Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Iced Tea

I know, it isn't dinner, but I get lots of praise for my iced tea. I have friend with British parents who told me once that in order to have good tea, you must 1. BOIL the water before adding it to the tea. and 2. LEAVE IT ALONE for 5 minutes to let it "steep" (brew).

Tea is very inexpensive and living in Houston, it's HOT outside and I want something refreshing to drink. I buy a box of 24 quart sized tea bags when on sale for less than $2.00. This means I am able to fix my 2 quart pitcher for about 20 cents per day.

Every morning, while my daughter eats breakfast, I make a pitcher of tea to put in my fridge and keep on hand throughout the day and to serve with dinner. So, this morning I took some pictures and am posting a step by step just for you. (Whoever you are out there reading...)

1. Fill electric teapot (or pan for stove) with COLD water. It is tempting to use hot water to get it to boil faster, but your hot water heater may be older and could possibly have sediment in the bottom. So, I recommend using cold water.
2. Bring to a boil. Now, we are not talking about tiny little bubbles just beginning to boil. We are talking rapid bubble that really shake the water.
3. Remove from heat and add to teabags. I use a teapot to steep my tea, but if you don't have one just throw 2 quart sized bags into the hot water in your pan and put the lid on. (I don't recommend adding the tea bags to an electric kettle because it will stain and it is really hard to clean. I also use my electric tea kettle for more than just tea. So, I like to use it for only water.)
4. LEAVE IT ALONE. Wait at least 5 minutes before you proceed. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Pace back and forth, or sit down and have a snack. Jump in the shower if you need to before coming back to your pot of tea.
5. After at least 5 minutes (you waited, right?) add the brewed tea to a 2 quart pitcher with 2-3 cups of cold water already inside. (Make sure you don't use a glass pitcher for this. The hot/cold shock and make it crack... don't ask me how I know this.) I like to use my Rubbermaid pitcher with the thick sturdy plastic sides.
6. Fill remaining space in pitcher with cold water. Give it a quick shake/stir to mix the hot tea and cold water together. (NOTE: I did not mention ice anywhere did I? That is because if you add the hot tea directly to ice, it can sometimes become cloudy. So, I mix hot tea and cold water. Then I let it cool just a little while before pouring myself some over a glass of ice).
7. Place in fridge for later use. (If you want a glass right away, you should be ok as long as the tea is only warm and not hot. Or, if cloudy tea doesn't bug you, by all means pour yourself a glass while it is still hot. (Just don't use glass if it is still hot because of the hot/cold causing the glass to break.)


  1. yep, pretty much my favorite iced tea ever.

  2. I am glad to see someone else make their own ice tea. This is one of the products that grates on my nerves in a grocery store, prepared ice tea, I just don't get it.