A good recipe is easy to reproduce and repeat for consistent, high-quality results. This is my recipe for sweetened iced tea, based on some experiments (mostly surrounding the rate of dilution). You will need tea leaves of your choice, a kitchen scale, ice, and a sieve.
- Brew double-strength tea. We’ll start by brewing tea at double strength. For this, we will brew 7.8g of tea with 240g of 96C water for 3 minutes. You can adjust these parameters to taste, but note that the 7.8g/240g ratio comes from testing the rate of dilution in a later step.
- Prepare for final prep. While the tea is brewing, in a sufficiently large container, prepare a lot of ice. Do not use crushed ice! You want to use ice wedges or cubes instead, since they melt slower while providing rapid cooling. You don’t need to measure here, but if you’re uncertain, use more ice. The last thing you want is for all the ice to melt while you’re cooling your tea. In the final cup that you’ll be drinking the iced tea, add 15g of sugar, and ready a sieve over this cup, preferably in the sink.
- Pour over ice. Once the tea is done brewing, pour it over the ice, and start vigorously stirring, ideally using a bar spoon. You want to stir for 16s. The 16s comes from balancing rapid cooling to slightly above refrigerator temp with dilution. Once the time is up, pour the resulting iced tea through the sieve (to filter out the ice), into the cup. Stir to mix the sugar in.
That’s pretty much it! It’s very easy to repeat and yields consistent results. Your final beverage should be at around 5-6C, which is a nice drinking temperature, and shouldn’t need more ice in it (although if you’ll be carrying this somewhere else, I’d recommend some ice or whiskey stones to guarantee it stays cold). I’ve had good results with this with multiple kinds of tea leaves, but you can adjust the strength for taste. I’ll experiment with brew time to see if the amount of sugar can be reduced.