Mint tea, a traditional Middle Eastern drink, can be served iced for a refreshing summer drink.MCT photo
In the sweltering summer, a glass of freshly brewed iced tea can quench and cool anyone in no time. But bottled teas can cost as much as $1 or more. That can drain your grocery budget and add mountains of plastic bottles to landfills. Making tea from scratch costs just pennies.
Here are tips for making two quarts of tea from “Iced Tea” by Fred Thompson (Harvard Common Press):
In a glass measuring cup or ceramic teapot large enough to accommodate 2 cups boiling water, place 6 regular-size tea bags and ½ teaspoon baking soda. (The baking soda will soften the natural tannins that cause an acid or bitter taste.) Pour 2 cups boiling water over the tea bags. Cover and let steep 15 minutes.
Remove the tea bags, being careful not to squeeze them (squeezing the bags will add bitterness).
Pour concentrate into a two-quart pitcher and add 6 cups cold water. Sweeten, if desired.
Let cool, then chill and serve over ice.
Hints: Tea will become cloudy if refrigerated while still warm. Add a little boiling water to clear up the cloudiness. The tannins in tea also cause cloudiness when the tea is brewed in hard water. If you know you have minerals in your water, use filtered water.