Coffee & Tea

9/09: ICED TEA Your Beverage of Choice? Space and Time Saving Technique

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Coffee & Tea

9/09: ICED TEA Your Beverage of Choice? Space and Time Saving Technique

opinionatedchef | | Sep 19, 2009 12:05 PM

What cook ever has ENOUGH space in the frig?Well, not me, and that's an understatement. Being a year 'round Iced Tea drinker (my [Southern ] roots are showing),
my technique for saving refrig space, and prep time, is this:
I make an iced tea concentrate. There is no 'best' recipe but I basically bring to a boil about 4 c. of water, turn it off, add the twisted together bags of 8 teabags, cover and steep for a few hours to get a strong concentrate. I remove the bags, use some of the mixture to make a pitcher, and store the remaining concentrate in the frig., using it to refill my 1/2 gal. pitcher of iced tea (For each batch, I fill the pitcher with water, leaving space to add the concentrate and sweetener at the end. ) For variety, I sometimes keep 2 different concentrates on hand.

Of course, I use loose teas as well. (Peach is a fav of mine, from Upton Tea Co.) Now, I DO understand that long steeping is 'verboten' by many tea afficianadoes, for various tea varieties. So you experiment and see what works for your palate. And if you are really crammed for refrig space, make concentrate using less water. Because I travel alot with iced tea, I take along little juice containers of concentrate so that all i need is water and sweetener to replenish my travelling companion!

I developed this technique in my catering co. and it saved a lot of space and hauling effort (concentrate weighs nothing compared to gallons of pre-assembled iced tea) over the years!

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