Making Iced Tea at Home

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This page is about making iced tea at home. Save money and create your favorite iced tea beverage in your own kitchen.


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I recently began to brew my own iced tea. But I missed the flavors that I got with Peace Tea. If you brew your own tea but would like some flavor, I discovered a cool and cheap way to flavor it.

In an 8 oz. glass of chilled tea, put 1 tsp. of sugar free gelatin. I started out with 1/4 tsp. at a time to make sure it was added gradually. But if you want it a bit sweeter, you can add a 5th 1/4 tsp.

I used raspberry today and next is peach, then lemon, blackberry; any flavors I want I can now do. I figure each glass is about .01 for the tea. I get the 100 for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. It gives me about 18 glasses per 20 bags. It's about .06 for the flavor. Add a .02 packet of generic Splenda and you have a glass of good tea for under .10. It's a good idea not to make this in bulk but by the glass. That way, you drink it before it becomes gelatin, for real!

I used to pay .78 to 1.11 for 3 glasses. N-JOY!

Source: My cousin in Yuma. She used to make Peach Iced Tea for her mom when they had no more "month at the end of the money".

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This is so easy and economical to make that you will find you will always want to have a pitcher of this refreshing drink.

Total Time: 1 minute prep. Overnight refrigeration

Yield: Half gallon pitcher


  • 4 tea bags
  • 1/2 gal water


  1. Fill the half gallon pitcher with water.
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  3. Submerge 4 tea bags in the water. You can use any kind of tea. I used Lipton apple and cinnamon, and it was delicious.
  4. Refrigerate overnight. You can sweeten at this point, but I like to have unsweetened tea, and let everyone sweeten to his/her own taste. Remove the teabags. I compost mine.
  5. Note: This can be halved or doubled, depending on the size of your pitcher.
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Even easier than sun tea. Put the water into the container it will be served from, a one gallon container, like a sun tea jar or a clean milk jug. If you can't easily put in/take out the tea bags or container, use a large sauce pan.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I cannot, no matter how I try or what recipe I use, make iced tea. It gets bitter and/or cloudy no matter what I do. Is there someone out there who can give me an absolutely foolproof recipe, please?


Once someone gave me a recipe that used those huge tea bags, but I don't have any and want to use my regular size tea bags.

Thanks so much!

By metroplex from Houston, TX, USA


June 14, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

Quick question/long reply. First off, any tea will go cloudy if you refrigerate it while it is warm. To uncloud it, boil some water and drizzle it into your container of cloudy tea. It will clear up, then stop pouring in the boiling water. It doesn't take much.
To make iced tea: Concentrated version. Have ready a 1 qt glass jar/jug/pitcher to hold 1 qt tea concentrate. Boil water 1 qt (plus a few more ounces for evaporation) in a kettle or pot or microwave in glass. At boiling point, remove from heat and put in 5 or 6 regular teabags to steep. Walk away and come back when the water has cooled to room temp.


When tea is room temperature, remove teabags and put it in 'fridge.
To Serve iced tea: Put ice in glass, add sweetener/sugar as desired. pour in 1 jigger (approx. 2 oz of tea concentrate) and fill to top with water. Add lemon if desired. Stir. Tea strength can be adjusted to taste by using more or less tea concentrate. Also, a nice addition to the concentrate is one or two mint or other flavor teabags; just enough to add an extra dimension to the iced tea but not overwhelm it. I use an old 1 quart glass milk bottle to store ours in the fridge. Takes up hardly any room.

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June 16, 20100 found this helpful
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Have you ever tried making sun tea?

I always have clear tea when I make it that way. It's not fast, but it's pretty easy.


I use 2 regular tea bags per 8oz of water in whatever clear, glass jar I put out in the sun.

Just make sure it will not be in the shade for at least 3-4 hours (you can leave it longer if necessary) and just bring it indoors when the tea has brewed enough for your liking.

The tea has never been bitter or cloudy in all the times I have made it this way.


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June 16, 20100 found this helpful
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Perfect Iced Tea: Put 2 and a quarter cups of water in pot on stove and bring to a boil. Put in 6 regular size teabags. Take off heat. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and put in sugar, etc. whatever you want. Stir. Pour into a pitcher that has 6 cups cold water and stir.

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June 16, 20101 found this helpful
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This "recipe" was in our local newspaper last year and it is makes the best iced tea.


