Healing herbal tea doesn’t stop at the kettle! I’m going to show you how to make iced herbal tea the easy way so that you can enjoy the countless healing benefits of herbs all year long – and even cool down while you do it! Creating iced tea in your own kitchen is a snap, and it will help bring the cool power of plant medicine into your life all year long.
Just like regular herbal tea made from steeping herbs in hot water, iced herbal tea is created by steeping herbs in water while the water is chilled. The process takes longer than the heating method, but it’s a great way to enjoy your tea cold and to maintain more of the healing enzymes that may be lost when the plants are heated in boiling water. Cold tea is so refreshing, light, and healing – it’s an amazing replacement for soda and ice cream during warm days and the perfect way to get medicinal herbs into your body in a truly enjoyable way.
Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand to create iced herbal tea the easy way…
- One canning jar or other glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. I use a 32-ounce Kerr Jar in this how-to.
- Your chosen herbs or 2-3 tea bags (these are my favorite)
- Clean water
- Glass, sports bottle, or other type of large cup
- Ice cubes (optional)
- Strainer, cheesecloth, kitchen sieve, or the perforated part of an infuser mug or kettle
Choose your herbs. Stick with light, sweet, refreshing herbs that lean towards the floral notes if you aren’t sure where to start. I get my organic tea herbs here. If you use potent medicinal herbs, 1 tablespoon may be too much. You can add the usual amount of strong medicinals to your iced herbal tea blends you would to a hot cup, and use a milder herb in greater quantity to create the flavor.
Because your iced herbal tea will be watered down a lot with ice cubes, you’ll want to make it stronger. I usually use 1 heaping tablespoon of dried herbs total to 8-10 ounces of water – this means up to 3 tablespoons for a full-sized 32-ounce jar. If you’re using several herbs like I am in this example, just make sure the total amount with them all mixed together is around 1 heaping tablespoon of gentle herbs per 8-10 ounces of water.
If you’re using tea bags, put them into the jar with the tags hanging outside the jar -just like you would with a mug. Once you fill the jar with water you’ll be able to screw on the lid with the tags in place.
Fill your jar up with water. Leave enough room at the top for your herbs. Feel free to toss in a few fresh leaves of mint, peppermint, or rosemary.
Some great herbs to use for iced herbal tea include:
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon Verbena
- Green Tea
- Black Tea
- Raspberry Leaf
- Dried Fruits
Drop your herbs into the water and seal up your jar. Give it a few shakes to mingle the herbs with the water, and put the whole thing in the refrigerator.
For most teas made from leaves, stems, and flowers an 8 hour steeping is perfect. Tougher herbs may need longer. You can usually steep a blend up to 16 hours before the flavor starts going downhill.
The first time you try a blend, take sips every hour or so until it seems just a little strong. Remember that your ice will water it down a bit.
In a few short hours you’ll have this happening in your jar. Isn’t that color amazing? The golden hue of my iced herbal tea came from a mixture of chamomile, lemon balm, lavender, and fresh mint.
Now that your healing iced tea is ready, it’s time to separate the herbs from the water and get your sipping on!
Fill your drinking cup up with as many ice cubes as you want. If you don’t want ice, just add about 3/4 cup of cold water to cut the tea.
Pour the tea into your drinking cup through a sieve, screen, or cloth. I use either a small flour sieve or the metal sieve from my favorite tea infuser kettle. Cheesecloth also works great in a pinch.
You can garnish your healing iced herbal tea blend with any fresh herbs you may have on hand, or with a wedge of lemon, lime, grapefruit, or even slices of berries for even more nutrients.
If you don’t use all of your tea to create your first drink, just put the lid back on the jar and put it back in the refrigerator. The tea will usually last for over three days without any problem, but if you notice that the color, scent, flavor, or consistency of the water changes, it’s time to make a new batch.
Stay posted all season long for lots of fun and easy iced herbal tea recipes that you can try. If you don’t have any herbs in your kitchen, click the link below to get yours where I get mine, and you’ll soon see how I can make my quart-size iced herbal tea for less than 20 cents of herbs per batch!