Brewing your own Iced Tea
Brewed Iced Tea Recipe
I love Iced Tea. I drink it year round.
This is how I do it.
I start with a container for the tea. In my case it is one of those that can fit in my fridge that dispenses right into a cup. I love it!
I fill it up halfway with cold water. The reason I do this is that my container is not for hot liquids. So, I go half and half so the silly thing does not melt on me. YOu can use all hot water if you want. I have done it both ways and the result is the same.
Then I boil some water in a tea kettle. I then choose me teas. Sometimes I mix regular tea with a flavored herbal bag for a slight taste in my tea. You can experiment however you want. I love lemon and peach, so I often take a few peach bags and mix them with my regular tea. I do this because those are usually more expensive than my regular tea.
Then I add the tea bags to the water and pour the hot water over the bags.
I let it steep for a few hours until I get the strength/flavor I want, take out the tea bags, and then put it in the fridge.
Here is where you can add sugar, lemon juice, fruit, etc... to customize it to your liking. Or leave it plain and people can sweeten it as they like once it is in their glass.
Walaa! Easy iced tea!
Sometimes I want strong tea, sometimes I do not. I usually use between 3-4 tea bags for my two gallon container. If you prefer stronger tea, use more tea bags. The tea gets stronger the longer the tea bags steep. So, take them out when the tea taste is to your liking.
Mixing flavors is fun too. If we are running low on supplies, I might mix a lemon tea bag with a peach one along with the regular tea. I have come up with some interesting flavors doing that.
Another variation is adding some fruit for flavoring. I love throwing some lemon or orange slices in there to flavor the tea. Peaches hold up well too. I just slice the fruit and put it in the container along with the tea. I do this while the tea is still warm to really get the flavors out of the fruit.
You can also add the fruit after you pour the tea. At parties, I keep a bowl of sliced fruit (peaches, apples, pears, oranges, lemons, limes, etc...) by the iced tea. People can customize their drink as they like. Putting some sugar or creamer/milk/flavored syrups next to that as well makes a wonderful drink assortment for your guests that did not cost you a lot of money.
If you are into them, flavored syrups do well in this tea as well. I get a cherry syrup at one of our Polish delis in town and pouring in a capful to the container adds a nice sweet taste to the tea.
The best upside to making your own brewed tea is that it is super cheap and a lot healthier than the mixes from the store. You can buy non-calorie ones, but after you read the ingredient list, you may have to pull out a dictionary to find out what is in there.