Iced tea is one of the most loved summer drinks all over the world. Few things feel as refreshing as a tall glass of iced tea in your hands with the ice-cubes tinkling a merry tune inside and the aroma of tea and lemon juice sending a lively wake up call to your dull and lethargic senses.
However, iced tea is quite a tricky drink to make. The recipe looks deceptively simple but when you get right down to it, stirring up the perfect batch of iced tea can become quite a chore. Steep the drink too long and you get that awful bitter taste; add the sugar when the tea has cooled down and you will have a frightening time getting it to dissolve! Gosh, what DO you have to do to enjoy your favorite drink exactly the way you like it?
Well, you could begin by following these simple tips and precautions. Chances are, with some effort, you will get that perfect glass of iced tea in no time. Let’s get down to the basics.
The key to your iced tea is, of course, the tea. While the choice of the tea type is left to personal likes and dislikes, remember this – darker the variety of tea, the stronger will be the flavor of the drink. For best results, steep the tea bags for no more than 10-12 minutes and, to avoid fishing for them once you are done, tie all the tea bags together with one long string. An expert tip here – several southern cooks believe that adding a pinch of baking soda to the warm water just as the tea bags are being placed in it yields superior tea. Sounds a tad bit strange but there’s no harm in trying it.
When making the drink use only filtered water. Surprisingly, a small detail such as this one can make a huge difference. After all, your iced tea is no more than the sum of all that you put into it, right? So, stick to pure water. Even the ice cubes need to be good quality ones or else your brew can go bad in a matter of hours. For sweetener, you have a wide variety of choices – sugar, honey, Agave, Truvia, or Stevia. However, it needs to be added when the tea is warm. This way, it dissolves fast and evenly.
Cool the brew to room temperature before you put it into the fridge. This will get rid of the cloudy effect you sometimes see in your iced tea. Store the iced tea in glass containers and, as far as possible, avoid using metal or plastic ones. Metals give that (not so surprising) metallic tinge to the drink, while plastic has a habit of absorbing and releasing flavors. Finally, keep the container tightly sealed, unless you are okay with your iced tea smelling like yesterday’s baked casserole’s or the tuna sandwich you had in the morning.
There you go…I’ve just brought your iced tea back on track for you. You can thank me later. First, you owe me a tall glass of this heavenly drink…
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