An Almost Empty Jam Jar Is The Perfect Vessel For Your Next Batch Of Iced Tea

If you prefer your caffeinated drinks on the chilly side, it's worth learning to make your own iced tea. Beyond the classic brewing methods, creative tea lovers on social media have found unique ways to create delicious beverages. If you love a dash of fruit in your cup, take advantage of a near-empty jam or jelly jar, like TikTok user @blueeyedmelody demonstrates in a simple video.


Replying to @galactic_bert this is my easy iced tea "hack" #icedtea #tea #fruittea #kitchenhacks #recipe #drinktok #strawberryjam

♬ trees and flowers –

We all know what a pain it is to scrape out the last bits of fruit preserves that cling to the bottom and walls of the jar, and this tasty recipe makes sure none of it goes to waste. Just make sure to let the boiled water cool a bit, so that it won't shatter the glass jar through temperature shock. The steeping time and amount of tea bags depends on how strong you like your drink. Before you let it steep, stir mixture thoroughly and scrape the jar as best you can to get all of those jammy fruity flavors incorporated. 

Once the tea is steeped, strain the mixture over ice cubes, add a straw and/or a garnish, and enjoy. With this method, you can use leftover strawberry or raspberry jam in place of the fresh fruit in this berry-infused iced green tea recipe. Other great pairings are Earl Grey and passionfruit, chamomile and strawberry, and green tea and mango. Experiment with your own favorite flavors, and follow our other tips for better iced tea overall.

Keep these tea brewing tips in mind

Everyone prefers a different strength for their iced tea, but if you've never made it before, a few guidelines can help you brew a batch that isn't weak nor too concentrated. Generally speaking, you should use one tea bag per cup of water. When using the jam jar trick, look at the label to see how much the jar holds. For a 12-ounce jelly jar, you can pour in a little under two cups of water, and which can accommodate one or two tea bags, depending on your preference. 

Brewing times also depend heavily on the type of tea. Estimates range from only two minutes for green tea, all the way up to six minutes or more for black tea. Ignoring the steeping time can result in a weak, bitter, or just plain off-tasting drink, so pay attention to the instructions on your package. This is especially true if you want to use smaller jam jars, or even just a smaller pot — a lesser quantity water can quickly become too concentrated, as the tea will be less diluted to begin with.

Lastly, the water you're using matters more than you think. No type of tea can cover up the taste of subpar tap water. Using filtered water or spring water is ideal, and will allow the taste of your tea to sing loud and clear.

Add another layer of flavor with fun ice cubes

Some tea lovers like a little extra flavor without too much sugar, and commercial jams and jellies can get pretty sweet. As an alternative, make easy flavored ice cubes, which can jazz up cocktails, coffee, and of course, iced tea. As they melt, whatever flavorings you use will seep into the tea, for a dynamic drinking experience that changes over time.

If you have some fresh herbs on hand that complement your tea, freeze them inside of plain ice cubes. A basic iced green tea recipe goes great with mint, and if you're a fan of chai lattes, make ice cubes out of milk and extra chai spices. These frozen nuggets will boost the flavor of your tea and prevent it from being diluted by traditional water-based cubes. If you don't mind some natural sweetness, oolong tea pairs deliciously with stone fruit in cocktails, and the same goes for iced tea. Freeze peach, cherry, or plum juice or puree and throw the cubes in a glass of iced oolong.

For a stunning presentation, you can even freeze edible flowers into plain cubes to make your tea look gorgeous, with an air of springtime. Some teas like chamomile are inherently floral, so flower ice cubes will enhance their taste even more. You'll just want to use hot water for the clearest ice cubes, so you can see the pretty blooms.