Wednesday, June 3

Iced Tea

This may seem ridiculous. After all, how hard could it be to make a glass of Iced Tea?

Really, it's not, yet I see so many people purchase that powdered stuff, that I wonder. Full of ingredients I really don't want to put into my body, ranging from all sorts of additives like artificial flavor, artificial color, aspartame (in the sweetened kind), down to the simplest ingredient list of instant tea and maltodextrin.

Sure it's convenient, and you can make one glass at a time, but why not go ahead and brew a small pitcher to keep in the refrigerator? That pitcher never lasts that long around my house anyway.

You can find so many kinds of tea on your supermarket shelves these days, so if you want something a little more exotic, go for it. Just remember cost is not necessarily indicative of quality. Lipton Tea makes a full bodied classic glass of iced tea. I make mine with decaffeinated tea bags, the kids like it too, so I don't feel guilty sharing with them.

For extra flavor you can stir in some simple syrup, or mix 1 cup of defrosted juice concentrate and 1 cup of water, then add to the finished iced tea.

What you'll need:
  • 5 Tea Bags
  • 1 Quart Cold Water
  • Sugar* (optional)
  • 1 Quart Ice**, plus extra for serving
*Just a quick note about adding sugar. Like using salt in dessert recipes, salt brings out flavors and keeps baked goods from tasting flat. Sugar in Iced Tea works the same way. Without sugar, the tea will taste flat and bland. Just a couple of tablespoons of sugar brings out the complex flavors of the tea without making it taste sweet. If you like your tea sweet, just add more sugar. I never promote the use of artificial sweeteners, but if sugar is a problem in your household, I would suggest giving Stevia a try.

**It may seem silly to measure the ice, but too much and you'll dilute the brewed tea too much, not enough and the tea will be too strong.

How to Brew:
1.) In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the water and tea bags. Heat over medium-low heat and allow to steep until small bubbles begin to form on the bottom and sides of the pan and the tea looks very steamy. It is very important you never let your water boil, this will made the tea bitter. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. If you want to check your water temperature it should read 190 degrees F.
2.) Remove pan from the heat and allow to steep for a couple minutes longer, no longer than five. Remove and discard the tea bags and pour the tea into your pitcher. Stir in sugar (if using) until fully dissolved, then add the ice, continue stirring until melted. 3.) Pour into glasses filled with ice, and garnish with a slice of lemon if you wish. Tea should be kept covered in your refrigerator, and will be fresh for up to two days. But like I stated before, ours never lasts that long.

1 comment:

marina villatoro said...

I know, it is soooooo easy, and I only do natural ice tea, yet people still buy that crap, when it's so simply and actually tastes better.