In a glass measuring cup or ceramic teapot large enough to accommodate 2 cups boiling water, place 6 regular size tea bags and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (the baking soda will soften the natural tannins that cause an acid or bitter taste). Pour 2 cups boiling water over the tea bags. Cover and let steep 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags, being careful not to squeeze them (squeezing the bags will add bitterness). Pour concentrate into a two quart pitcher and add 6 cups cold water. Sweeten, if desired. Let COOL, then chill and serve over ice. Enjoy.

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June 14, 2010

I usually buy the Lipton blue label sweetened iced tea when I go to the store. I would like to be able to make it at home so I could save money. I want the taste to be the same as this tea when I make it or make it taste like when I get it in restaurants when it's freshly brewed. When I make tea it does not taste this good. What do I need to do to make it taste freshly brewed? Do I need to buy an iced tea maker? Any suggestions would help. Thank you.

April from Henderson, NV


Making Iced Tea At Home

Brew some sun tea by using a large glass gallon jug with a lid. What I usually do is remove the paper tags, then tie the strings into a knot so the tea bags are easier to remove. Fill the jar full of cold water. Add 8-9 tea bags. Set in sun until fully brewed. Remove tea bags and pour brewed tea into a pitcher. Add your sugar, and ice cubes.
Why bother spending your money on a tea maker, because it's not necessary and just a waste of money.


By Marjorie

Making Iced Tea At Home

I think I read someplace that making sun tea isn't safe because the sun doesn't heat up the water enough to kill any bacteria. I make refrigerator tea. I fill up a 2 qt pitcher and put in 4-6 tea bags, and leave overnight or at least 8 hours. I don't put sweetener in, because everyone in my family likes it differently sweetened, but you can if you want. It's easy, inexpensive, and really good! (04/25/2008)

By Judy

Making Iced Tea At Home

A thrifty way of making iced tea is to brew some fresh tea in a teapot first. Don't make it strong, only use perhaps a couple of tea bags with perhaps 6 to 8 cups of boiling water. Only let it brew for 10 minutes. Then remove the teabags and refrigerate the tea. Make another batch and then freeze the tea as ice cubes, that way, you don't dilute the tea flavour with plain water. Add some lemon juice to taste and some sweetening, Splenda is the best in my opinion. You can garnish a glass with a mint sprig and enjoy! (04/25/2008)

By Barbara

Making Iced Tea At Home

I have an old glass percolator that I use to make iced tea. If you use something metal, it just doesn't taste the same. I fill up the percolator with water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and put in 8 teabags. After it steeps for about 15 minutes, take out the tea bags and pour in about 3/4 to 1 cup sugar. Pour into a gallon container that you have put a good amount of ice in. Fill up to the top with water. This tastes so much better that any store bought or restaurant tea that I have found. (04/25/2008)

By Doris Snoeck

Making Iced Tea At Home

Here is the way I make ice tea. Using the same concept of a electric tea maker.

I fill a 2 quart pan about 3/4 full of water and bring to boil. Add 2 Luzianne tea bags, and let steep about 5 minutes. Meanwhile I fill a 2 quart pitcher about 3/4 full of ice cubes, When tea is steeped, I pour hot tea over the ice cubes. Refrigerate. When I want a glass of tea, put several ice cubes in glass, add tea, and I always use several drops of Superose sweetener to mine. Luzianne tea is especially for ice tea. One bag makes a quart of tea. I can get it at WalMart, but not our local grocery store. Many times I add one Lipton Chai tea bag for the extra flavor. (04/25/2008)

By Wisgal

Making Iced Tea At Home

For my brewed tea here at home, I use a a glass pitcher. I put the tea bag in and pour hot water over it and let it seep for about 10 minutes or so, then I remove the teabag and add water till it's the right color of strength for me. I also use the gallon size tea bags and only use 1 at a time. Hope this helps.
Editor's Note: Make sure you use a heat proof or Pyrex pitcher or it could break. (04/25/2008)

By Debbie

Making Iced Tea At Home

I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but I do know a lot of restaurants use tea concentrate to make their ice tea, so first thing would be to find out if your favorite teas are really "fresh brewed". The second thing I would recommend would be not to squeeze your tea bags. My grandmother always told me this made the tea bitter and cloudy. (04/25/2008)

