Naturally Sweetened Iced Green Tea

4.76 from 91 votes
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Iced green tea with lemon, lime, and fresh mint is a refreshing and revitalizing beverage for those warm days. Each glass is naturally sweetened with honey and packed with antioxidants.

Naturally Sweetened Iced Green Tea

A cold glass of iced green tea instantly quenches your thirst on those blazing hot days. What is even better is adding some freshly squeezed citrus juices to the drink, giving you the ultimate flavor combination. Lemons are known to make your mouth pucker. To better balance the tartness, lime juice is blended into the mix for a softer sourness.

When I’m in the mood for an extra refreshing beverage, an Arnold Palmer (half tea, and half lemonade) hits the spot. For me, it has the right balance of sweet, tangy and astringency. But instead of brewing a robust black tea, I like a more mellow green tea for its milder aromatic taste and added health benefits.

Top view of ingredients for green tea on a table and cutting board

How to make iced green tea

These sizzling hot summer days have me craving a fruit smoothie or frequenting Starbucks for a shaken green tea lemonade. Although, it’s way cheaper to make a big batch at home. Here are some simple preparation steps to make the best-tasting iced tea.

Tea selection

You can purchase the green tea bags at any of your local markets. I like the Numi organic jasmine green tea blend. The floral notes from the jasmine flower add a pleasant aroma. You can also brew whole loose leaf green tea like pearls, although it may require more tea and longer steeping times because of it’s delicate flavor. Powdered Matcha is also an option if you want a stronger and more astringent flavor. Start with one teaspoon per 8 ounces of water, adding more to taste.

Tea brewing

Green tea brewing times can range from 1 to 5 minutes. The longer you steep, the stronger the flavor and bitterness. Depending on the tea grade and form (ground, loose leaf or whole leaves), check the packaging directions.

Tea temperature

Delicate green tea leaves should be steeped in below boiling water at 170 to 185°F. This will help prevent burning the leaves, and reducing overly bitter notes.

The concentrated brewed tea is diluted with cold water to cool it down quickly. You can refrigerate until ready to use for several days, or finish making the iced tea and serve right away!

Two glasses of iced green tea with lemon and lime slices

Honey sweetener facts

When choosing a natural sweetener, honey is selected for a few reasons. Each variety of honey has a unique flavor profile based on the nectar from the flowers and region pollinated by honeybees. The type of golden sticky syrup selected (clover, Tupelo, wildflower, are some examples) adds character to your tea, with more complex and aromatic notes than cane sugar. Plus, it’s less refined, either pasteurized or raw.

Honey has the same amount of calories as sugar (4 calories per gram). However, it’s about 10 to 20% sweeter. This is due to a higher ratio of fructose-to-glucose molecules in the honey. Fructose is about 1.7 times as sweet as sugar (sucrose), glucose is 15% less sweet than sucrose. This means you can add slightly less honey for a similar sweetness level to sugar, reducing some calories.

Close up photo of Iced Green Tea with paper straw

The combination of fragrant green tea, freshly squeezed juice, golden honey, and cooling mint makes for a delightful drink. With just six simple ingredients, make sure to have a pitcher of iced green tea ready whenever the days start to warm up, and you need a quick and delicious beverage!

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What are the health benefits of Green tea?

Green tea (Camellia sinesis) is made from unfermented plant leaves and contains high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols. These polyphenols in green tea called catechins can help neutralize free radicals and may reduce and possibly prevent damage of compounds that can change cells, damage DNA and cause cell death. Compared to black and oolong teas, green tea has the highest polyphenol content because it is the least fermented. The more fermented the tea, the fewer polyphenols, however, the more caffeine. For example, black tea has approximately 2 to 3 times more caffeine content than green tea. (Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)

Iced Green Tea

Iced green tea with lemon, lime, and fresh mint is a refreshing and revitalizing beverage for those warm days. Each glass is naturally sweetened with honey.
4.76 from 91 votes
Prep Time6 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time21 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Drink
Cuisine Asian


