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When temperatures soar there is nothing more refreshing than a tall, thirst quenching glass of ice tea. If you are one of many who dreads the chore of making ice tea due the unpleasant outcome of tepid tea, these tips will help you take the guess work out and insure perfect tea every time.
If it is your custom to boil water and then add tea bags or balled loose tea it will help you to know that boiling the tea to add strength is not a good idea. This will cause the tea to be dark but it will also give it a bitter taste. Tea needs to be steeped so your best bet is to bring the water to a boil and then add the tea. Adding a pinch of baking soda to any type of tea you are making will insure that the taste and color of tea is always perfect. For a gallon of tea, add about 1\4 teaspoon. If you are only making a pot of tea, add about 1\8 teaspoon and for a cup a very small pinch. Baking soda draws out the tannic acid in tea which is the main ingredient that gives it color. Steep the tea for 15 minutes before pouring it up and add an equal amount of water. If you are adding sugar or honey to the tea, dissolve these ingredients in the steeped tea after you have removed the tea source and prior to adding cold water. Making tea using your electric coffee maker can give you the same result using only 2 tea bags with a pinch of baking soda sprinkled over them and then allowing the water to run through just as you do when making coffee. Using this method you do not need to allow the tea to steep. Simply pour the tea into a container and add sweeteners, if desire, then stir until dissolved. Refill your coffee pot with cold water and add this the container.
Allow fresh made tea to sit out until it reaches room temperature or your tea may become rancid because it has cooled down too fast. When the tea is ready, adding mint or lemon will enhance the flavor of the beverage. Herb teas and sun tea can also be prepared by adding a pinch of baking soda to the water or herb. Because tea is an acidic drink, adding baking soda will neutralize some of the acid creating a delicious, more alkaline drink.