In this day and age of mock-tails and healthy infusions of the latest exotic ingredients, I thought I would share my all-time favorite iced tea.
- One gallon of cold water, the cleanest you can get. We have an RO tap in the kitchen; so, I usually use that.
- Two Tetley quart-sized tea bags.
- Six conventional Earl Grey tea bags.
- 6-8 cloves. (Yeah, the kind you stick in a ham or Indian food.)
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
- Sugar to taste, I usually use about 1/2 cup.
- One quart ice water.
Add the baking soda and cloves to the water and heat to 185 degrees. Don’t worry if you don’t have a thermometer, just turn off the heat as lots of little bubbles start to form. You don’t want a rolling, full-on boil as this would scald the tea leaves.
Add the tea bags and set a 20 minute timer.
As you remove the bags, do not squeeze them. Most of the bitterness will be trapped in the bag and you really don’t want that in your tea. You can fish out any of the cloves that are floating.
Add the sugar and stir gently.
Add the cold water and wait a few minutes. All the solids (bitter stuff) will settle to the bottom of the pot along with any bits of the cloves you may have missed.
I usually put my tea in quart mason jars and set them aside to seal before putting them in the ‘fridge.
Serve over a tall glass of ice, garnish as you like with mint, lemon or lime.