You’re in Chicago for the summer and you had no idea that it would reach 97 degrees so soon. You start to sweat and become lethargic, fantasizing about those cold winter nights you hated so bitterly in January. But fear not, fellow sufferer, for there is a cure: iced tea.

Since the early 19th century (and even more so since the advent of refrigeration) iced tea has been a popular drink. Originally a Southern beverage, one would be hard-pressed to find a better summer drink than iced tea.  Whether it’s black iced tea or Thai passion fruit iced tea, iced tea’s depth and sweet aroma are enough to cleanse you of the Chicago heat. Fortunately, the basics of brewing are the same for most teas, and are so elementary that you won’t be able to stop after just one batch.


Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: Two quarts

4 to 6 tea bags (depending on preferred strength)
6 cups water (2 boiled, 4 cold)
Ice (several cubes)
Optional: sugar

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1. Place the tea bags in a large glass bowl. (The bowl doesn’t necessarily have to be glass; it just has to be able to withstand heat). Meanwhile, bring two cups of water to a boil.
2. When the water boils, take the water off the stove and pour into the bowl and over the tea bags. Allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes. This step will determine how strong the tea flavor will be in the final product. For a stronger saturation, use more tea bags and steep the tea longer. For a weaker tea flavor, use fewer tea bags and steep the tea for a shorter time.
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3. After the tea steeps, remove the tea bags. Fill the pitcher halfway with ice and four cups of cold water.

4. Next, pour the tea over the ice and water into the pitcher. In order to subdue the heat of the just steeped tea, refrigerate the pitcher for 40 minutes.

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5. Grab a glass or mason jar and pour the iced tea over a couple ice cubes. At this point, sugar and other flavorings such as lemon or fruit can be added to create the optimal summertime drink.

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