Today is actually breezy and cool but this past week has been one long heat wave with temps in the 90s and more. Perfect for sitting in the shade, shooting the breeze… and sipping iced tea.
I went to a local blogger meet-up yesterday, hosted by DC area Dunkin Donuts, and had a chance to try their new iced teas. If you’re out and about and hankering for some iced tea, I definitely recommend their peach or raspberry flavored iced teas, which are drinkably delicious (I know, I just invented a word, how cool is that?) and refreshing just as they are without any sugar or other sweetener whatsoever. As compared to McDonald’s or Chick-fil-A iced teas which are mostly sugar with a little bit of tea.
If you’re home, though, and have 5-10 minutes to spare, there’s no reason not to make your own pitcher of drinkably delicious sweet tea. I’m not even going to pretend that I know how to make the perfect pitcher of iced tea, because I am well aware that there about as many methods of making iced tea as there are people. I will show you a yummy twist on sweet tea that I think you will enjoy, but first let me share my readers’ favorite ways to make iced tea:
Marika likes to make hers “old school”: black tea over ice with no sweetener.
Mary Jo changes hers up by using Celestial Seasonings berry teas in the summer, brewed this way: 4-6 teabags in about 5 cups water, bring to almost boil and turn off to steep, add 3/4 cup sugar and cold water to equal 1 gallon.
Missy gets fancy by pureeing frozen peach slices (she also suggests strawberries, blueberries, or mango chunks) and adding the puree to already chilled tea.
Ann and Shalene follow the classic method of boiling 6 tea bags in a saucepan of water, bringing to a boil, then adding water to fill a gallon pitcher.
Amy at A Little Nosh does a slight variation by putting the tea bags straight into the pitcher and pouring the boiling water over them, then adding ice and/or cold water to fill the pitcher.
When Shalene has time, she likes to make sun tea by placing 10 tea bags in a gallon container full of water and setting it outside in the sun to brew.
Heather puts the microwave to work with 1 cup of water and 3 tea bags for 2 minutes, then adding to a gallon of water.
Recommended brands include Lipton and decaf Luzianne. My readers must mostly be Northerners because sweet tea was not a favorite! I am from Maryland, which is decidedly undecided about whether it is the North or the South, and my iced tea reflects that: sweet but not too much so. “Real” sweet tea is too sweet for me, I usually only add about 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup at the most to my pitcher of tea.
And now… if you want to try something different with your tea, here’s my variation!
Recipe: Sweet Peppermint Tea
- 1 Lipton family size iced tea bag
- 2 Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea bags
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/4-1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 cups cold water
- Place the tea bags in the bottom of a 2qt pitcher, removing any paper tags. Pour boiling water over all and allow to steep for several minutes. Remove tea bags without pushing on them, and stir in sugar until it dissolves. Stir in vanilla. Add cold water and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
To be honest, I never measure when I make tea, so those water, sugar, and vanilla measurements are approximate. I know I fill a 2 qt pitcher, and I know I give one good squeeze of the vanilla bottle, and I know my sugar scoop is a scant 1/4 cup (I use one scoop worth for myself, and 2 when I’m making it for company). I also like to use half sugar and half honey.
If you like to leave out the sweetener until serving, I recommend using TrueVia or liquid Stevia instead of sugar substitutes like Equal or Splenda, which are chemicals not easily digested by your body.
Homemade iced tea is so QUICK, there is really no point in purchasing those chemical-laden powders (that don’t taste like real tea anyway), or bottled teas like Lipton.
It is so EASY, too, especially since you make it to your own taste, not somebody else’s. I admit that it actually can be more difficult than it should be to make iced tea for company since everybody has a very individual taste when it comes to their tea, but if they don’t like it the way you drink it, oh well. The more left over for you!
Making iced tea from your own stash of tea is so much CHEAPer than buying it made or even buying the powder, especially considering it’s the real deal! Even organic tea is not that expensive.
Tea is very HEALTHY for you. I haven’t seen any studies that compare the relative healthiness of cold vs hot tea, but I imagine they are similar since the tea itself is usually hot brewed to start with in both. No matter what kind of tea you use – black, green, white, red, or herbal – it will be full of antioxidants that will help your body fight off disease. Just keep the sugar to a minimum, and avoid the artificial sweeteners.
Find more inspiring and informative posts at Make Your Own Monday, Motivational Monday, Homestead Barn Hop, The Bulletin Board, Better Mom Monday, Natural Living Monday, Trivium Tuesday, Titus 2sday, Teach Me Tuesday, Hip Homeschool Hop, Titus 2 Tuesday, Delicious Dishes, Open Call Tuesday, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Works For Me Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, The Mommy Club, Encourage One Another, Thought Provoking Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Homemaking Link Up, Keep it Real Thursday, Frugal Thursday Rewind, Your Green Resource, Homeschooling on the Cheap, Thrifty Thursday, Fellowship Friday, Fight Back Friday, I'm Lovin' It, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Weekend Whatever, Snacktime Saturday