Those of us in the Pacific Northwest have been wondering if we were ever going to get anything resembling summer, but finally warmer temperatures have arrived and it is iced tea season! In my home when the forecast is for anything over 65 degrees, you can bet I’ll be steeping tea for pouring over ice. When it gets really warm I’ll be preparing several pitchers a day. I refuse to buy bottled iced tea filled with expensive water and too much sweetener, or powdered mixes with strange sounding ingredients, when I can make a pitcher full of fresh delicious iced tea for a dollar or two.
Here are my tips for making iced tea you, your family, and your guests will enjoy.
- For two quarts of iced tea:
- Fill two quart pitcher nearly full with ice
- Scoop three gently rounded tablespoons of loose tea leaves into a large T-Sac Tea Filter.
- Place T-Sac Filter in a large teapot or pyrex pitcher and fill with 3 to 4 cups boiling water. (If you like your tea sweet, add sugar at this time so it can dissolve.)
- Steep for four to five minutes, remove tea filter, and pour steeped tea over ice in pitcher. Fill pitcher with more ice or cold water and place in frig until needed. (If using a fruit or herb blend, you may need to allow extra steeping time to pull out all the wonderful flavors.)
- May be safely stored in frig for two days. After that, toss out and start fresh.
If your serving pitcher is heat safe, here is my quick and easy method:
Put prepared teabag in pitcher, fill 1/3 full with boiling water, steep for 4 to 5 minutes, remove teabag, and fill up with water and ice. Done! Easy peasy! This is what I do nearly every warm summer morning.
To make just a glass or two:
Go ahead and use your teapot. Use twice as much tea as you would for hot (two teaspoons instead of one per cup), steep an extra minute or two, strain and pour directly into a glass filled to the brim with ice.
T-Sac Filters are compostable and can be tossed into your garden compost bin. The little staples will just rust away. (You do compost, yes? Plants and garden worms love tea leaves!) For convenience, make up a number of teabags ahead of time and store them in an airtight tin or canning jar. Just fold the tea bag top down, and down again about 1/2” and staple it shut.
Take time for tea! Sip, savor and enjoy!