Hot tea is a year round beverage for me but I won’t say no to a thirst-quenching glass of iced tea, especially when it’s homemade! Richard Blechynden popularized iced tea at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. He poured tea over ice before serving to customers since he wasn’t profiting from the hot tea he was selling during the heat wave. Iced tea can be made at home that easily and when you have an iced tea maker, you can get the job done more efficiently, too. The benefit of making iced tea at home is that you can experience true tea flavours and control the sweetness. Here are 5 of the best iced tea makers that make the process quick and easy.
Manual vs. Electric Iced Tea Makers
My recommendations below are manual iced tea makers only. When comparing manual to electric, it does take a bit more time to make iced tea. However, that’s simply because most electric tea makers are similar to coffee makers. They extract the flavours from tea leaves by dripping hot water over the tea. There’s no real “steep time”.
Generally, manual iced tea makers are more affordable and don’t require extra counter space, too.
3 Different Ways to Make Iced Tea
There are a few ways you can make iced tea at home. The recommended iced tea makers below highlight all 3 of these methods.
- Hot brew/steep method – Make tea hot as you normally would and cool it down in the refrigerator before serving. I consider this the “standard” method as it’s what a lot of people seem to know/use.
- Iced/flash chill method – Steep tea double strength and flash chill with ice immediately for a quick, but still refreshing, glass of iced tea.
- Cold brew/steep method – Steep tea in cold water (no heat used!) overnight in the refrigerator.
3 Tips for Perfect Iced Tea, Every Time
- Don’t over steep the tea just to get a stronger glass of iced tea. Of course you want your iced tea to be stronger as it may get diluted when you add ice, but increasing the steep time is not the answer. It will become bitter. Instead, add more tea leaves to create a tea concentrate that will be able to handle the addition of ice.
- You don’t have to sweeten your iced tea but if you prefer to be sure to add the sweetener before adding ice. Most sweeteners dissolve better in hot tea. If you would like to sweeten your iced tea after making it, simple syrup is recommended. It will be easy to mix into a colder tea.
- Let your tea come to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to cool. If you set hot tea in the cold right away it may cause the tea to get cloudy.