at it. Here are a few possible additions:
- Lemon or orange wedge
- Milk of choice
- Fresh mint or cilantro
- Fresh ginger
- Cucumber slices
- Splash of lemonade
- Coconut sugar, simple syrup or stevia (stir well or shake in a Mason jar to combine)
- Spirits for an adult brew
Or, try a combination of ingredients!
Still love the traditional method of brewing iced tea? Do your thing!
For Loose or Tea Bags:
- Pour 8 oz. of just boiled water over 2 Tbsp. loose leaf tea (or 2 tea bags).
- Steep for 2-4 minutes.
- Strain and pour over ice. Or strain, let cool, and refrigerate to chill.
For Iced Tea Portion Packs:
- Place 1 Organic on Ice pre-portioned tea bag into 1 gallon of just boiled water.
- Steep for 3-4 minutes and strain.
- Cool and refrigerate to chill.
- Serve over ice.
Get more perfect tea brewing tips on our How to Brew Tea page.
Elevate your cold brew tea with our outstanding Tea Beverage Recipes.
Shop our selection of pre-portioned iced tea packs and let the brewing begin!