Iced tea is a wonderful refreshing beverage for sweltering summer
days. Iced tea's slight bitterness provides a pleasant break from sugary drinks
such as Coca-Cola
. This writeup will discuss the various kinds of iced tea and ways of making it.
Coffee is a tasty, warming beverage for brisk winter mornings. However, drinking a cup of 110 F liquid on a 95 F summer day may not be your cup of tea. On the other hand, iced tea can be a more pleasant means of caffeine delivery in the summer time. It wakes you up, cools you off, and is a treat for your taste buds. Also, it only takes a couple of minutes to make. Iced tea is clearly the best caffeinated beverage for hot summer days.
The caffeine content of tea is lower than coffee. Now, a cup of coffee usually has about 90 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Strong iced tea, on the other hand, is around 60 milligrams per cup. However, this reduced caffeine content of iced tea is no problem, simply due to the fact that iced tea is usually drunk in larger quantities than coffee. For example, I usually drink about a half a gallon of iced tea a day in the summer. However, I have never heard of anyone drinking that much coffee. Anyway, if you want to boost the caffeine content of your tea, you can always brew it with Water Joe.
A good cup of iced tea is always freshly brewed. Many people these days seem to always drink bottled iced tea such as Lipton Metal Brewed and Snapple ( Made From the Best Artificial Tea Flavoring on Earth). Why people drink that garbage is beyond me. First of all, bottled teas taste horrible. They are usually brewed and stored bulk in metal containers. This imparts a strong metallic flavor to the tea. Worse yet. some brands aren't even brewed with real tea leaves. Secondly, bottled tea is expensive. A 16 oz. bottle of tea usually costs around $1. Compare that to freshly home brewed tea, which costs next to nothing. The high cost and abysmal taste of commercial bottled tea makes it a horrible choice.
There are many types of iced tea you can make: green tea, oolong, Constant Comment, and of course, regular Lipton black tea, just to name a few. Exotic varieties of tea such oolong are often delicious iced. Green tea makes a wonderful mild iced tea that has many beneficial antioxidants. Raspberry tea has a refreshingly tart fruity flavor to it. There are innumerable interesting teas available that can suit all different kinds of tastes.
Most people always put their iced tea in the sun to steep. The purpose of this is to let the sun warm the water. Iced tea brewed in warm water steeps faster.
However, there is a better way to make iced tea than letting it steep in the sun. Simply brew it with warm water from the faucet. Your tea will brew a lot faster and taste just as delicious as the sun brewed tea. However, use caution in doing this. Do not use water above about 80 degrees, or your tea will taste a little offish. Lastly, once the tea is done brewing, immediately take out the tea bags and place it in the fridge. Always refrigerate your iced tea, otherwise it will ferment and taste vinegary.
I believe the perfect iced tea is a fairly strong, unsugared brew. Here is how I make it:
1. Place 5 Lipton tea bags in a jug.
2. Fill with slightly warm water (around 80 degrees).
3. Let steep for 10-30 minutes, to taste.
4. Add sugar if you are Canadian.
Makes one serving. At least for me. Serve with lots of ice. Put a slice of lemon on the side in your glass if you like.
One last note: Canadians have a peculiar habit in their drinking of iced tea. They always add loads of lemon and sugar. In a restaurant in Canadia, if you do not want lemon and sugar in your tea to the extreme, be sure to tell them. These Canadian restauranteurs sugar and lemon tea by default. I have learned the hard way that their idea of iced tea is something that tastes like liquid lemon heads.