Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why do people not make Iced Tea from scratch?

I have been drinking iced tea since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  I grew up drinking this and drink tea everyday iced or hot.  I don't care much for soda or fruit juices, but I will on occasion have a glass or two.  It does puzzle me how people do not know how or did not know that you could make iced tea with tea bags.  There are even the people who think that you can only make it during the summer making "sun tea" not knowing you can make it all year long.  No, you do not buy the instant tea powder (phew-phew), don't care for that at all!!!!!  That is why I am always hesitant to ordering iced tea in restaurants because I know that is what they are going to serve me.  And, I don't like it overly sweetened.

The version that I am posting here stemmed from a low-carb diet in which I switched from sugar to sucralose (Splenda) which to me tastes most like sugar without an aftertaste.  Here is my perfect iced tea recipe to cool you down during the summer heat.

Some tea bags come individually wrapped and some do not.  I prefer Red Rose brand tea bags and those do not come individually wrapped which is a bonus to me.  While Lipton tea bags come individually wrapped, you will have to go through another step of removing the wrappers first.  Also, the recipe that I am posting here today is for the individual one cup size tea bags.

Iced Tea (1 gallon - 4 quarts)

8 tea bags
20 packets of Splenda or Sucralose
Gallon pitcher

Boil about 2 quarts of water (about 8 cups) either in a tea kettle or a sauce pan. 

If you are making this in a saucepan, remove from heat and holding the tags dunk the tea bags (I usually knot mine together for easier removal) a couple times to get them started brewing and drape the labels over the side of the pan for easier removal but if the tags fall in, no problem, it's OK.

If you are using a tea kettle, once water comes to a boil, pour into the pitcher and holding the tags, dunk a couple times to get them started brewing and drape the labels over the side of the pitcher for easier removal but it the tags fall in, no problem, it's OK.

Brew for about 10-15 minutes (just let it sit) and remove tea bags and discard.  Open and pour all of the sucralose packets contents into the tea and stir. 

Add cold water to to the tea to fill the one gallon pitcher and stir again.

That is is!!!  Serve over a tall glass of ice.  Store in the refrigerator. 

If you like, you can add fresh mint (bruise it first to release the oils), or lemon squeeze.  If you want to add the flavored syrups (such as peach), you will need to adjust the sugar possibly not adding sweeteners at all, that is also the nice thing about sucralose is that you can add it to a cold beverage.

For a 2 quart pitcher recipe, just divide everything in half.

20 packets of the individual sucralose packets equals out to about 3/4 cup of granulated sugar.  When I made it with the granulated sugar, I used between a 1/2 and 2/3 cup.

I know that 20 packets of sucralose sounds like a lot, but I buy a box of 1,500 packets from Costco. 

Want to make green tea?  Make it the same way, it's easy!  I love peach green tea!  I just use the sweetened sugar-free peach syrup like they have at your local coffee stand with no added sweetener and flavor to taste.

About 2 quarts of boiling hot water added to 1 gallon pitcher.  Tea bags are ready and knotted together (optional).

Tea is steeping (or brewing).

Add sweetener and stir.

Fill up the rest of the pitcher with cold water and stir.  The pitcher was full before I poured this glass.

And here you have it, a glass of refreshing iced tea.


  1. I make iced tea year around. I love both the Tazo black and the Zen tea. Both of these teas come in regular or a Iced variety (both are available on the shelf at Safeway in the tea section.) The Zen has a very refreshing spearmint taste that hits the spot on a hot day. I have also served over ice with half iced tea and half Simply Lemonade.. Known as an Arnold Palmer.