Is Instant Tea Even Worth Your Time?

There are some people who roast their own coffee beans every week and won’t drink anything besides a freshly ground cup of pour-over, and then there are other people who drink a heaping scoop of instant coffee every morning and couldn’t tell the difference.

The same goes for tea. Some people are very picky about how their tea is brewed, stored, processed, where in the world in comes from, the exact temperature of the water and steeping times which they have refined over the course of years of trial and error, and some people are perfectly happy tossing a bag of tea in a cup of hot water for a few minutes and calling it a day.

Is it really worth it?

If boiling some water and adding a tea bag to steep is still too time-consuming or simply takes too much effort, instant tea isn’t really going to change your life…

But if you’re looking to make a quick batch of sweetened iced tea using an instant tea mix, it’s easier than steeping a fresh batch from scratch. There are also unsweetened tea mixes available.

The key difference between using a mix to make tea instantly and actually steeping your leaves is the fact that the instant mix is going to dissolve in your water, whereas the loose leaves or the bag is removed once steeping is done.

This isn’t ideal for hot tea, because when the leaves sit in the water for too long, they can develop a bitter taste that overrides any deliciousness the cup may have contained. We’ve all accidentally let our leaves steep for a bit too long and ended up with a gross surprise, but not many of us have done it on purpose.

Having said that, one could argue that green tea matcha is in fact a form of instant tea mix, and it definitely caters to the more discerning tea drinkers, rather than the casual crowd you might picture when we’re talking about “instant” options.

Here are some brands that make instant tea: 

  • Lipton
  • Tazo
  • Ricola
  • Tetley
  • PG Tips

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