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Iced Tea


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#1 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 03:34 PM

The other day when I was biking home from the gym, I was hit with a sudden craving for iced tea, but I realized I had no idea how to make it. Or, at least, I have no idea how to make it good. I'm assuming I just brew up some extra-strong tea, dissolve some sugar in it, chill it and serve it over ice cubes with a squeeze of lemon. Is there anything else I need to know?
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#2 Corgi Man

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:09 PM

Matthew, here's one of my favorites.

Sun Steeped Tea

Clear glass or plastic pitcher, or a large glass jar
Plastic food wrap to cover the pitcher
Tea bags - regular, decaf or herbal
Lemon
Sugar or sweetening alternative
Ice cubes

Early on a sunny morning, place at least 2 tea bags in a pitcher or large jar and fill with water. If you like strong tea, you can increase the amount of tea bags you use. Cover the top with plastic food wrap to seal the container. Warm water will speed up the sun-steeping process. Place the pitcher in a sunny location till afternoon. No stirring required at all. The sun will slowly steep your tea.

Mid afternoon, bring the pitcher in, remove tea bags, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to a quart or litre of tea, or adjust to suit your taste. Sweetening is a matter of choice, you can omit it, add a teaspoon of sugar or alternative per quart, or let everyone add their own. Refrigerate till dinner time and add ice cubes at serving time.

Sun-steeped tea has been popular in hot climates for years, but it can be made even in colder climates. A hot sunny day is all that's needed. Making homemade iced tea is so easy and it can certainly stretch your food budget. Make a refreshing pitcher of solar iced tea tonight!
Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


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#3 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 03:29 PM

Thanks, Skip! I don't have a clear pitcher, but if I get one, I'll give the sun tea method a try.

Last night, I made up a batch of strong hot tea, sweetened it and left it to cool. Then I chilled it overnight, and I'm now drinking a glass over lots of ice with a wedge of lemon. It's delicious the way it is (and tastes much more identifiably like "tea" than most iced teas I've had), but it strikes me that there are a number of variables that I could tweak. Different amounts and types of tea, bags vs. loose leaf, sweetening while hot vs. sweetening with simple syrup while cold. I also just read an interesting article in Imbibe magazine about iced coffee that talked about the difference between brewing hot coffee directly over ice cubes and brewing at room temperature over a long period. I'm not sure it would map to iced tea, but it sounds like it's worth a shot!
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"A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion."
-Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

#4 Dana

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 06:28 PM

I brew a new pitcher daily, yesterday's tea tastes awful to me. I haven't had good luck storing it in the fridge, I don't like the cloudiness. For a long time, I made a simple syrup and kept it on had for sweetening, but we like tea better now 'au naturale', with no sweetner at all.
If you've got counter space, there are several tea brewing machines on the market affordably priced. They make really good tea, and so easily.
Lemon is essential.
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#5 James

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 11:22 PM

My iced tea is hot water-brewed Ceylon from Lee Valley which I cool slightly by pouring from teapot to a stainless steel bowl while I prepare the pitcher: ice cubes, honey, fresh mint, and lemon halves. The slightly cooled tea is poured in and stirred with a glass rod.
This routine works well because Ceylon tea is stronger than Darjeeling or Assam, and can stand up to the ice and herbs.
Have a look at the sidebar links at the bottom of the Ceylon page, for some interesting information about tea. Orange pekoe refers to young leaves picked from the growing tip of the upper branches.

Edited by James, 02 July 2008 - 11:49 PM.

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#6 Guest_ntsc_*

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 06:45 AM

We dont sweeten but have one of these stackable Rubbermaid clear plastic dispensers in the fridge from about May through October. We can literally go through a gallon a day, mostly orange peko with a touch of something else, mint, jasmine etc.

#7 Corgi Man

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:54 PM

English Breakfast Tea - Sun Brewed. Should be really good tonight.

Posted Image


I really have to clean my window sill! :blush:

ETA: The tea is so clear and clean tasting made this way. I wish I had time to do this all the time.

Posted Image


Edited by Corgi Man, 04 July 2008 - 09:42 PM.

Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


Lionel Bart - OLIVER!

#8 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:07 PM

I tried making sun tea today, but the sun didn't really cooperate, so it came out a little weak. Unfortunately, due to the calcium content of the local water, my tea will never come out clear. Oh well.

