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Instant Pot Iced Tea is a cinch to make, incredibly smooth, and almost completely hands-off. Simply drop your favorite tea bag into the pot with some water and set the timer!
Why in the world would anyone make tea in the pressure cooker? It’s a question that gets asked a lot, and we got similar questions when we published the Instant Pot Lemonade and Instant Pot Hot Cocoa recipes.
When I first heard of people “brewing” tea in the Instant Pot, it sounded so strange. Isn’t it easiest to boil tea on the stove and make tea the traditional way?
Sure, it may be easier, depending on how you look at it. Maybe it’s even faster. So, again, why make Instant Pot iced tea? It’s the taste!
If you’ve ever visited the South or live in the South, you know we’ve got a thing for iced tea, specifically sweet tea. There are even tons of recipes for Southern sweet tea on Google.
I grew up in a family that loved its iced tea. My mom made sweet tea with sugar, her mom keeps a jug of unsweetened sweet tea in the refrigerator with sweetener nearby, and then there’s my other grandmother.
Grandma Johnie Sue always made iced tea with “Melbourne water.” That’s water from Melbourne, Arkansas. She carried jugs of that water when she traveled, because she swore it made the best iced tea. Grandma was right. It’s always been my favorite!
After many weeks of putting it off, I finally broke from tradition and tried making iced tea in the Instant Pot. To be completely honest, it did not taste like it’s stove top counterpart.
Instant Pot iced tea has a smoothness that the traditional version doesn’t have. John thinks it tastes like tea you’d get in a restaurant. If restaurant tea is your thing, this iced tea recipe might be right up your alley! Let me tell you how I made it.
Ingredients Needed for Instant Pot Iced Tea:
This recipe is easy peasy and only requires a couple of ingredients!
- Water: I used water from the tap, but bottled water would also work great!
- Tea: For this recipe, I chose 1, large, family-sized tea bag (black tea variety).
- Sugar: This is optional and will depend on whether or not you’re making sweetened or unsweetened iced tea. The amount will also vary depending on how sweet you like the tea. It could be anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1 cup.
How to Make Instant Pot Iced Tea:
Pour the water in the liner, and add the tea bag.
Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and use the manual (pressure cook) button to adjust the time to 4 minutes.
After the time is up, allow a natural pressure release for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the lid. The contents may still be boiling, but they will definitely be steamy and very hot. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tea bag.
Add ice, cool to room temperature, or transfer the tea to a heat-safe container, then move it to the refrigerator.
*If using sugar, add it along with the water in step #1. Stir well, making sure the sugar is well dissolved. Another option is to add the sugar at the end of step #4 after the tea brews and the tea bag has been removed.
Tips and Variations for Instant Pot Iced Tea:
- Use Your Favorite Tea: We like black tea, but use your favorite. Herbal teas also make some great options, especially when making smaller batches.
- Not a fan of sugar?: Omit the sugar or use a sugar substitute like, Stevia, honey, or other low-calorie sweetener.
- Want to double the recipe?: This recipe makes about a 1/2 gallon of iced tea. It can easily be doubled to make a gallon simply by doubling the amount of water. No need to double the tea bags. It does take significantly longer for the pressure cooker to come to pressure, with the additional water.
- Make it flavored!: Add your favorite flavored syrup like peach, raspberry, or blackberry for a flavored iced tea.
Looking for other Drink Inspiration?
Here are a few of our favorite cold drinks!
Easy Instant Pot Iced Tea Recipe
- 8 Cups Water
- 1 Large Tea Bag (family-sized)
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar (optional)
- Place 8 cups of water and the tea bag into the liner of the Instant Pot. (If using sugar, it can be added now and stirred until dissolved or added later.)
- Close the lid, set the valve to the sealing position, and use the manual (pressure cook) button to adjust the time to 4 minutes.
- After the time is up, allow a natural release for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the lid. *The contents will likely still be boiling and will definitely be hot and steaming.
- Remove the tea bag using a slotted spoon. If you didn't add sugar before brewing the tea, it can be added now.
- Allow the tea to cool to room temperature, add ice, or carefully transfer to a heat-safe container and move to the refrigerator to cool.
- Serve cold and garnish with lemon if desired! Tea is good for 2-3 days when kept in a container with a lid in the refrigerator.