Australians love their tea, almost as much as the English, but one thing we’ve never quite grasped is this whole iced tea thing.

With summer on the way, however, and a realisation that not everyone is into the whole coffee game, were giving it a try and showing you how to make it with and without gadgets.

The electric way

Iced tea isn’t exactly a new concept, and is consumed all over the world. In Australia, we’re beginning to adopt a taste for it, while it makes up well over half of all the tea Americans drink.

Most Aussies tend to drink hot tea, which, as most of us know, makes you sweat, and in hot weather, that makes you cool down as it evaporates off your body.

But if you don’t want to sweat, you can have tea on ice, it just has to be prepared a little differently, because natural tea steeping seems to be different in cold water than what it is in hot water.

Left to right: American iced tea makers from Hamilton Beach, Hammacher Schlemmer, and Mr. Coffee.

The bottles of cold sweetened iced tea have, in fairness, been out in Australia for years, but we’re not huge fans of paying three bucks per bottle, and they’re generally loaded with sugar, so the obvious option here is to make it yourself.

In America, a few manufacturers have made electric options for making iced tea easily, including Hamilton Beach, Hammacher Schlemmer, and Mr. Coffee, with these devices functioning similarly to a drip coffee machine.

Australians don’t have the pleasure of having these machines available, though we do have the $299 Breville Tea Maker, which lowers and raises the tea basket for you at precise times to make tea the way you want, so it’s not too bitter.

Breville’s option has been designed for hot tea and accommodates 1.2 litres, but you could easily brew a litre of tea in it – adding honey or sugar if you like – and then pour it into another jug or empty water bottle for the fridge.

The manual way

By far, the easiest and most affordable way for Australians to get in on the iced tea making action is to by a manual iced tea jug.

These aren’t complicated to use, and are little more than jugs with either a small tea basket that lowers in place from the top or a side section for the tea leaves.

Both types of the jug exist in Australia, with tea boutiques selling the jug with the first type of filter, while stores selling glassware tend to handle the latter version.

Jug based iced tea makers. On the left is the Takeya model, while the right is the Bodum one.