Homemade flavored iced tea

If I can’t stop complaining about the heat this summer, it’s because there’s still too much to complain about. Often, I feel I’m going to wither — literally. There seems to be no respite even at midnight.

Naturally, we’ve been consuming a lot of cold drinks. Ice trays in the freezer aren’t enough anymore. My husband buys tube ice by the bag almost everyday. We have an assortment of fruit juices in cans and cartons and we’re gobbling them up like crazy. The two things we don’t buy anymore are powdered juices and iced tea. They’re nothing but a bunch of artificial flavors and loads of sugar. We’ve been boycotting bottled iced tea as well. As an alternative, I thought about making iced tea from flavored tea in bags. With honey. Sounds much healthier than commercial drinks.

casaveneracion.com home-made flavored iced tea

This is not an original idea. A friend taught me this trick many years ago when iced tea was a new phenomenon and there were no powdered iced tea mixes that allowed us to enjoy it the lazy way.

The nice thing about making your own iced tea is that, with the variety of flavored tea in bags available in supermarkets, you can have a unique blend of fruits and spices in your iced tea. You can even choose between flavored green tea and black tea.

casaveneracion.com flavored tea in bags

It’s easy. Place two teabags in a cup. Pour in boiling water and let the tea seep in the hot water for 3 to 5 minutes. I recommend using a small cup so that there is less liquid that will need to be cooled. You’re going to add cold water and ice anyway so it is immaterial how strong the tea is.

Remove the tea bags and pour the tea in a pitcher. Add about half a cup of cold water to make it lukewarm. Add honey, about 1/4 cup, and stir well. Add enough cold water and ice to fill four regular drinking glasses. Give the iced tea a final stir before pouring and serving.

Try it, you’d be surprised at how different iced tea tastes minus all the artificial flavorings. And substituting honey in lieu of sugar makes it even better. :)

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The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

20 Responses

  1. auee says:

    Hey good one! Thanks for the tip!

  2. seanty says:

    this is a great idea since my kid loves iced tea, am surely going to try this.thanks to you!!!!

  3. Connie says:

    really great in this terrible weather.

  4. ann says:

    good thing that summer is about to end there in the Philippines…
    here in Riyadh?… summer is just starting…
    grabe sa init as in grabe talaga! well, what do you expect on a desert country like Saudi Arabia?!
    so just imagine kung ilang pitcher of ice tea ang gagawin ko for one day con?
    thanks for the tip!

  5. Connie says:

    It’s starting to rain here, Ann. At last! Problem is the power outages that almost always accompany the rains. :sad:

    Enjoy the iced tea. At least, you can forget the heat momentarily. :)

  6. Hush says:

    Wow! Cool! This is such a great idea para sa inlaws ko for coming summer, cup of tea kc tubig nila dito eh…at least there is an ice tea drink in such a better way ;)


  7. zap says:

    Yap yap I also prefer making my iced tea this way! No acidic aftertaste unlike the powdered/bottled iced teas. I throw two or three bags into a small pot of boiling water and simmer for a few minutes para ‘mapiga’ yung flavor ng tea. I also add some mint pag available, really refreshing!:)

  8. Carol says:

    Remember Butterfly Iced Tea? It used to be available in some restaurants in concentrate form. My aunt in law shared with me the secret behind it, which she adds to her home-brewed iced tea: four teabags, 10-15 pieces of calamansi plus a few drops of maple extract. It completely changes the flavor! I got mine from Cost U Less before it closed down.

    At Salcedo Market, a stall (Pascale’s) sells various flavors of freshly-brewed isiced teas as well.

    • Diane says:

      Carol, I remember a “butterfly iced tea” that was sold (packaged in some kind of juice box or pouch) on board the Sweet lines in the Philippines–that was the only place I ever had it, and I loved it. That was back in the mid-70s. I was just reminded of it again and Googled it…found your comment and will try your recipe! Thanks very much!! =)

  9. Carol says:

    ooops I forgot to add: of course, add sugar or simple syrup or honey to taste :-)

  10. Chateau says:

    I have lots of flavored tea from my friend in Germany. I don’t drink hot tea so i was wondering what to do with all those! Do you think it will work with Sagada tea? I have that too from my BIL.
    Now I have something to do with those bags and boxes of tea.

  11. Connie says:

    Chats, I think any kind of tea will work. Play around with the additions — whatever combination of freshly squeezed fruit juices you fancy plus honey.

  12. Mick says:

    You’ve really got to quit the cult of Jamie Oliver. It’s not becoming of a person with their own brains. http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/1674/

  13. Connie says:

    I’ve been doing the school lunch thing for my kids even before Jamie Oliver aired his first show. The only difference is I got no publicity for it.

    So, Mick, eat your junk food if you must but some of us do believe in healthier alternatives.

    Buzz off.

  14. Popcorn says:

    Hi Connie! I tried na din this one….I loved it…kasi I always drink tea everyday eh,,,,,,,,nakakataba ba ang honey? he!he!he!

  15. terry says:


    Do you have the recipe for the “butterfly ice tea” which was popular in the ’70s? If so let me know.



  16. sarah says:

    are you familiar with butterfly iced tea

    • Connie says:

      It’s just a term which became a brand back in the 70s. Basically, it’s just iced tea with loads of sugar.

  17. Amy [deleted as spammy advertising] says:

    I know a lot of bottled pre-made teas and energy drinks can be made of synthetic and downright nasty ingredients, but I feel pretty good about [deleted as spammy advertising]. Have you tried it? Their teas are sweetened with honey and/or pure cane sugar. And, they brew and can their flavored teas hot, so there’s no need for chemical preservatives!

  18. nikoy says:

    great tip. susubukan ko po ito.

    we’ve been making this using black tea but we add a little fresh calamansi juice. masarap din.

    may question lang po ako. mataas po ba ang caffeine content ng tea? thanks.