How To Prepare Iced Tea
Iced tea is primarily a beverage consumed in the US. While tea is the second most common beverage consumed worldwide (second only to water) drinking iced tea is mostly an American choice.
In the United States, Sweet Tea is closely associated with southern culture and traditions. In days before refrigeration, iced sweet tea was a beverage reserved for the privileged upper classes. This was not because of the expense of the tea, but because of the expense of the ice.
Like hot tea, the ingredients for iced tea are very simple: water, ice, and tea. Sweet tea has only two more ingredients, and one of them is optional: baking soda (optional), and sugar.
How to prepare iced tea, begin with cool water. Ideally, use filtered, bottled, or other good tasting water, because the ingredients are so simple it is especially important to use high-quality ingredients as any substandard quality will be easy to note.
Boil half the water, leave the other half cool, the volume of water you will need depends on the amount of tea you want to make. I then put my loose tea in a tea infuser and put it in a heat-proof container of appropriate size. Then pour the hot water over the tea then add the cool water, allow to steep to desired strength. Pour into glasses over ice, and serve.
Sweet tea follows the same idea with a few additions, you’ll need:
- 1/8 tsp baking soda- this cuts the acidity and improves the clarity of the tea
- 2 cups boiling water
- 6 tsp loose tea
- 3/4 cup white sugar or rock sugar
- 6 cups cool water
Sprinkle baking soda into a 64-ounce, heat-proof, glass pitcher. Pour in boiling water, and add tea (an infuser). Cover, and allow too steep for 15- 20 minutes.
Remove tea and stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour in cool water, then refrigerate until cold. Serve and enjoy.
These are just basic recipes, you can make plenty of additions. Common additions are strawberry puree, lemons, or mint. A good glass of ice tea cannot be beaten on a hot day.