How to Make Homemade Iced Tea

Iced tea is just about the perfect summertime drink–it’s refreshing and full of antioxidants. It’s also much more affordable than canned or bottled soft drinks and juices.

There are three basic ways to make it:

You’ll need two tea bags or two teaspoons of loose tea per cup of water.

Sun tea: Place tea and water in a large pitcher or jar and place in the hot sun for several hours. Pour over ice to serve and refrigerate the rest after removing tea bags or straining loose tea.

Refrigerator tea: Steep tea in water for at least 24 hours. Remove tea bags or strain through a sieve if using loose tea.  Serve over ice.

Brewed tea: Bring water to a rolling boil and add to tea. Let steep for three to five minutes, stirring once to distribute the flavor. Remove tea bags or strain loose tea through a sieve and let it cool to room temperature before  serving over ice.

I personally prefer to brew my iced tea. Yes, it uses more energy than the other methods, but the boiling water helps the tea reach its full flavor potential. If you are pregnant and worried about caffeine, read this March of Dimes article, which includes a chart that shows how much caffeine is in certain drinks. At 48 grams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving, you can have up to four glasses a day. (Pregnant women are advised to drink under 200 grams a day.)

Remember that it’s important to stay hydrated during pregnancy and those early days of parenthood, especially if you’re nursing. What are your favorite healthful, economical beverages? Let us know!

For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas, head on over to We are THAT Family.


  1. I love iced tea. We always have a pitcher of it in the refrigerator. And I always brew mine with loose leaf tea. I just think the flavor is so much better that way.

  2. I just moved to the south from the pacific coast and I am not used to the hot humid weather, especially the record breaking highs we’ve had for the past two months. I’ve been drinking plenty of iced tea this summer, but what I’m really excited about is La Croix Sparkling Water. Nothing quenches my thirst quite like the lime and grapefruit flavors, not even a beer! Which I thought would never happen.

    The best part is that they are calorie and caffeine free and have no artificial sweeteners, so each can is a guilt-free treat. Especially if you buy them in bulk when they go on sale.

  3. I’ve been nursing for 2 months and am thirsty all the time! I get tired of plain water, and even iced tea. My new favorite beverage is infused water. I just fill a pitcher with water, toss in some combination of sliced lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, cucumbers, or sprigs of mint (mixing and matching flavors adds variety), and stash it in the fridge.

  4. my kids are such juice freaks–i should give herbal tea a try for them

  5. I love this! I found one of those glass jugs with a spigot at the bottom at a thrift store and I have been making large batches of iced tea and keeping it in the fridge all summer long. My favorite is to use 2 Good Earth Original tea bags and 2 bags of some really good black tea. I just put the bags in and fill up the jug. I leave it out for a day or 2 until the tea is nice and strong, then I take out the bags and store it in the fridge. Fridge life indefinite – it seems to last a really long time. I’ve made maybe 3 batches all Summer long.

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