The iced tea experiment…

To compensate for my current lack of coffee, I’ve been drinking iced tea. I’ve tried various methods and formulas for making iced tea, ranging from one bag, one cup at a time to a full-blown, over-sweetened vat of the family recipe. I haven’t been satisfied with the home-brewed results, so I’ve been stopping at the Quik Trip for my morning iced tea fix. 

Which leads me to the point of this post. Over the weekend, I listened to “The Splendid Table” on a St. Louis NPR station. The guest was a tea master. His advice for making the best iced tea? A cold brew method. Put tea in a pitcher of cold water, put the water in the fridge, and walk away. Sounds easy. So I tried it. 

Experiment #1: One bag of Bigelow English Breakfast tea, 32 oz water, 12 hours. 
Results: kinda weak.

Experiment #2: One bag Trader Joe’s Irish Breakfast tea, 32 oz water, 24 hours. 
Results: not bad. The combination of the stronger tea and the longer steepage time provided a smooth, well-colored brew.


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One thought on “The iced tea experiment…

  1. verminiusrex

    July 15, 2008 at 3:01pm

    My usual tea making methodology-

    1/2 gallon pitcher
    1 gallon pitcher
    coffee scoop (typical 2 T model)
    small wire strainer
    mixing spoon
    tea kettle

    loose leaf tea (I get mine from the Mediterranean Market)
    dried&ground orange peel (from the Community Mercantile), optional
    turbino sugar (can be substituted with regular sugar, or honey)

    In the 1/2 gallon pitcher, put in 3 coffee scoops (6 T) of loose leaf tea. I add a teaspoon of the orange peel because I like the flavor. Boil water in the tea kettle and pour to fill the 1/2 gallon pitcher. Let steep for 3 minutes.

    Put 3/4 cup turbino or regular sugar into the gallon pitcher. When the tea is done steeping, pour through the wire strainer into the gallon pitcher over the sugar. Stir the tea until the sugar dissolves, then add cold tap water until the pitcher is about 3/4 full. Stir again, then add ice until the pitcher is full and stir again. Most or all of the ice will melt, but the tea will be room temp or cooler and ready to drink.

    Our household goes through a gallon of iced tea every day or two, so I make it constantly. And I need to get more turbino sugar while out tonight.

    I have a cheap half gallon pitcher just for mixing up the iced tea, you only need to rinse out the grounds after you are done with it.

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  2. omglia

    July 16, 2008 at 5:39am

    That’s how I make tea *shrug* but mostly green tea, so I never have to take the teabag out. Or mint tea, which I just leave in there until it turns green.

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