Integrative Nutrition Blog

7 Delicious {Homemade} Iced Tea Recipes for Summer

May 31, 2017

The weather is warming up and there’s nothing more refreshing and flavorful than homemade iced tea!

Tea is loaded with antioxidants that help detoxify your body, make your skin glow, and support a healthy immune system. Making it yourself ensures that your ingredients are simple and healthy, and – unlike with many bottled iced teas – you won’t unknowingly overconsume sugar.

Plus, combining tea with fresh ingredients is creative and fun.

The Basics

Below are some delicious iced tea recipes, but before we get started, here’s what you should know about tea:

  • Black tea has the most caffeine, the strongest flavor, and the darkest color
  • Green tea has medium caffeine, flavor, and color
  • White tea has the least caffeine, the mildest flavor, and the lightest color
  • Herbal tea is caffeine-free and is technically not “tea,” it is a “tisane”

Aim to purchase quality loose leaf tea or dried herbs for the best flavor and nutrient profile. Conventional tea bags tend to include the “dust” from loose leaf teas, so look for the real thing – you should literally be able to see small leaves unfurling and swirling around in hot water when brewed!

Simple Ratio and Brewing

The general ratio of water to tea is about 1 Tablespoon of loose leaf tea per 8oz. of hot water, however you can use a little less for black teas and a little more for white tea, or experiment to your liking. If you’re making a pitcher, you’d probably want around 32oz of hot water, and about 4 tablespoons of tea leaves or herbs.

The recipes below are meant to be shared and intended for around 32oz of water/tea. For convenient brewing, you can boil your water in a pot, take it off the heat for a minute, then add your tea, mixing it around and allowing it to brew for several minutes before straining the tea.

With this basic ratio in mind, here are 7 delicious recipes to try this season!

  1. White Peach -For a light summery flavor, combine white peony or silver needle white tea with a teaspoon of honey while it’s still cooling, refrigerate, then add a cup of mashed fresh peaches (skin removed), several sprigs of fresh mint, and ice.
  2. Strawberry blackFor a robust yet juicy flavor, combine black tea with a bit of sweetener, refrigerate, then add sliced and mildly mashed strawberries, and ice.
  3. Hibiscus blueberryIf you like a fruity flavor without any caffeine, combine hibiscus herbal tea with honey, refrigerate, then add mashed blueberries, fresh lemon slices, and ice.
  4. Green verbena  - For a fresh and earthy flavor, combine cooled green tea with lemon verbena leaves, a few slices of fresh ginger, and ice.
  5. Chamomile lavenderFor a soothing evening sip, combine a dried chamomile and tea-grade lavender brew with a mild sweetener, refrigerate, then add ice.
  6. Black and citrusFor a traditional flavor with a twist, combine black tea with a teaspoon of honey, refrigerate, then add a squeeze of orange, a few slices of lemon, and a little orange zest if you don’t mind a bit of pulp. If it’s a sunny day and you’ve got the time, leave the pitcher to cool in a sunny spot by the window for several hours before adding ice, this makes “sun tea!”
  7. Watermelon greenFor an unusual but delicious mix, combine a green tea brew with a 1.5 cups of fresh-squeezed watermelon juice, a few sprigs of rosemary, and ice.

As a bonus non-tea option, combine plain cold water with sliced cucumber, sliced ginger, fresh mint, and lemon slices. It’s a refreshing detox drink you’ll love!

We are all about personal exploration and experimentation, so use these ideas as a springboard to develop your own favorite recipe, and then share it with friends!

Interested in learning more about holistic wellness? Check out our Curriculum Guide or explore what it means to be a Health Coach.

What's your favorite cool summer beverage? Share with us below!

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