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The Best Teas for Making Iced Tea

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

Nothing says summer more to us than a glass of tea poured over ice and enjoyed outside on a long warm evening. Here in Ventura, we still have cooler temps as June Gloom brings us cloudy misty mornings, but as our afternoons and evenings are getting a bit warmer we can’t wait any longer and declare it iced tea season!

Can you use loose leaf tea for iced tea?

Umm, that answer is yes! If you know us, you know loose leaf tea is our thing! (Well, one of our many many things!)

You can find tea bags specifically for iced tea, but keep in mind that usually the tea found in tea bags are of the grade of fannings or dusts.

  • Fanning are pieces of tea leaves that have broken off of whole leaf teas.

  • Dusts are even smaller pieces that have crumbled off the fannings.

Before commercially available tea bags, fannings and dusts were considered inedible. So why are we using them to make tea?

These fannings and dusts are small enough to fit into a tea bag and they don’t expand when brewed like whole leaves of tea. Unfortunately, these broken leaves lose their essential oils quickly which means the loss of flavor as well as the quick release of tannins tending to make tea brewed from these bits and pieces bitter!

For the best tasting iced tea, we always use loose-leaf tea!

How to Make Iced Tea

Ice Tea isn’t any harder to make than hot tea though it does take a little bit of planning ahead of time. The considerations when making any kind of tea are time, temperature, and quantity. Timing and temperatures do not change when making iced tea. Brew your tea for the same amounts of time at the same temperatures as you would when brewing hot tea.

Quantity does change. We suggest doubling the amount of tea to water when brewing for iced tea as the cold temperature of the tea dulls your taste buds a bit. Use 1 - 2 teaspoons of tea leaves for every 8 ounces of water.

Steep your tea. Allow it to cool down. And ice away! That’s it–Iced Tea!

If a sweet tea recipe is what you are looking to make, follow the above instructions for making iced tea and then add a liquid sweetener such as simple syrup or honey to your tea. Avoid adding straight sugar as it may not dissolve and will make your tea gritty and sludgy.

Best Teas for Iced Tea

Traditionally Iced Tea is brewed with black tea, but any type of tea from green to oolong to black to herbal teas can be steeped and served iced.

Black Teas to Serve Iced:

Assam and Black Darjeeling are excellent for a traditional black iced tea. Earl Grey is a black tea with the addition of bergamot oil which brews up a lovely black tea with notes of bright citrus.

We also enjoy black teas with the addition of fruit such as our Big Berry Blast . The addition of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and currants in this black tea adds a natural sweetness which means you can have a sweet iced tea without sugar. A flavor win and a health win!

Green Teas to Serve Iced:

Green tea has a mild flavor which pairs well with many other flavors making it an ideal choice for iced teas. A straight green tea such as a Green Darjeeling or Chunmee are lovely brewed and served iced for when you want a classic green tea. We especially enjoy Chunmee iced tea served sangria style with fresh juicy summer fruit floating among the ice. `

Blue Mermaid is a green tea blended with lemongrass, spearmint, and butterfly pea flower making a refreshing glass of iced tea. Mint goes well with green tea and the lemongrass adds that nice summery flavor as well as interacting with the butterfly pea flower giving this tea a gorgeous deep aqua color. A pitcher of this ice tea will impress any guest!

Oolong Teas to Serve Iced:

Oolong teas are naturally sweet and smooth making them a perfect tea to ice. A favorite iced oolong at SpiceTopia is our Peach Oolong. Grown at a high altitude this Taiwanese twisted leaf oolong has floral notes and a lush finish that is a natural for iced tea!

If you are looking for a greener oolong tea to ice, may we suggest our Golden Flower Oolong. This lightly oxidized rolled oolong from the misty mountains of Fujian, China has a very light and sweet flavor with a clean gentle finish. We enjoy this iced oolong served with meals as its flavor doesn’t overwhelm the palette.

Herbal Teas to Serve Iced:

When it comes to iced herbal teas there are many options! Most herbal teas are fabulous iced!

We especially enjoy fruit teas iced. Cherry Pomegranate Herbal Tea is a tea of dried sour cherry and pomegranate arils as well as dried apples, rose petals, almonds, and cardamom! When brewed, this tea is a gorgeous red color with a sweet and tart flavor–when iced, it almost tastes like fruit punch!

Floral Teas are also nice iced. Country Rose has the delicate aroma and taste of fresh roses along with the bold tart flavor of hibiscus. Iced, both the sweet floral and tart fruitiness are captured.

Tulsi tea, or teas blended from holy basil, are gentle and delightful iced. Mango Peach Tulsi Tea is full of summer fruit flavors which brews a wonderful pitcher of iced tea that will refresh you on any hot summer day. Our Ginger Lemon Tulsi Tea is the perfect blend of spicy ginger and refreshing citrus. A great afternoon or evening tea when you want to avoid caffeine.

And don’t forget about Rooibos Teas! Rooibos Tea from South Africa makes a deliciously sweet and smooth iced tea. Orange Cream Tea is a rooibos with a touch of orange and vanilla which reminds us of creamsicles! A cup of this tea iced is like drinking your dessert!

Shop our selection of over 100 loose leaf teas including all the teas mentioned above at

What's your favorite tea is served iced?


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