I'm curious about the best approach to chilling tea in general: Make it extra-strength and add ice cubes while it's still piping hot? Leave it to cool to room temp on its own, then pour it over ice? Chill it in the fridge? Or does it not matter at all? (Apparently it makes a big difference with iced coffee...)
kayahara.ca
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"A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion."
-Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

#9 Corgi Man

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:30 PM

I tried making sun tea today, but the sun didn't really cooperate, so it came out a little weak. Unfortunately, due to the calcium content of the local water, my tea will never come out clear. Oh well.


I use 5 tea bags in filtered faucet hot water for 1.5 qt. I leave it for at least 3 hours on the window sill. (Matthew, have you not heard of a wonderful Canadian invention called the Brita Water Filtration System? It works brilliantly!)

I'm curious about the best approach to chilling tea in general: Make it extra-strength and add ice cubes while it's still piping hot? Leave it to cool to room temp on its own, then pour it over ice? Chill it in the fridge? Or does it not matter at all? (Apparently it makes a big difference with iced coffee...)


The tea is at room temperature when it's done steeping (at what's probably called moderately extra strength) and I put it in the fridge at that point. When we're ready to drink it, I put ice in the glasses and pour the tea in with simple sugar and some lemon.

Edited by Corgi Man, 08 July 2008 - 03:34 PM.

Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


Lionel Bart - OLIVER!

#10 James

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:58 PM

I use 5 tea bags in filtered faucet hot water for 1.5 qt. I leave it for at least 3 hours on the window sill. (Matthew, have you not heard of a wonderful Canadian invention called the Brita Water Filtration System? It works brilliantly!)



The tea is at room temperature when it's done steeping (at what's probably called moderately extra strength) and I put it in the fridge at that point. When we're ready to drink it, I put ice in the glasses and pour the tea in with simple sugar and some lemon.



It would seem that the hot water is aiding the brew. Plus the unknown tannins in the tea bags. :P
"A stew boiled is a stew spoiled!"
-Mrs. Bridges, in Upstairs Downstairs

#11 Guest_ntsc_*

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 08:40 AM

I use 5 tea bags in filtered faucet hot water for 1.5 qt. I leave it for at least 3 hours on the window sill. (Matthew, have you not heard of a wonderful Canadian invention called the Brita Water Filtration System? It works brilliantly!)

snip


Don't use water heater hot water for food purposes. Modern plumbing used lead based solder to hold the feed pipes together and lead disolves much more readily in hot water than cold. It isn't going to be much but heavy metal poisoning is cumulative.

Of course if the Brita specifically says it removes lead, they are advertised in the US, but I've personally never seen one.

#12 Corgi Man

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 08:57 AM

I've got the Brita filtration system. It works great. The taste between regular tap water and filtered is remarkable. The Brita filtered is sooo refreshingly tasteless and our NYC tap water is supposed to be some of the best and cleanest and good tasting big-city water in the country!
Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


Lionel Bart - OLIVER!

#13 Corgi Man

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 11:23 AM

Yesterday, I started this batch with chilled Brita filtered water. It took longer to steep in the sun, but steep it eventually did. The tea was quite uncloudy, though it doesn't look it here. That's condensation from chilling. I used 5 English Breakfast Tea Bags. 4 hours in the sun. 2 hours or so chilling.

Posted Image

What I love about tea made this way is there seems to be little or no bitterness. It's just clean and refreshing.

Posted Image


Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


Lionel Bart - OLIVER!

#14 Madge

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 11:32 AM

This sun methof looks great but given the weather we are having 4 hours of sun would be a miracle.

#15 Jake

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:45 PM

I too did some sun steeped tea yesterday on the deck. Used organic darjeeling. Wonderful taste and yes, not the least bit bitter. Poured over ice with lemon and mint. While working... :(
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#16 Guest_rocler_*

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 06:59 PM

I was looking for a glass jar to make sun ice tea, and found one on Amazon.com by Anchor Hocking. I wasnt really thinking as it was described as 2.5 gal, and in my little head I was thinking 2.5liters. It came yesterday, this thing is huge, as I am the only one here that drinks ice tea, and to make matters worse 2 people asked me to order one each for them. Amazon was having a 4 for 3 sale, so I got one free, now I`m stuck with 2 bottles that are too big for the fridge, measuring in at 10" round by 14 " high. So if anyone knows where I can get a reasonable size ice tea glass bottle, I would appreciate the info.

#17 Madge

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 11:40 AM

We were sitting on the dock yesterday in this blistering sun and heat (this is NOT a complaint) when I remembered Skip's sun iced tea method. I just put a pitcher on the deck which faces south east and there is not a cloud in the sky so I am hoping that by later in the pm I will have some nicely steeped. If it starts to rain, snow etc within the next few hours I will know it was not meant to be!!!




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