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Ice Tea?

In the thread on tea one poster mentioned going through a lot of tea having just given up Coffee. I have recently given up cola (no one needs that much sugar, and I can't stand diet), so am going through a lot of Ice Tea (iced tea). Does anyone have a favorite?

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  1. I used to do instant, but now I brew my own. Half Lipton yellow label, half Earl Grey. I make 8 quarts at a time and use about 1 tablespoon of each tea in an 8 qt stockpot. I squeeze 2 lemons in and then let them float in the tea while it cools. 2 cups of sugar.

    My favorite instant was 4C.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ThreeGigs

      Like you, I drink Earl Grey iced tea; I use the semi-instant variety, where put a pouch in a litre of water & stick it in the fridge to "brew"). I drink it sans sugar, sans lemon. Very good!

    2. I am assuming (based on your context) that you mean bottled, premade iced teas, as opposed to teas you can make yourself and then ice (which pretty much means absolutey any type of tea) Among the already bottled types some one of my favorites is Sweet Leaf's Mint and Honey Green Tea (the companys bottled lemonade is pretty good too). Alos if you are lucky enough to still live somewhere Teacrest still sells the T42 brand (Note: I am not so lucky and am basing this recommendation on memories of how this one was, and a few web links Teacrest has put up. thoise links may or may not be valid, so for all I know, T42 no longer exists ) they made quite a few good bottled teas. I would reccomend the Earl Grey, and would REALLY reccomend the Jamican ginger. Jones Organics red tea (rooibos) with peach can be pretty good too though it can vary a little from batch to batch (If the store you are buying from has fairly slow turnover you may find a few bottles of this one with the older label (the fruit design is just an outline, not filled in and there isn't a big green USDA organic seal on the front (it's still orgaic, its just that they werent trumpeting the fact yet) these bottles are actually sligtly stronger than the new stuff, and the chage was recent enough that they still should be drinkable. Finally it occurs to me that, if you gave up cola for the sugar content, what you may have been asking for is a low sugar bottled iced tea. If this is the case a good one in my opion is Harney & Sons Organic Bangkok (green tea with ginger and coconut essence) or If you demand a completely sugar free tea, Teas tea (the japanese one that comes in the square sided plastic bottle) makes a rose green that is somewhat drinkable.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jumpingmonk

        thanks for the recs jumping. i was actually thinking of teas that I make, but its also good to know more about what is out there. I don't generally drink sweetened tea, and usually dislike fruit flavored teas. I have been told that many types of tea, including earl grey, are for some reason not "appropriate" for use as iced tea as the taste changes when the tea cools (certain aromatics evaporating, etc.)

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          I make a lot of iced tea and I find Luzianne is just fine. I don't sweeten it either.
          Also, I live in St. Louis and can find it in every supermarket in town.

          1. re: KaimukiMan

            That's utter hogwash! Earl grey tastes fine cold. I drink it that way every morning (hot drinks make me sleepy, regardless of the caffine content.) okay if you want to make it youself her are a few recoomendation on that side first my standard formula, the one I make for myself each weekday morning

            fill an appropriate vessel (I use a 1 gallon plastic pitcher, or a large ceramic bowl) Fill it up about 3/4 the way with water. Microwave vessel for about 4-5 minutes, which will get the water hot but not boilng (boilng in this case would make the tea rather bitter) add to this water 5 bags of Foojoy Royal Kwan Yin (you can find this at most Chinese grocery stores, its a good tea bag version of the famous Iron Goddess of Mercy oolong) and 2 bags of earl grey (I like to use Repubic of Tea's) let bags steep for about 10 minutes and remove (I actually have managed to get myself used to actually putting my hand into the tea to get the bags out so I can give them a final squeeze. However the tea is still very, very hot at this point, so doing this will hurt you if you are not used to it. ( I like to think of it as being like the exercise you see in all the old martial arts movies where the monks train thier fists by punching bowls of sand over burning braziers) so you'll proably want to use a spoon or clippers finish up by adding the juice of 1 fresh key lime (if your area has a large Latino population you can usally find these in bags in the fruit section) (I would also at this point ad quite a bit of sugar, but you said you don't like your tea sweet, so you'll proably want to leave this bit out. place pitcher in fridge to cool, or alternively simply pour over ice. Makes about enough to get one person through the day as thier primary bevarage.

            Another teabag I've found that make an interesting, but surpingly good iced tea is Ten Ren's Ten Wu tea (once again you can find it in Chinese grocery stores, plus I think both companies have online ordering functions.) a very light oolong with some pleasing floral notes. Rishi's Jade Oolong is an even better version of this type but thats a loose leaf lea and is better reseved for occasions whne you have a little extra time. There are Teas even better than this to work with, but by now you are firmly into the realm of the utra, several hundred dollars a pound (or even an ounce) tea, which are therfore not suitable for day to day use (unless you are a trust fund baby)

            1. re: jumpingmonk

              oh, I fogot a good one. Simpson and Vail has a truly incredible black tea from the Kazi plantation in Bangladesh that is spectacular iced.

