Good iced tea----how do you make it???

yellowhairJanuary 9, 2004

My husband loves iced tea, but we usually buy those cans of the instant. It seems that I used to have good success with brewing the teabags on top of the stove, then pouring them into a container with cold water. Then add sugar. I never used a metal spoon to stir, just plastic.

Is there a secret to making good brewed, or even instant, tea???

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define good? because my husband and I like totally different things in tea, and while he will dip into my ruby-red hibiscus and such tea... I want nothing at all to do with his 'sweet' tea...

but the basic secrets for black teas are not to put the bags in until the water has boiled, use 1/3 more tea than recommended, steep NO MORE than 5 minutes, sugar while still warm, and dilute with warm or room temp water, not ice cubes THEN chill.

with green tea, I like to let the water cool just a bit before pouring it over loose tea, and think it tastes best plain

with herbal tisanes and Celectial Seasonings, I also like the water just under 200 degrees, and tend to add twice the amount of tea called for (to accomdate dilution later)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2004 at 1:38PM
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So many teas! ChinaCat, thanks for responding and I plan on using your tips for the regular Lipton tea bags. I guess this is considered "black" tea. I haven't tried the green tea, I keep looking at it at the grocery. The health benefits seems to be good on this one. thanks again

    Bookmark   January 12, 2004 at 2:06PM
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Another Philistine here!
For Lipton t bags....I boil 1 1/2 cups of water in a glass measuring cup in the micro. add a family sized tea bag......let it sit for 5 minutes and pour over a glass of ice cubes....add a wedge of sugar please!
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 12, 2004 at 7:35PM
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Iced tea and water are the two beverages I drink on a daily basis. Winter or summer...have to have my iced tea.

For years I would see those iced tea makers at the store every summer and chuckle to myself about why someone would need a machine to brew tea.

Fast forward a decade or so and I try China Mist tea in a restaurant. Go to the China Mist website and lo and behold the number one recommendation for brewing their tea is the Mr. Coffee Iced Tea maker. A week later I see they're on sale at Target or Kmart for $17.00. Paid for itself before 2 weeks went by.

Now I brew a fresh 2 quarts every night before bed and always perfect tea is waiting for me in the fridge. In hot weather I sometimes use it 3+ times a day. I mix and match my teas, sometimes tossing in a bag of blackberry with regular and always use spring water.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2004 at 10:03AM
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I like to make sun tea. Cool water and tea put into the sun to brew.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 3:01AM
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The iced tea makers are better than sun tea! I drink regular Lipton and swore by sun tea until I tried it in a tea maker.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2004 at 11:27PM
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Well I am also an iced tea lover. Imagine my surprise when I just found Cold Brew Lipton Tea Bags! You put 2 family size tea bags in a 2 qt pitcher, add water right from the tap, and let it sit 3 minutes.

Good Tea! Add ice, sugar and lemon if you like.
This is a very good thing for me!!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2004 at 1:46PM
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I find the cheap tagless tea bags (usually 2 attached), put five (two 'sets' and one single) in my coffee maker and let it rip! 1/3 cup sugar, 3 Sweet & Lows, and an overnite in the fridge... yummmm. I do NOT like Lipton, never have. Lime in hot tea is good. Found out about that 30 years ago in Venezuela when they would never bring me the yellow citrus fruit when I asked for lemon!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 8:39PM
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I use a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea maker too, and Lipton -- or actually the store brand which is the same as lipton to me! I like mint tea although my kids don't. So when they're away and I'm making tea, I put in some dried peppermint leaves that I bought from Penzey's. I put them in with the tea bag and it gives the whole pitcher a lovely delicate mint flavor.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2005 at 5:55PM
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China Mist really does make the best iced tea on the planet! No sharpness, no bitterness, very, very smooth! The Prickly Pear, Apricot, or Blackcurrant flavors are outstanding if you like flavored tea. The flavors are slight but perfect.

Not matter what method you use, the water should not boil.

Start with about a pint of very hot water, putting a 2-qt. teabag in to steep for about 6 minutes. Remove the bag and stir in a cup of sugar (turbinado or Florida Crystals Natural Cane Sugar are best) and let it dissolve in the hot water - this is key. Now fill it up with cool tap water (no ice!) to make two quarts. Refrigerate. When it's cold, you'll have the best sweet iced tea you can make. Some spearmint leaves crushed into the sugar before adding it to the hot water will give a nice flavor to unflavored tea, but you'll need to strain the tea before adding the cool water.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 5:22PM
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My ice tea never looks crystal clear, what's the secret????

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 2:59PM
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3 family size tea bags
Pinch baking soda
1 - 1&1/2 c. sugar

Bring 4 cups water just to a boil
Add pinch baking soda
Add tea bags
Remove from the heat,add the sugar and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
Remove tea bags but do not squeeze, and throw away.
Stir so sugar is dissolved, and taste for sweetness
Pour into a gallon pitcher (glass is best) and fill with water.
Chill! Pour over a tall ice filled glass and serve with a slice of lemon if desired.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 2:59AM
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Another version using black tea. This is closer to my Aunt LoDee's sweet tea.

4 quart-size tea bags, preferably black tea
2 cups sugar

Bring 2 quarts cold water to a boil in a pot over high heat, then add tea bags.

