It’s hot, Hot, HOT here in Melbourne today and I’m hydrating myself with one of my current favourite ice teas made with Twinings Lemon and Ginger herbal infusion.
I highly recommend herbal infusions instead of black tea for newcomers to iced tea. Especially for those who drink their hot tea with milk. Never, ever drink iced tea with milk, unless you’re a fan of chai latte then you might get away with it (you might, but I wouldn’t, I can’t abide milk in tea). A mild black tea, English Breakfast, for example makes a great iced tea too. A mild green tea is also nice. But not for beginners.
I make mine using the ‘sun tea’ method. Instead of boiling water, you immerse the tea or tea bags in cold water in a clear container, then set the container in the sun. Then pop on a lid and wait. In a few hours, presto, you have tea. No heating up the kitchen (even for a little bit), no using electricity or gas, and smoother tea. What’s not to like? Plus it cools down more quickly or with less ice because it’s not that hot.
Make a big pitcher, store it in the fridge and if you’re going to gulp it down (which I often do, when it’s 40° C ) I don’t worry about adding ice.
Put it in a nice glass too. Herbal teas are beautiful and I’m sure the pretty glass makes it taste better.
Don’t whatever you do, confuse homemade iced tea with pre-packaged iced tea (from a powder or a bottle). The only thing pre-packaged and homemade iced tea have in common is being cold.
The tea used isn’t very nice (unless you’re springing for a T2 bottle of iced tea). Packaged iced tea is mostly sugar. Sugar free iced tea is usually sweetened with an artificial sweetener. I’m not a purist when it comes to artificial sweeteners, I’m a regular consumer of diet versions of brand name soft drinks. But for my taste, and yours may differ, sugar has no place in iced tea. Although a discrete squeeze of lemon or lime can sometimes be a nice addition.