Now that summer is here, a large space on the top shelf of my fridge is dedicated to a pitcher of iced tea. It’s a habit formed long ago in the south, and one I will not give up. Recently I discovered that not all tea concentrates are those tiny packets of harsh overly-sweet tea sold in my local grocery store. You can actually make your own tea concentrate and keep it in a small jar in your fridge. That way you can keep a 1 quart mason jar in your fridge instead of large pitcher. One quart of concentrate makes 12-14 glasses of iced tea.
The recipe for plain or flavored unsweetened tea concentrate is first, but below that are instructions for sweet tea and sweet tea with lemon. You learn quickly how sweet you like your tea, but you’ll never run out of flavor options. Earl Grey and apricot tea leaves make wonderful iced tea. Mashed strawberries, raspberries or mint leaves make delicious flavored teas. You can also add mint leaves, ginger, or peaches. Get creative and keep a jar in your fridge for the summer. Enjoy!
NOTE: Certain types of tea can turn cloudy when they cool or when they cool too quickly. If your tea turns cloudy, it is fine it does not affect the taste at all. You can turn it back to clear by adding additional boiling water, but be sure to take the different concentration into account when mixing your tea.
- 4 cups cold water
- 10 tea bags or 3/4 cups loose tea (any flavor)
- 1 cup mashed fresh fruit or mint leaves (optional for flavored tea)
- Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pan and add tea. If you are making flavored tea, add a cup of sliced, mashed fruit or a cup of mint leaves to the boiling water along with the tea leaves. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. Pour through a strainer to remove tea leaves (and the fruit or herbs if making flavored tea) and discard. Cool, cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. Will keep for two weeks in fridge.
- To make into a single serving, fill a 16 ounce glass with ice. Add one cup of water and 1/4 cup of tea concentrate (more or less to taste).
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup loose leaf tea or 10 tea bags (any flavor)
- Pour the sugar and water in medium sauce pan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. When the liquid is at a full boil, add the tea and immediately turn off the heat. Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes. Pour the tea through a strainer and allow to drip for a few minutes. Cool, then cover tightly. Will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator.
- Fill a 16 ounce glass with ice. Pour 1/4 cup of tea concentrate over the ice and fill the glass with one cup of water.
- To make sweet lemon tea, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the concentrate before storing.