Cold-brew coffee has its perks, but when we’re craving super simple refreshment, cold-brew iced tea wins hands-down. Iced coffee is delicious, don’t get us wrong — we like it every which way — but not having to deal with straining a bunch of messy coffee grounds is priceless. All this recipe takes is water, tea bags, and the (optional) sweetener of your choice. Garnish with some lemon slices and a sprig of mint, and you’ll be sipping pretty even on the hottest days of summer, no boiling hot water or coffee-ground spill cleanups needed.

You can use any tea you like, though we prefer strong black tea. Earl Grey creates a delightfully floral brew, and oolong has a slightly smoky flavor that pairs well with barbecue. You can adjust the level of sweetness to suit your preference — we find that just a tablespoon of sugar helps round out the flavor of the tea without giving it a markedly sweet taste.

Ready to get refreshed? Here’s our go-to, simple cold-brew iced tea recipe.

Cold-Brew Iced Tea

(Serves 4)


  • 3 tea bags (like PG Tips or a strong black tea)
  • 32 ounces water
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • ice, lemon wedges, and mint sprigs, to serve


1. Add teabags and sugar to a 1-quart pitcher.

2. Fill with 32 ounces of room-temperature water, then refrigerate overnight.

3. Remove and discard the teabags.

4. Serve the cold-brew tea over ice. Garnish with lemon wedges and a mint sprig.

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(Recipe and photos via Justina Huddleston / Brit + Co)