        2. The classic American brand for this classic American beverage is Luzianne (mail order if you don't live in the South).

          What you want it a Ceylon tea. Orange/black pekoe. With a very clean flavor. Using Assam, Darjeeling, China - type teas for iced tea does not show them off well.

          1. If you can find it, or want to order it online, I recommend American Classic Tea. It's the only tea grown in the US, and it makes excellent ice tea.

            1. Some alternatives. I like cold brewing sencha, a white tea (e.g. silver needle) or even a jasmine. Get a bottle of water, put in the appropriate amount of leaves, chill in fridge for 8-12 hours. No sugar needed.

              Volatile aromatics disappear quickly when the tea is brewed hot, but cold brewing, where the tea never encounters hot water, is a nice alternative to preserving the bouquet for certain types of delicate teas, especially whites.

              1 Reply
              1. re: limster

                Jasmine iced tea is yummy and I haven't made it in years! Thanks for the reminder! On the list and out the door to the store! ------>

              2. I used to like Red Rose for iced tea but haven't seen it in our store lately. Inside each box was a tiny animal figurine that our kids collected when they were young. Used to find them all over the house. It's inexpensive and good.


                1. I do something a little different, having also cut back on sweet soda - I chill bottles of orange or lemon sparkling mineral water, then open and stuff in tea bags (green or white or rose hips or some of each) leave in the refrigerator overnight and voila! sparkling tea!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: OCEllen

                    You know, I drink alot of fizzy water plain or with lemon. lime or orange but never thought of adding tea bags! Great idea, OCEllen! Thanks for that, I'm doing it tomorrow.

                    1. re: OCEllen

                      I am drinking this right now, it's good! Next time I'll drink a little bit of the water before adding the tea bags though, it caused quite a fizz-over. :)
                      It's a nice change and allows me to get my caffeine and bubbles with no Coke.
                      Thanks again for this great idea!

                      1. re: fern

                        So glad you like it ! I also have had to cut back on Coke. And, yes, 'fizz overs' can happen with some teas!

                    2. I think the Tazo blend they use at Starbucks is pretty good. Trouble is, they only sell it in reasonable size bags (1 bag makes 2 quarts) in the summer. Otherwise you can order the restaurant packs, which make a gallon. I haven't tried that yet. I get by fine on Lipton standard, usually, or Luzianne (I don't think you have to be that far south to find it; they sell it here in PA). Apart from the Tazo blend, I haven't had much luck enjoying other teas. But when I have a cup of hot tea, it absolutely can't be regular Lipton. Weird, that. ;-) I might try that half earl grey, half Lipton mentioned above. That might be about right, close enough approximation to the Tazo, which definitely has a bit of earl grey in it. But 100% earl grey iced tea wouldn't be that great. I also want to try that Bigelow American Classic Tea. I kept hoping to find that in a store, but in that case we are not far enough south for it. I'll have to break down and order some. Gotta see what the only tea grown in the US tastes like. :-)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: CrazyOne

                        I have experimented with many blends and decided that almost any tea I like hot I will also like iced. The one caveat would be to remember that the ice will dilute your tea and if you like it strong you need to use less water when brewing. My favorite tea supplier, www.specialteas.com , has a section on its online catalog that recommends teas to be iced.

                        1. re: lucyis

                          If you go the cold brewing route, you don't need to add the ice.

                      2. For brewed iced teas, I love jasmine, apricot black tea, green tea and, for a quicky, lipton cold brew peach. I have to make sure not to overbrew, otherwise the bitterness is overwhelming. For bottled iced teas, my favorite is honest tea (esp. first nation pepermint, morocan mint and the peach one which has a little bit of sugar). YUM.

                        1. I usually have a bunch of teas around, and ice most of them when it's hot out. My favorite this summer has been loose Chinese green tea that I steep with a few slices of ginger, then strain, sweeten, and ice. For "standard" iced tea, I like Luzianne, Red Rose, or Lipton (in that order). My mom's a big fan of iced tea made with Bigelow Constant Comment, which has orange rind, cinnamon, and other spices.

                          Since you live in paradise, you can always snag a six-pack of Aloha Maid Green Tea (real sugar - better than Hawaiian Sun). I wish we had a good cheap source for that stuff on the mainland.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: alanbarnes

                            agree with you on the aloha maid... and its not as sweet, but still too sweet for me most of the time.

                            I really appreciate everyone's comments, been taking notes and will check out the available teas when i am out shopping.

                            one tea i really like is whatever california pizza kitchen uses for their regular tea. it is not a flavored tea, very clean flavor, slight undertone of something. for some reason it appeals to me. it always looks so "clear" in the glass, even though it has a nice tannic color.

                          2. If I'm going to buy it, I like Tejava. If I'm going to make it, Lipton. Unsweetened. Maybe with some lemon.