Question: I drink at least a half gallon of tea a day and I almost always have cold iced tea. What is the best method for making large amounts of tea to be used for later? My method thus far has to been to boil water in a pot and put the tea in for the recommended time for the tea being used and then store it in the fridge. I also use only reverse osmosis water for the tea.
– Elizabeth from Fulton, MO
This is a good question and one that a lot of people ask about. The traditional way of brewing iced tea is to make tea like you normally would, then cool it by either adding ice or putting it in the refrigerator. This is a great way of making iced tea if you are making a little bit at a time, but when you start to make huge quantities, cleanup can be a bit of a chore. Luckily there is another way of making iced tea and it is so easy that it takes almost no time with very little clean up.
Refrigerator iced tea is great for mass brewing
Refrigerator iced tea is 100% scalable, meaning that it is just as easy to make ten gallons as it is to make one cup. All you need to do is add the proper amount of tea to a T-Sac, put it in a pitcher filled with water and leave it overnight. By the time you wake up in the morning you will have some tasty iced tea waiting for you.
I like to do a few pitchers at a time
When I make refrigerator iced tea, I’ll take 3 or 4 of my “iced tea pitchers” and brew them all at once. I find using a bunch of smaller pitchers is better than one giant pot because it is easier to store and I can make multiple kinds of iced tea at once. I’ll usually make a regular black tea, a green tea and a flavored tea (my favorites being Coconut Pouchong and Earl Grey).
Iced Tea will stay fresh up to 3 days
After 3 days the tea will start to turn a bit bitter, so be sure to drink it before then. So, if you are making a bunch of different pitchers, be sure that you are going to drink all of it! But, if you are like Elizabeth and drink a half-gallon a day it shouldn’t be a problem.
Just don’t use certain types of tea when doing this
Refrigerator iced tea is perfect for Ceylon Black Teas and anything with the word “breakfast” in it. It is also great for flavored teas. However, I do not recommend using this method for teas that have more subtle notes in them, such as Keemun, Darjeeling or Dragon Well. With this method, you will lose some of the subtleties of the tea due to the cold temperature of the water. But for the teas mentioned above it is a great way to make iced tea with very little effort.
A step-by-step guide on how to make refrigerator iced tea
Here is a link to an article that gives you step-by-step instruction for making refrigerator iced tea. And, if you are like Elizabeth, this method will save you time and effort all while giving you a delicious glass of iced tea every day!