Homemade Healthy Iced Tea

reading time: 2 min

Iced tea is a summer drink par excellence! Unfortunately, most varieties available at the supermarket are rich in calories and sugar (up to 15 sugar cubes per litre!!), as well as many artificial flavourings and preservatives. In other words: tooth decay, obesity and diabetes.

This was the first time I made iced tea, and it's actually so easy and quick to make that it's not gonna be the last time either, for sure. Making iced tea is endlessly adaptable: you can brew it light or strong, drink it unsweetened or sweetened, make it kid-friendly or grown-up (see notes at the end)

Once you've got the basics down, you can start getting creative - just follow the simple steps below.


Preparation time: 15 mins
Main ingredients: black tea, citrus fruit, sugar
difficulty level: easy
makes: 1 litre
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, low-fat


500ml water
5 bags of black tea (such as Darjeeling, Earl Grey, or Assam)
2 tbsp Stevia sugar or coconut blossom sugar

juice of 1 orange 
1 organic orange, sliced
1 organic lemon, sliced 
1 cup tropical frozen fruits 
1 - 2 cups ice cubes


Place your tea bags in a 500ml jar. Pour boiling water over the tea bags and steep for 3 - 4 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare a 1 litre crystal carafe or glass jar with 1 or 2 cups of ice cubes.

Remove the tea bags, and stir in the sugar until dissolved (i used 2 tablespoons of powdered stevia, but feel free to use more or less, or common white sugar instead). Then pour the hot tea into the ice cube filled jar. This shock cooling is very important, as it prevents the tea from becoming bitter and reserves its vibrant colour!

Add the sliced citrus fruits, the orange juice and the frozen fruits. If your jar isn't full yet, fill it up with cold water. By leaving the fruit to soak in the tea for a few hours, you'll be left with a wonderfully tangy mixture. Plus, you can eat the marinated fruit at the bottom of your glass for a juicy bonus :)

Chill in the refrigerator until cold. Serve over ice. 

The perfect drink for a picnic on a glorious warm day!

- Use green tea or white tea instead of black tea for a lighter tea flavour. (Jasmine blossom or peach flavoured green teas are popular for using in iced tea). But keep in mind that green tea only needs to steep for 1 to 3 minutes; leave white tea to brew for 1 to 5 minutes.
- Bring a little tropical colour to your brew by adding slivers of fresh fruit like pineapple, peach, blueberries, passion fruit and kiwi to the iced tea (not necessarily all at once though).
- For a kid-friendly iced tea version, use herbal tea or fruit tea such as hibiscus tea instead of black tea or green tea (which both contain caffeine), and sweeten your iced tea with fruit juice such as apple juice, mango juice, peach juice...!
- For the gown-up version, you may add a bit of alcohol such as rum, Prosecco or white wine to your iced tea.
- Spice your iced tea up with herbs like mint, rosemary, lemongrass or basil.
- This might not be your typical summer iced tea, but give this one a try: 1 sour apple, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 4 tsp green tea and 2 tbsp sweetener. 
- For a more spicy version try this ginger iced tea: Fruit tea (such as apple, lemon, strawberry) or black tea + piece of diced ginger (add to the boiling water) + lemon juice + little sweetener (not too much!)
 - The ultimate summer version is this sweet melon iced tea: Green tea + lime or lemon juice + diced melon (for natural sweetness, use honey dew or cantaloupe) + optionally, grape juice to sweeten. 
- Other great combinations are: iced tea made with fresh mint + apple juice, apple tea with + grape juice, or rooibos tea with + orange juice
- Last but nor least: Iced Tea Latte! Chill and slightly foam the milk (plant-based milk works just as well), then slowly pour the cold, strong tea on top of the milk. For this, teas with an intense aroma such as rooibos, black tea or green tea work best. Serve with ice cubes or a scoop of ice cream.
- For those who already found their favourite iced tea combination, brew slightly more tea than you need, shock-cool it and freeze a portion of it in ice cube trays. Use these iced tea cubes to keep the iced tea nice and cold in your glass without diluting the beverage. 

So start getting creative with your pitchers – now you know how to make iced tea, imagination's your only limit (and whatever is in your fruit bowl).

Thank you to Gloria over at Homemade and Yummy for featuring this post as one of the best recipes to help cool you off on those hot summer days!


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