Iced, Hold the Sugar

When it comes to tea, my first and one true love is Lipton’s on ice, unsweetened. It was a staple of my childhood and is a staple in my own household. According to my mother, the reason our family drinks its iced tea unsweetened dates back to WW II when you had to have ration stamps to buy sugar. My grandmother wanted to save her sugar for baking, and she didn’t like the taste of saccharin so they started drinking their tea unsweetened.

The perfect iced tea is a rich reddish brown in color and should be clear. It should be served in a simple glass tumbler filled with crystal clear ice cubes. No lemon. If I wanted lemon I’d drink lemonade. No sprig of mint. If I wanted mint I’d chew some gum. And if I wanted my tea brown and weak, I’d go to a fast food restaurant.

I firmly believe that there is a true science involved in making the perfect pitcher of iced tea. I’ve found the secret for me is to use an iced tea maker and gallon sized tea bags. Another important ingredient for the perfect iced tea is the water. Every true tea lover should have a reverse osmosis filter. This will give you the perfect water for the tea as well as crystal clear ice cubes when connected to your ice maker.

The tea maker is essentially nothing more than a drip coffee maker that drips the hot water over the tea bag and releases it into a pitcher filled with ice. The hot tea melts the ice and diluting the tea just the right amount, resulting in the perfect iced tea.

And here’s a tip for making perfect tea, add a pinch of baking soda to the tea pitcher. It helps eliminate the cloudiness and cuts any bitterness.


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