Tea Simple Syrup Recipe

Tea simple syrup in a jar.

The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 22 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
65 Calories
0g Fat
17g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 65
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 1mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Because crystallized sugar is hard to stir in to cold drinks, many people use simple syrup as an easy liquid sweetener in their iced tea recipes. You can easily sweeten iced tea at home by adding plain simple syrup to taste. Many people use a few teaspoons per serving.

However, it's also possible to sweeten your tea and other cold drinks with flavored simple syrup. For example, you could sweeten an iced black tea with chai simple syrup.

But why stop there? You could also sweeten sparkling water or milk steamers with tea-flavored simple syrup. Here's how.

"This simple syrup is really wonderful to have on hand for the warmer months. Because there are so few ingredients, be sure to use a tea that you really love. I made mine with a black tea and when added to iced tea, I felt it further emphasized the flavor." —Kayla Hoang

Tea Simple Syrup/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon tea leaves, or 4 tea bags

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for simple tea syrup.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  2. In a small saucepan, bring the water to the usual steeping temperature you'd use to steep the tea you're planning to flavor your syrup with. For example, a black tea would need boiling or nearly boiling water, but a green tea would only need simmering water.

    A pot of water on a burner.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  3. Steep for the usual amount of time. For example, four to five minutes for an Earl Grey simple syrup, or two to three minutes for a green tea simple syrup.

    Tea steeping in a pan.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  4. Strain out and discard the tea leaves and bring the tea to a rolling boil over high heat.

    Tea water boiling in a pot.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  5. Stir in the sugar until it is dissolved completely.

    Sugar added to a pot of tea water.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  6. Reduce heat to medium and stir often, until the mixture has reduced to half its original volume, about 12 minutes.

    Stiring pot with spoon

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

    Tea water cooling in a pan.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  8. Pour into a very clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep refrigerated. The simple syrup has a shelf life of about 6 months.

    Pouring tea in to a bottle.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati


To extend the shelf life, mix in about one ounce of vodka as the syrup cools.


  • For chilled drinks, add a teaspoon or two of tea simple syrup per serving, or sweeten to taste. Stir. I particularly recommend this for sparkling water, sparkling punches, and lemonades.
  • For hot drinks, add one teaspoon of tea simple syrup per serving, or sweeten to taste. I particularly recommend this for dirty chai-type coffee-tea drinks and for apple cider.
  • For milk steamers and tea lattes, bring slightly more than one cup of cold milk to a simmer, or froth it with an espresso machine steam wand. Add about one tablespoon tea simple syrup. Stir and serve hot. This makes a great hot tea latte.
  • For sweetened fresh fruit, slice fresh fruit (such as peaches, strawberries, and apples). Drizzle with tea syrup to taste.
  • Drizzle over pancakes, cakes or other sweet foods for added flavor. Green tea goes well with fruit and vanilla flavors. Black tea goes well with caramel, chocolate, darker/cooked fruits, vanilla, and creamy sweets. For more ideas, see this guide to cooking with tea and this guide to tea flavor profiles.