How to Brew a Perfect Pitcher of Iced Tea?
Here in the midwest and the south iced tea is a staple of life. Restaurants and gas stations serve it; grocery stores have an isle dedicated to it both ready to drink and ready to brew. Here in Dallas we participate in a many weekend events where we serve our iced tea and we are constantly asked, “So how do you make it?” Well, it’s actually easier than you might think.
My favorite way to brew iced tea is the Hot Brew method. This is the method that extracts the full flavor of the tea in the smallest amount of time giving you the best tasting iced tea possible. In the simplest terms the hot brew method is hot tea that is poured of ice.
For this example I will be making a 2 quart pitcher of iced tea. You will need to make sure you have a few things before you start.
- 4 tablespoons of your favorite tea
- A Teapot, Tea Press, or Teaze
- A 2 quart pitcher
- Simple Syrup (optional)
How I Make My Iced Tea
- Heat your water to the desired temperature. Make sure to follow the temperature suggestion on the label.
- Scoop your 4 tablespoons in your brewing vessel and add your hot water and let it steep for your desired time, keeping in mind the time suggestions on your label. The amount of water isn’t as important here, just make sure it is enough for the tea to circulate and unfurl or expand. The BREWT is approximately 20 ounces so I would just fill it to the top. What you are doing is making a tea concentrate.
- While your tea is steeping fill your 2 quart pitcher up to the top with ice. Once your tea is done brewing, simply pour over the ice. If you tea doesn’t reach the top of the pitcher add more water. As the ice melts, instead of just diluting your tea it is creating the correct ratio of tea and water. Now you are ready to serve and enjoy.
- (Optional) If you like your tea sweet the best way is to use simple syrup. Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water. Because sugar has a hard time dissolving in cold water we like to make it before hand with hot water so that it dissolves and creates a syrup. We store it in a squeeze bottle in the fridge for easy access. Sweetening your tea this way helps to complement the flavors as it is distributed evenly.
Of course this isn’t the only way to brew iced tea. There is also a cold brew method which I will discuss in another post. Just remember, there are no rules in making tea, only guidelines. This is how I brew my iced tea. How do you brew yours?