  • ¼ cup lime juice, plus 3 limes sliced for garnish
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, plus 2 lemons sliced for garnish
  • 5 cups water
  • 5 tea bags, Jasmine Green Tea Bags
  • ¼ cup honey, plus more if desired
  • 18 mint leaves


  • Transfer lime juice and lemon juice to a large pitcher.
  • Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Once the water reaches 170 to 185°F, add 5 green tea bags into the hot water.
  • Steep for 3 minutes or according to package instructions.
  • Using a large spoon, gently press the tea bags against the pan to extract the tea further. Carefully remove and discard the tea bags from the saucepan.
  • Add honey, and stir until dissolved. Pour tea and honey mixture into the pitcher.
  • Add 3 cups of cold water to the pitcher. Stir until well blended. Add more honey if desired.
  • Serve chilled green tea with ice cubes, a few lime slices, lemon slices and 3 fresh mint leaves in each glass.


  • Serving Size: 8 ounces
  • Add more honey to taste, this tea is on the less sweet side. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6 servings
Calories 46kcal (2%)Carbohydrates 13g (4%)Protein 0.1gFat 0.01gSaturated Fat 0.001gPolyunsaturated Fat 0.002gMonounsaturated Fat 0.001gSodium 5mgPotassium 32mg (1%)Fiber 0.1gSugar 11g (12%)Vitamin A 5IUVitamin C 10.7mg (13%)Calcium 2mg

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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23 Comments Leave a comment or review

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi PJ! In step one, it says to add the lemon and lime juice to the pitcher. Then you add the other ingredients later after steeping the tea.

  1. Susy says

    This was good, I made a single 12 oz serving. I steeped 2 Jasmine green tea bags in ~1oz of water for 2 minutes. I filled a measuring cup with ice and added water until it reached 11oz and then poured in the tea concentrate. I added fresh mint leaves from my garden and the juice of 1 small lime (I didn’t have lemons). I sweetened it with half a packet of sweet n’ low, gave it a good stir, and transferred it to my insulated cup. Super refreshing!

  2. Katrina says

    This recipe is amazing for people trying to get their kids to drink something other than processed nonsense. I personally like how bitter and unsweetened this tea is!

  3. Stephanie says

    I only have loose leaf green tea. What is the amount of loose tea I would need to make this recipe?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Stephanie- I would check the tea package for how much they recommend per 8 ounces (1 cup) of water and use that amount, then multiply that quantity by 5. Great question!

  4. jerry says

    Honey is a good but sad idea.
    Monsanto have been a little busy in the Bee extermination process.
    GMO pesticides, Glysophate kill them extremely well.
    Supermarket honey is NOT honey.
    What do you recommend?

  5. Donna Kay says

    I recently purchased beer can glasses, but are actually coke a cola can glasses at Dollar Tree for, obviously, a dollar each.

  6. Mattieu says

    I used a lot less honey just to get the flavourful notes in the tea and used organic stevia to add a bit more and it tastes fantastic with far less calories. Great recipe and I really need to invest in those beer can glasses for my home!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much for your feedback Mattieu! I like the use of stevia to bump up the sweetness without the extra calories. Crate and Barrell for those glasses!

  7. Tonya Johnson says

    Hi, definitely going to try this recipe! Please update us if you tweak recipe. Also, I love the glasses please share anything you can about them.

    Thank you

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I hope you do give it a try Tonya! I got the glasses from crate a barrel, they are “beer can” glasses. 🙂

  8. craige says

    Woah this was waaaaay too sour. I had to double the amount of tea and then just plain water to make this palatable. I would definitely cut way back on the citrus and add it bit by bit to taste.

  9. Janel @ Creating Tasty Stories says

    I love Arnold Palmer’s, too. I’ll have to try this version, especially since i prefer limes over lemons in most drinks.