To brew approximately 2 quarts of gourmet iced tea with loose tea leaves:
Use fresh, cold water from the tap or spring water. Do not reuse water you have already boiled since the oxygen will have evaporated and this affects the taste of the tea.
Measure 1/4 cup of tea leaves (to make 2 quarts or 8 cups) into your infuser. For this quantity of leaves, you will need a large infuser for the leaves to have room to expand and brew properly. A cotton tea sock or the large basket infuser will work perfectly. Use a tea pot to house the infuser and brew the tea.
Heat 4 cups of water until it reaches the correct temperature: generally, steaming for green and almost a full boil for black teas, oolongs, herbal infusions and fruit blends. Pour it over the leaves immediately and cover your teapot.
Brew the tea for 5 minutes for black teas, 2-3 minutes for green and 10 minutes for Rooibos or herbal teas. Over brewing can cause the tea to taste bitter so use the appropriate time according to the specific tea.
After brewing, remove the leaves immediately.
Fill a 2 quart pitcher with ice. Pour the tea over the ice and into the pitcher and sweeten if desired. Then, add enough cold tap water to fill the pitcher. This will make a strong tea, you can dilute with more water according to your tastes.