Fifteen-Minute Iced Tea

We’ve been at a big family reunion in Tennessee this past weekend, and it’s been pretty warm here. To keep everyone refreshed and rehydrated we’ve made massive vats of iced tea.  In this USA Weekend’s video we demonstrate not only how to make iced tea quick and from scratch but also how to flavor it interestingly.


Fifteen-Minute Iced Tea
 
Using a 2-quart Pyrex measuring cup makes this tea a one-pot drink—from brewing to pouring. If you don’t have a microwave, you can also place the tea bags and water in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Heat mixture over medium-low heat until very steamy, darkly colored, and bubbles form on the bottom and sides of the pan, about 190 degrees F, 8 to 10 minutes. Continue with steeping instructions in this recipe.
by:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 5 black tea bags
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 to 6 tablespoons sugar, optional (depending on desired sweetness)
  • 1 quart ice cubes plus additional cubes for glasses
Instructions
  1. Place tea bags and water in a 2-quart Pyrex measuring cup. Cover with a small plate. Heat mixture on high power until very steamy, darkly colored, and water starts to move, but not boil, about 190 degrees F, 8 to 10 minutes, depending on starting water temperature and power of microwave. Remove cup from microwave. Let tea steep for 3 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags to keep tea from getting bitter. Add desired amount of sugar; stir until dissolved. Add ice; stir until melted. Fill desired number of glasses with ice. Stir tea, pour over ice, and serve immediately.
  2. Iced Tea with Lime and Mint: Follow recipe for 15-Minute Iced Tea adding a handful of mint sprigs (about ½ cup) and 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lime zest to the tea as it emerges from the microwave. Cover and follow steeping instructions straining lime zest (if you like but not necessary) and fishing out mint before serving.
  3. Iced Tea with Orange and Cloves: Follow recipe for 15-Minute Iced Tea adding 12 whole cloves along with the tea bags and 1 ½ teaspoons of finely grated orange zest to the tea as it emerges from the microwave. Cover and follow steeping instructions, straining before serving.
  4. Ginger Tea: Follow recipe for 15-Minute Iced Tea adding 6 to 8 ginger coins smashed with a knife blade to the tea as it emerges from the microwave. Cover and follow steeping instructions fishing out ginger before serving.

 

14 Comments

  1. Maggy says

    Being the impatient person I am, I love that this tea is brewed and chilled in less than 15 minutes. When it’s hot and you’re thirsty, the last thing you want to do is wait! I also love that you can create your own flavor combinations and adjust the sweetness to your own taste.

  2. Sharon says

    I’m not a big tea drinker. But I have to admit, these iced teas are incredible! I love that there is one simple formula that I customize and play with–Ginger and orange? Basil and lemon? Mint and Lime? Yes, please! What a perfect way to cool off during the summer.

  3. Brenda says

    We buy the gallon size tea bags from the warehouse club and toss it in the coffee maker with the full pot of water. When it’s done we add more water, sugar & ice to a gallon pitcher and viola!

  4. Juanelle Kopp says

    Made the orange-cloves flavored tea this p.m. and it was delicious! Thanks for your wonderful books.

  5. Cathy says

    Hi Pam,
    Thanks for sharing the 15-minute teas! They are all so tasty, especially the mint/lime combination. Yum! Delicious! :)

  6. Jane says

    This iced tea recipe recipe sounds fabulous. I’d like to make it using loose tea instead of tea bags. Does anyone have any ideas on how to do that?

  7. Jane says

    Hi Pam. This iced tea recipe recipe sounds fabulous! I’d like to make it using loose tea instead of tea bags. Does you have any ideas on how to do that?

    • Pam says

      As long as you strain out the tea leaves at the suggested time, I don’t see any reason why you can’t follow the recipe as described. The only difference is that the other ingredients won’t get to steep as long. After straining, however, you could add large flavoring ingredients like mint back into the tea to steep a little longer. I also might use citrus strips rather than grated zest, so you could add those back in after straining the tea. Make sense? Good luck!

  8. says

    What great flavor ideas! My family goes through almost a gallon each day. I use an electric kettle to heat the water, and the entire process takes less than ten minutes. I love mint tea but have a sneaking suspicion that the orange clove will be my new favorite.

  9. Amy H. says

    Ladies, Just read your blog for the first time and watched the video of you making tea. How fun…plan to share with my two daughters. Looking forward to checking in more often now that I’ve found you.

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