Classic Iced Tea

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 10 servings
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 10 mins

Although tea is among the oldest beverages known, making a classic iced tea is still an art. This recipe ensures success every time.

For a brew that doesn't cloud, use bottled or filtered water and brew the infusion strong, but don't let it steep for too long. Cut with cold water after the tea leaves have been removed. If it clouds anyway, stir in a about a cup of boiling water and the tea should turn clear.


2 quarts bottled spring water or filtered water
1/4 cup loose black tea leaves or 8 standard tea bags
-- Sugar
2 -- lemons, thinly sliced
8 -- leafy sprigs mint


  1. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a teakettle. Put tea leaves in a deep, heatproof bowl or large teapot. As soon as the water begins to boil, pour over tea leaves, stir, and let stand 4 minutes. It will be very strong.
  2. Pour liquid through a fine, wire-mesh sieve or coffee filter into a pitcher. Add remaining quart of water and stir.
  3. Cool completely and serve over ice with sugar or other sweeteners, lemon and mint passed separately. VARIATION: Southern Sweet Tea—After straining tea into  pitcher, stir in 1/3 to 2/3 cup sugar until dissolved. Add remaining water and cool. Sweetened tea is more perishable than unsweetened. Seal in a glass (not plastic) container and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Recipe by Damon Fowler



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