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Apr 21, 2008 08:07 AM

Let's talk iced tea

What are your favorite iced teas and what is your method in making them? I am also looking for pitcher recommendations (glass, plastic, specific for tea). Thanks!

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  1. Bigelow English Breakfast or Trader Joes English Breakfast tea made in a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker. About 4 or 5 bags per pitcher.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Antilope

      In the past, I used LIpton Tea, but I noticed a sour, off taste when the iced tea was kept until the next day (in the fridge). That doesn't happen with the teas I now use.

    2. Mine is quite pedestrian...2 regular size black tea (very inexpensive box of 100 tagless bags for 99 cents at Wal-Mart) bags in 16 ounces of boiling water...let it cool to room temp and I keep the bags in there the entire time for stronger flavor...I add 1 teaspoon of sugar, ice and big lemon wedge and am very happy.

      1. Well, this is sweet tea, so it may not be your thing, but here's what I do. I just use a Rubbermaid plastic pitcher.
        -10 to 12 crushed cardamom pods, 2-3 inch cinnamon stick: put them in a pot with half a gallon of cold water and bring to a boil.
        -Add four family-sized Luzianne tea bags to the water and take it off the heat
        -Wait 5 minutes
        -Remove tea bags and spices
        -Pour into one-gallon pitcher with 25g Splenda (= 75g sugar, I think)
        -Fill pitcher the rest of the way with cold water, chill.

        2 Replies
        1. re: eliah

          That sounds really good. I'll have to try it - thanks!

          1. re: jeanmarieok

            Luzianne!!!! I make my sweet tea in a glass pitcher, 2 quarts at a time. I get people to bring Luzianne with them from the east coast.

            Sometimes I make half back tea and half peach herb tea or raspberry or mint. Add the sugar when it's hot! Like a scant 1/3 cup per quart.

        2. About 15 years ago at the Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, I had some amazing concoction called rose mint tea. It is my favorite iced tea, even though I haven't had it since, and haven't figured out how to duplicate it. If anyone has the recipe, please post it, pretty please!

          Other than that, I love making sun tea, especially with Republic of Tea's Blackberry and Sage tea. That sage is sooooo refreshing on a hot summer day. And sun tea is so amazingly simple to do.

          9 Replies
          1. re: charlesbois

            Ah, Rose mint tea! A dear friend of mine is a regular at the NO festival, raves about the iced tea, and one year brought home a jar so we could experiment as none of the vendors were giving away trade secrets. We tried lots of things, including rose hips, lemon grass, etc. -- don't know if we can duplicate it but the KEY was HIBISCUS for the slightly sweet tart flavor (go to if you want to order some at reasonable rates), with some spearmint tea also purchased from Upton Tea.

            1. re: Avid Rita

              celestial seasonings red zinger has dominant hibiscus notes. from their site:

              "The trademark “zing” comes from a combination of tart and tangy Chinese hibiscus and fruity Thai hibiscus, while lemongrass provides a lemony sweetness that helps balance the tartness."


              add some fresh mint leaves and voila!

              1. re: alkapal

                Celestial Seasonings also has Wild Berry Zinger, which is fantastic iced. Nice if you have little folk around who may crave kool-aid, but your higher intellect wins out! No sweetening needed, as it's a well-rounded fruity herbal tea.


                1. re: cayjohan

                  I agree this makes a great ice tea. Some in my fridge with now.

              2. re: Avid Rita

                ooooooh THANK YOU SO MUCH for your reply. I never even though of hibiscus being in it. I MUST try that toute suite.

                1. re: charlesbois

                  This is why old posts are the best! I just bought some dried hibiscus but had no idea what to do with it, meanwhile I've been making a gallon of iced tea at least once a week to keep in the fridge. Finally I have a plan!

                  I make my tea in a glass gallon jug, I save them from the restaurant size B&G pickled products....just like most delis around here do. BTW it is illegal to make iced tea at room temp,or god forbid, actually in the sun, in these parts. I did it anyway and saw what they claim, a lot of cloudy junk floating on top which is claimed to be bacteria colonies. So I just make room in the fridge, it takes the same amount of time (24 hours or so).

                  1. re: coll

                    You'd think people would find something better to do than dictate the temperature at which tea can be brewed (and to think I was under the impression I woke up in America today).

                    1. re: MacGuffin

                      Well we another thread on if it's a "sin" to freeze beef. So there ya go.

                      1. re: rasputina

                        Hmm. But does it carry some sort of bureaucratic weight?

            2. I love iced jasmine tea -- perfect for the summer. It's really refreshing. And glass pitchers all the way. It makes a difference.