Sometimes, what I really want to drink is a can of refreshing lemon iced tea, but I'm not so interested in ingesting all the high fructose corn syrup that's used to make the beverage. I looked on the internet for a recipe that would approximate the mass market brand, but most of these recipes called for the use of Kool-Aid lemonade drink mix, which is not a staple in my pantry. I set off experimenting with combinations of various iced tea recipes until I came up with the lemon iced tea flavor that I felt was the perfect balance.
The ingredients are simple, but the proportions are critical. For 2 quarts of water, we'll need 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar, 2 ounces (60 mL) lemon juice, and two bags of black tea. The lemon juice can be fresh, but I used bottled juice since I always have a bottle handy in my kitchen. [IMG]
Bring two quarts of water to a rolling boil. [IMG]
Drop the two tea bags into the water and remove from heat. Cover with a lid and allow steeping for at least 1 hour. Although, in general, black teas should not be steeped for this long because of the excessive release of bitter tannins, this did not seem to be an issue when brewing this much tea with only two bags. Using more bags with a shorter steep time generated a different flavor profile that did not blend as nicely with the lemon juice. [IMG]
Once the tea has been sufficiently steeped, remove the tea bags and add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves. [IMG]
Pour tea into a pitcher and add ice cubes until the volume has returned to two quarts. [IMG]
Refrigerate until completely chilled (at least four hours) before serving. [IMG]
I love Cooking for Engineers, but my Southern sensabilities were taken aback when I read that you actually wanted a can of that lemon iced "tea" stuff.
A echo the previous question about tea-bag size. The look like regular size. Like the previous poster indicated, we Southerners like our iced tea strong: "as dark as molasses and just as sweet." So, I use four Lipton Family-Size teabags to make a gallon of iced tea. I don't care for it being too sweet, so I use about 1 1/3 cups of sugar for a gallon. And leave out the lemon altogether. Otherwise, your method is familiar, especially the long steeping times which I'm sure would shock a tea purist. That being said, I do frequently enjoy a traditionally prepared cup of hot tea. Lapsang Souchong is the best!
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:18 pm Post subject: Ice Tea
I make a gallon of ice tea everyday. I dissolve 3/4 cups of sugar into 4cups of boiling water. Then in another container I boil 2 quarts of water and add 12-13 Lipton tea bags and let sit for 2hours. The two need to be seperated because the tea will get stronger as it sits. Then combine 1/2 cup of lemon juice or 6 medium squeezed lemons. If you like tea sweeter add more sugar, but no more than 2 cups.
Joined: 10 May 2005 Posts: 1577 Location: Austin, TX (USA)
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:30 pm Post subject:
Why not add the sugar at the start? Sugar dissolves much more easily into boiling water.
I'm not sure - I didn't experiment with sugar first, so I don't know if it will affect the brewing/taste. Dissolving the sugar was never a problem because after even two hours, the water is still quite warm. The sugar dissolves pretty rapidly as you stir it in.
Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 4:58 pm Post subject: Another Southerner here.
The long steep time does seem pretty unusual to me. I use two lipton family size bags for a half gallon pitcher of tea, and only let it steep for about 10 minutes, and it tastes great to me. Then again, I do put in a full cup of sugar.
I've never thought about adding lemon juice to the tea itself because I always keep fresh lemons around to slice into wedges and drop in each glass.
Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:00 am Post subject: Whole Tea
This is a perfect opportunity to be using good whole-leaf tea instead of teabags which generally contain fennings, the broken bits of tea leaves that sell the cheapest. I'd use an ounce of tea for a quart of water (plus a little, since the tea itself will grab about a quarter cup of water and you don't want to squeeze out the tea-- bitter!). You can filter it out as you add it to the pitcher (use a coffee filter or a clean paper towel, possibly a double layer).
As for sweetness, it depends on whether my brother-in-law (sweet-tea drinker) and/or my sister (lemon only) will be around. I like both tastes, but you can't add sugar to a cold liquid, so I make a simple syrup with a whole lemon, washed and sliced, a cup or less of sugar, and maybe 2/3 as much water as sugar, plus mint leaves if I have any: Throw the water and sugar on the stove, bring to a boil, add lemon and mint and kill the heat, and let it cool. It doesn't keep forever, and it doesn't freeze solid, so alter the amounts appropriately for what you can use.
Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:52 pm Post subject: the long sttep times mirror making "Sun tea"
I understand the longer steep times---when I make solar or "sun tea" I leave the water sit in the sun all afternoon with the tea bags in it. I often use green or oolong tea however, and use fresh herbs from my garden--lemon balm, or mint, or whatever the family wants at the moment. We're growing orange mint this year, also.
You can add the lemon or lime to the water when you add the tea bags if you're not going to sweeten the tea. I try not to add sugar to stuff that I drink.
Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:15 pm Post subject: Metric conversion
I just tried this recipie...i thought that maybe there wasn't enough lemon; I was right! That's because you converted 2 fl oz into 30mL, when it's closer to 60mL (59.1470594 mL according to Google). I just thought i'd let you know...