By Michelle

Making Iced Tea At Home

Try using your Mr. Coffee maker. Use 4 tea bags and brew as you would for coffee, for a full pot put more tea bags for stronger tea. Then make simply syrup (1 cup sugar and 1 cup water) bring to boil to dissolve. Mix with your tea when cool, to taste, remember what amount parts you use as to make it the same way the next time. It may take a few times to make it perfectly. But don't forget to pour this all over a tall glass of ice and add a slice of orange or what ever or a few raspberries. You could even freeze a few raspberries to use as part of the ice cubes. Enjoy! (04/25/2008)

By Nancy from PA

Making Iced Tea At Home

I steep the tea for about 5 min. once the water has boiled, and dissolve 2/3 cup of sugar and a tiny pinch of baking soda. The soda neutralizes the acid in the tea. I pour this into the pitcher and fill to 1 quart with cold water. (04/25/2008)

By Nance

Making Iced Tea At Home

The easiest way to make iced tea at home is using Lipton "Cold Brew" Tea Bags. Use 2 tea bags to 2 quarts of cold water. The directions say to brew it for 3 minutes, but I usually let it brew for about 10 minutes. Then gently squeeze the tea bags when removing them. You can add sugar or artificial sweetener at this point, or just add it to your glass at serving time. Store in the refrigerator and pour over ice cubes to serve. I have never had this tea taste bitter like some brewed teas.

By Harlean

Making Iced Tea At Home

I prefer the taste of Luzianne, too. It's very popular in the south. I boil 1 qt of water and add it to one family size teabag. I actually pay extra and do the decaf, that way I can have several glasses during the day and at dinner if I want it.

I also do a simple syrup, so that DH can have his unsweetened.

If your tea tastes like dishwater, it's not strong enough. Use less water next time. (04/26/2008)

By Robin

Making Iced Tea At Home

Making tea is one of those things that is simple and has a few necessary adds that makes it "very best". Start with COLD, fresh water. Oxygen in the water gives the tea a fresh flavor and can make a big difference in taste. Sun tea is made on the cabinet, frig, or in the sun (my preference). The sun actually has antimicrobial agents that kill bacteria. To make "fresh brewed" tea, bring your water to a simmer, almost boiling (keep that oxygen in there), then remove the water from heat source and add tea bags. Steep a shorter time for less of the bitter taste of tannic acid in the tea which is released after a longer period of time or with agitation of the bags.

When you "hurry" your tea by repeatedly dunking the bag, it will be more bitter. You can make tea very strong and add water and ice as you like later in the day like the concentrate in the restaurant. Discard it after 24 hours. It begins to ferment and that affects the taste. Add blackberry flavor syrup for company. We have quit putting sugar in our tea, but putting in the sugar when the tea is warm makes a better flavor. (04/26/2008)

By momtalley

Making Iced Tea At Home

We had always either made iced tea by boiling water on the stove, or by using the coffee maker. Both were fine as far as taste. Then I happened to find an iced tea maker at the local thrift store. It was only fifty cents! The tea maker is easier than my previous methods because the pitcher fits right under the hot water dispenser, and I don't have any coffee carafes or pans of boiling water to carry. So go search your local thrift stores for an iced tea maker. (04/26/2008)

By Cathy

Making Iced Tea At Home

I don't drink sugared tea anymore for health reasons, but we drank it all the time when I was growing up. Take a 4 quart saucepan and boil water in it. Put 3-4 regular size tea bags in the water. Put a lid on the pan and let it sit for a little bit. In the meantime, put about 1 cup of sugar into whatever pitcher you plan to use. Pour the tea (minus the tea bags) over the sugar and stir. When the sugar is completely stirred in, put ice and water in the pitcher to fill it up the rest of the way. (04/26/2008)

By crazyliblady

Making Iced Tea At Home

My favorite, 6 to 8 tea bags in the coffee maker, caramelize the sugar by adding it to the hot tea. Pour over ice and enjoy. Sweet tea. (04/26/2008)

By Sumarunga

Making Iced Tea At Home

I love iced tea, and people tend to love my tea. I use regular decaffeinated tea bags. I fill up a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup with water, heat to boiling in the microwave, and insert 20 tea bags. When I get around to it, I pour the tea into a gallon bottle, add 1 - 1 1/3 c sugar or Splenda, and voila! Yummy tea. (04/26/2008)

By Tamara

Making Iced Tea At Home

I put a 4 cup glass measuring cup in the microwave. Fill it about half full. Put in 5 teabags and cook for 5 minutes. I use the tag-less kind. Then when it cools, put it in a 2 quart pitcher and fill the rest of the pitcher with water. Refrigerate. You could probably add sugar, but I drink mine plain. (06/01/2008)

By Robbyn

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