Immediately remove pot from heat and allow tea to steep for five minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 2 quarts cold water with sugar in a 1-gallon jug. Remove tea bags from pot, pour hot tea into jug, and stir well. (Adding
the hot tea to the cold sugared water, rather than the other way around,
helps keep the tea clear and preserves its flavor.) Fill the biggest glasses
you can find with ice and pour tea into them. Refrigerate leftover tea (it tastes even better the next day)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 3:45AM
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I drink iced tea every day. I am hearing now that it is good for you although it definitely stains the teeth. I use Lipton ice tea bag (family size and just add boiling water to the pitcher. It isn't as good as a restaurant but it is ok. I keep it on the counter all day. For some reason I don't like the taste once it is refrigerated (just pour over ice).

Has anyone ever had nasty old iced tea in a restaurant? I have tried to explain to the wait staff that their tea is "old" and they look at me like I am crazy. I asked one lady when they made it and she said yesterday. Would anyone dare serve yesterday's coffee? That amazes me along with serving that syrup concentrate version -- that is like serving instant coffee which NO ONE would do.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 9:46AM
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I have been making this ice tea for 14 years now. My family, husband, and friends LOVE IT. I have friends that will drive by my house just to come in for ice tea. It is just good. The funny thing is it is simple and easy. I got the recipe while visiting my aunt in Boston. We couldn't stop drinking it.

Ok, here is the recipe:

Get a medium size sauce pan and fill it will water.
Boil the water, then remove it from the heat.
Get 6 Lipton tea bags and tie the strings together as to put them in the hot water.
Keep the tea bags in the water for 8 minutes.
Then take the bags out and throw them away. Important: Do not sqeeze the tea bags after taking them out of the water.
Then at 1/3 cup of sugar to the warm tea mixture in pan and mix until the suger dissolves.
Fill a good size tea pitcher half way with water, then pour the tea mixture in. You can add more water to fill the pitcher if needed.
Put it in the fridge or try it over ice. Oh so good! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:46PM
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I don't know. Seems like I have done most of these with the Lipton tea bags and it NEVER tastes as good as the really good brewed ice tea I have gotten at a restaurant. Never have done it with a Mr coffee ice tea maker. If it really made the difference I would go out and buy one. Mine just seems to taste like colored water even if I put lemon in it. Use to buy the Lipton Cold Brew Tea Bags trying to convince myself it really tasted like the real thing. But it doesn't to me.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 11:13AM
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You can actually just use a coffee pot. I usually make 2 gallons of tea at a time. I use 12 cups of water, 1 1/3 cups of sugar for each gallon, and either 4 family size bags of tea (any brand really) or 8 regular size bags. I just throw the tea in the top where you usually put coffee. While it's brewing the 12 cups, I add the 1 1/3 cups of sugar into the 2 pitchers. When it's finished brewing the tea, I then pour 6 cups of the tea into one pitcher and 6 cups of tea into the other pitcher. Add water until the "gallon" mark and stir. Once stirred, set in the fridge for a few hours until it gets nice and cold (the best way) or you can drink it right away with ice or lemon. I make tea like my mom and we both get a lot of compliments on it!! It's really fast, easy, and effortless. It tastes good every time!!!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 9:06PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Lipton is just not a good flavor of tea, IMO. I prefer Red Diamond brand. The pitcher I like to use for tea is 3/4 gallon, so that is how my recipe evolved:

On stovetop, heat 3/4 gallon of water with 5/8 cup of sugar until almost boiling. Turn off heat and add 3 family size bags. Steep covered for 10 minutes, then remove bags, stir, pour into pitcher, and chill in frige after it cools for about 15-20 minutes. I like a covered pitcher so you don't lose several ounces of water to evaporation (which makes it harder for the frige to function also.)

Most tea you will encounter in the south has about twice as much sugar.

My Mom uses her coffee pot to make tea and nobody wants to drink it but her. If you only use it to make tea, that would be fine, but she makes coffee and tea in the same machine and there is contamination of the flavors.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 10:35AM
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I like to mix half pink lemonade with half & half tea. Talk about amazing!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 7:55PM
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I have a big glass container that I fill with water & either lots of tea bags or one of those metal screw cap containers I fill with loose tea. I set the container outdoors where it can get direct sun all day & by the next day I have the best 'sun tea' that I prefer. I also will put in sprigs of lemon mint to 'stew' occasionally. I don't like any sugar added to the tea ... maybe a couple drops of lemon juice once in awhile.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 4:54PM
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I grew up drinking ice tea from as far back as I can remember, and I remember the day Kennedy was shot. So not that young. It was always Lipton tea and it was always good. But it's just not what it used to be. I was watching Americas Test Kitchen and they did a blind taste test on ice tea, Lipton came in last. The first choice was a specialty tea you can only get on the net. There second choice (there were six) was Twinnings. I tried the Twinnings Irish Breakfast and it was really good. Sometimes I use my Mr. Coffee Ice Tea maker sometimes I make it on the stove. Both, I feel, are equally as good. So IMO making good tea is like making a good meal ... Use good ingredients.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 1:04AM
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I've never understood why it sometimes gets cloudy. I make mine in my smaller extra Chemex pot.
When we make coffee in the morning i put in 4 green tea bags and one PGtips. Have a cup of coffee, then switch to hot tea. I just let it sit and steep. Pour it over ice for iced tea. Never cloudy. I think if you chill it quickly it will not cloud up? Maybe putting in in the fridge and letting it cool slowly it clouds? hmm. Not sure. But if i do something different from my norm it will sometimes cloud.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 1:52PM
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