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How to Make Loose Leaf Iced Tea

There are several ways to prepare iced tea depending on your preference, equipment, and availability of refrigerator space. None of these methods is necessarily “better” than any other. However, the density and size of your ice cubes as well as how strong (or not) you prefer to serve iced tea will impact these directions. They should be used as a starting point, but you should feel free to adjust for your needs. The instructions below are for preparation of fresh brewed loose leaf iced tea that is stored refrigerated in a pitcher, ready to pour for family and friends. Alternative methods:


Equipment for fresh brewed iced tea:

Step 1:

  • Add ½ cup of loose tea to one of the 1 gallon pitchers. If using voluminous white tea make this 2/3 to 1 cup.

Step 2:

  • Pour ½ gallon of water over the tea and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Use boiling water for black, oolong, pu-erh or herbal/tisane tea. Use 190 degree water for white, green or yellow tea.

Step 3:

  • Add approximately ½ gallon of ice to the second pitcher (the Rubbermaid pitchers mark this level).

Step 4:

  • Pour tea through strainer, over ice, into second pitcher.

Step 5 (option 1):

  • Put pitcher directly into refrigerator.

Step 5 (option 2):

  • Pour into glass pitcher(s) and place in refrigerator.

Serve directly over ice.  Some incidental melting may occur, however, since the tea is stored in the fridge this will be minimal. Tea should stay fresh for approximately two days.