Summer is coming, unless of course you live in a region that feels like summer all year round (greetings from Florida!). With warmer temperatures, iced tea can be both the easiest and most delicious way to beat the heat. But I'm going to take it one step further and show you how to make Instant Pot iced tea.
Why make Instant Pot iced tea?
There are a few reasons to make tea in the Instant Pot. First, it's completely hands off once you close the lid. Set it and walk away.
Second, people love pressure cookers because of the way they quickly cook food and bring out flavors like a slow cooker would. For tea, that means the more subtle flavors seem to float to the surface and blend beautifully with the tea flavor.
Finally, summer is hot! Instead of heating up your kitchen and standing over the stove to steep tea, just dump it in the Instant Pot and let the heat dissipate all at once.
Choosing Your Tea
If you want to drink it all day and don't want to be buzzing from the caffeine all night, stick to an herbal tea. However, if you're making this in bulk to pour and go in the morning and want that caffeine boost, you can still use a black tea.
Black tea under pressure: Many tea lovers will tell you that steeping black tea in hot water for too long makes the tea bitter. I agree. However, water under pressure (like in a pressure cooker) acts a little differently. First of all, the water inside the pot isn't to full temp until the timer starts. The water also never boils since its boiling point under pressure is around 250 degrees Fahrenheit or 121 degrees Celsius. So don't worry about your tea being over steeped as the Instant Pot comes to temp and releases.
How to Make Instant Pot Iced Tea
This is as easy as it gets, really. Simply put your desired amount of water into the Instant Pot, and add the appropriate amount of tea. Next, set your Instant Pot to high pressure for 3 minutes and allow it to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes or more. You do not want to quick release the pressure as this will cause the water to boil and your tea will get bitter pretty quickly.
Once it's done, I remove the tea and let it cool in the open pot until it is cool enough to transfer to a pitcher and put into the fridge. You can also pour it over some ice right away and store the rest in the fridge for later.
I found it significantly easier to put the tea into loose leaf tea filter bags instead of allowing it to float around loose in the pot. This way, it's easier to remove the tea and stop the steeping process without straining the entire batch. Be sure to tie your bags closed so the tea doesn't spill out.
However, if you don't have fillable tea bags or don't want to use them, simply strain the pot into another heat-resistant container and store in the fridge.
Instant Pot Iced Tea Variations
Spike it! There's no reason to let that iced tea go to waste, so try adding some alcohol to bring out those extra flavors. There are so many tea cocktails to try at home from martinis to Arnold Palmers.
Southern Style: Ask anyone from the South and you'll know in an instant that sweetened ice tea is NOT the same as sweet tea. However, you can make Instant Pot sweet tea just as easily. Simply add an absurd amount of sugar to the tea after the pressure is released but the tea is still hot. Southerners are known for extremely sweet tea, but in reality you can add as much sugar as you like. Regardless of the amount used, this will dissolve the sugar. When it's cooled down a bit, transfer it from the Instant Pot to the fridge.
Shake It Up: There are so many different summer iced tea recipes to try. So add a little lemonade, some berries, or even make it an iced fog to keep it fresh all summer long.
Instant Pot Iced Tea Tips
- Make your tea a little stronger if you plan to add ice to it later. Otherwise, those ice cubes will melt and water down your tea. You could also make some tea ice cubes to avoid watering down your drink.
- Make your Instant Pot iced tea as a tea concentrate so it's ready to go for the whole week!
- There's some interesting discussion about whether or not tea dehydrates you. So if you plan on making Instant Pot iced tea your go-to drink for the summer, read up a little and make sure you stay hydrated.
Instant Pot Iced Tea
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons Smooth Sailing Mango black tea (or tea of choice)
Put water and tea into the Instant Pot
Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes with natural release.
Allow to natural release for 15 minutes.
Remove tea from water and allow to cool in Instant Pot. Dissolve sugar in hot tea if desired.
Once tea is cool, pour a cup over ice and enjoy. Transfer the rest to the fridge for storage.