Refreshing Iced Tea

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There is a straightforward recipe for making great-tasting iced tea that has nothing to do with the word "instant." This refreshing summer beverage couldn't be more simple to make or delicious.

6 cups cold water, divided
3 large family-size orange-pekoe black tea bags - or six small
1/4 cup sugar, agave, or maple syrup to taste (optional)
2 cups ice

Add 4 cups of cold water to a medium pot over medium-high heat. Remove any paper tags from the tea bags, leaving the strings attached. Tie all of them together and drop the tea bags into the water. (This will help when it's time to remove them).

Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let the tea bags simmer in the water for 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, and discard the tea bags. Stir in the sugar until it has dissolved. Stir in the ice.

Add 2 cups of cold water, transfer the tea to a pitcher, and chill in the refrigerator.

To flavor your iced tea naturally, add a slice of lemon, orange, mint leaves, peach, or berries.