Bring four cups water to a rapid bowl in a teapot or saucepan. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Allow tea bags to steep for several minutes before discarding.
To prepare the infused simple syrup, combine a quarter cup water, honey, and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is heated through and starts to thicken, approximately 4-5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon sticks set aside to cool.
Combine the brewed tea, lemon juice, and remaining cup of water in a large pitcher. Add infused simple syrup to taste and stir to combine.
To serve, fill glasses with ice and add the sweetened iced tea mixture. Garnish with lemon slices and sprigs of fresh mint, if using.
Variations and Substituions
If you don't have cinnamon sticks, you can substitute a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Different taste but still delicious!
Simple syrup is used in everything from sweet tea to mixed drinks. If you'd prefer to use sugar instead of honey, mix equal parts water and sugar, then simmer several minutes until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened.