Iced Tea Concentrate


I have found a great space-saving way to have iced tea available more often in my fridge. I found a this sweet tea recipe on Pinterest and it sparked my interest as it contained a secret ingredient. The secret ingredient is baking soda and I have to say that it improved the taste of the tea. I never would have thought that baking soda would make such a difference.

You need a container that you can add boiling water to without it breaking. I used the container above which is pyrex. Be careful to ensure that if you are using a glass container that is clearly labelled heat safe.

 Sweetened Iced Tea Concentrate

3 tablespoons loose black tea or (5 tea bags)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 liter boiling water 

While you are waiting for the water to boil, sprinkle the baking soda in the bottom of the container you are going to use for steeping. Add the tea in bags or a mesh sieve and pour the boiling water over. Let steep for 10-15 minutes for bags. I used loose tea and poured the water through the sieve three times. Once the tea is done steeping the tea should look like black coffee like the picture above. Add the sugar in and stir until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

When you are ready to mix a glass of iced tea, mix one part tea concentrate with two parts water. This is my preferred ratio but you will need to experiment to find your desired strength.

Options I want to try

  • Using jam instead of sugar for sweetening
  • Adding lemon juice
  • Adding dried fruit when the water is hot and letting them sit over night

Brewing Tea in the Refrigerator

I was a latecomer to fridge brewing. I’ve been here for nine years but only started fridge brewing a couple of years ago. Now I can’t stop, and shan’t.


Brewing your own tea in the fridge is really cheap. The mugicha (barley tea) package (right) was only 300 yen and it will last the summer. The Oolong tea (left) was a little under 400 yen and will also last a long time. I got a new brewing container this year as well. My hand doesn’t fit in my old one and it was really hard to get the inside of some of the curves clean – almost impossible. My hand fits in the new one so all is good this year.  If you are looking to buy a brewing jug I would recommend buying one made of tempered glass so that in cooler weather you can brew hot tea in it if you happen to have a large number of guests, or need to make ice tea that requires a hot brew first.

I’ve found that Japanese teas labelled 水出し(suidashi for cold water) work really well but regular Japanese teas don’t. Black tea, on the other hand, does pretty well in the fridge. Teas will take 2 hours to all night depending on the tea and the desired strength. Most teas made for cold water will take 2 hours but that depends on your container size. I usually black tea overnight using only one tea bag in a liter because I like weak tea.