Wednesday, March 21, 2012

iced tea how-to

I've liked hot tea--a lot--for about about seven years. I have an entire kitchen cabinet devoted to tea. As the weather has lately been growing warmer, I've been experimenting with iced tea. What kinds taste the best? Suprisingly, some of the teas that I enjoy hot don't make good iced tea, and some of the teas I don't like hot make wonderful iced tea. On with the experiment!
Top photo: Making several kinds of sweet tea at once. From left to right: orange pekoe, orange pekoe & raspberry zinger, chai, and vanilla chai.
Bottom photo: Sweet tea ready for the refrigerator. (The two kinds of chai on the right have milk added.)
Experiment conclusion:
Orange Pekoe is the basic tea used for sweet tea, so it was good.
Orange Pekoe & Raspberry Zinger was my experiment at making raspberry iced tea. It didn't taste quite right due to the hibiscus flavors in the Raspberry Zinger, so wasn't my favorite. Chai was suprisingly good, but Vanilla Chai wasn't. I'll definitely be experimenting with other flavors!

Want to make your own iced tea? You will need:
-One canning jar, with lid
-Two tea bags, preferably of the same kind of tea
-Sugar (if you want sweet tea) to taste
1. Place tea bags in clean canning jar.
2. Boil water and add to jar. Let tea steep for about five to six minutes (or a couple minutes longer, if you want it to hold up when you add ice).
3. Remove tea bags.
4. While tea is still hot, add sugar to taste. (I usually add about six tablespoons to a canning jar, but you can use more or less depending on your preference.) Stir the tea until the sugar is completely dissolved.
5. Wait until the tea cools a bit, until it is somewhere between warm and room temperature.
6. Put on the lid, and then put in the refrigerator.
7. Wait until tea is completely cold (about two hours, give or take) before serving.
Tip: It is very likely that the lid of the canning jar will be stuck to the jar at first. If this happens, don't worry. Just unscrew the outside ring, and then use a butter knife to gently pry open the lid. It should pop right off.
8. Serve in a glass with ice, and enjoy!

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