Cold tea, please June 24, 2014 2:00 AM   Subscribe

Hello everyone, I am looking for a specific comment on AskMe about brewing cold tea.

The recipe went something like: place X tea bags in pitcher, fill (or half fill) with very hot water FROM THE TAP, leave in fridge for Y hours and voila! Iced tea. The tap water part is very important- we're not talking about boiling water, or sun tea, though there were other comments about sun tea in the same thread. I've gone through all the questions about cold drinks and tea that I could find, but I haven't had any luck.

This is the method I used all last summer, and it was fantastic. Summer is here again and I need cold tea! Help? Thank you.
posted by lollymccatburglar to MetaFilter-Related at 2:00 AM (19 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Was it this?
posted by pinacotheca at 2:19 AM on June 24, 2014

Let it steep till the water is dark. Meanwhile, find your container and put approximately a cup of sugar in it, more or less to taste. When tea is steeped pour tea into container, on top of sugar, and stir till dissolved. Then fill up the container with cold water.

Please don't just drop a cup of sugar into cold tea, make a simple syrup, and put that in.
posted by empath at 3:38 AM on June 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Pinacotheca: nope, not that, though I did see that one in my search.

Unless I am totally misremembering it, it was very simple, just hot water from the tap, stick it in the fridge.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 4:05 AM on June 24, 2014

It's usually recommended that you don't use hot tap water for cooking or drinking due to lead concerns.
I use the two cups of water on stove til almost boiling, 8 tea bag, steep for 15-20, pour in two quart pitcher and fill with cold water method. Although I can see how a hot tap method would be super convenient.
posted by FreezBoy at 4:49 AM on June 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I've posted a couple of cold brew tea instructions/recipes over the years. They are both for room temperature or cold water rather than hot water though (don't use hot tap water for the reason FreezBoy says), and I usually run my water through a Brita filter rather than using it straight out of the tap. Here are the two links to methods that I posted previously that still work: one, which may work for you, and two (this one is mostly about loose tea, but does mention tea bags).
posted by gudrun at 5:03 AM on June 24, 2014

We use cold water, 14 tea bags to a gallon of water, and stick it in the fridge, Tea is ready in about 6 hours, and if you forget it about it there is no harm. We've left the tea bags in for 24 hours with no problems.
posted by COD at 5:15 AM on June 24, 2014

It sounds like you have the recipe already. It's not what I would do (for both reasons that FreezBoy states and reasons of flavor) but maybe you could just try it and see what happens.
posted by donnagirl at 5:29 AM on June 24, 2014

I was really looking for the number of tea bags and the time in the fridge. But COD's method looks good, I'll give that a try. Thanks everyone.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 7:19 AM on June 24, 2014

If you're willing to leave the tea overnight, you don't even need hot water. Regular room temp tap water + time will do it.

(Note: Serious Eats agrees.)
posted by maryr at 7:45 AM on June 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

Maryr beat me to it but that Serious Eats link convinced me to make my tea in the fridge, which I do and it's perfectly delicious, especially for roobious
posted by rebent at 9:18 AM on June 24, 2014

I'm usually the one that shares the "traditional" way of making iced tea (konolia was my former username, so that was me at that link) but these days we have an electric kettle. I heat the water in that, pour the heated water over two family size tea bags in the tea pitcher, and just let it steep there, then take the bags out and fill with cool water and stick in the fridge. (I used to just add the sugar with the tea bags, and it worked just fine, but now I don't add sugar to my tea at home, just the pink packets, since my husband can't have sweet iced tea now.

But yes, the only reason heated water is used is that it speeds up the steeping. Wait long enough and I am fairly certain you can steep it in the fridge. I will say that almost boiling water is preferred to dissolve the sugar, if you use it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:06 PM on June 24, 2014

You don't have to use hot water if you're OK to wait at least overnight. I use 5 teabags per quart and leave it in the fridge.
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:37 PM on June 24, 2014

I feel weird, reading the Serious Eats thing, because normally I think they're brilliant about just about everything, and then I got as far as "for consistency's sake, everything was made with Lipton black tea" and pretty much everything they said after that was suspect. I'll tolerate Lipton at restaurants, but why do people make it at home? I don't get it. If you have to go cheap, Red Rose. I've been on a kick for fruit-flavored stuff, though, mostly SerendipiTea Dahl House because I bought a ton of the stuff. But do people actually prefer Lipton to alternatives? Ew.
posted by Sequence at 12:09 AM on June 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

Because of this discussion I now have several tea bags (four? five?) in a quart jar in the fridge here at work. I'll be testing this "five hours is enough" theory at lunch.

I love iced tea but I never make it at home because of all the mucking about with large volumes of hot water. I'm fine with making a French press of coffee in the morning but heating enough water to do an entire pitcher of tea, then letting it cool so you don't heat up your whole fridge, blah blah blah too much work I'll just drink rum instead.

But this? Bags + jar + water + fridge? I think I can get behind that.
posted by komara at 7:53 AM on June 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I use a 1-quart pitcher, stuff 4-6 tea bags inside an infuser, fill it with cold water and cold-brew overnight. Usually I mix the tea types: half English Breakfast and half Earl Grey.

If I forget to do it the night before, I have found that 4-5 hours in the fridge is usually enough, but the tea is a little weaker than if it has been brewing for 8 hours or more.
posted by bedhead at 8:15 AM on June 25, 2014

Yes, because of this thread I'm drinking iced green mint tea (2 quart pitcher, 8 teabags, steeped for 3.5 hours yesterday), sweetened with simple syrup, right now. Many thanks.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:38 AM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sequence: "I feel weird, reading the Serious Eats thing, because normally I think they're brilliant about just about everything, and then I got as far as "for consistency's sake, everything was made with Lipton black tea" and pretty much everything they said after that was suspect. "

Like they said, it was for consistency. It's basic experimental design, right? Control the factors and reduce the number of variables so that what's varying is what you're interested in. There's nothing that says anybody has to use Lipton — use their preferred technique with your preferred tea leaves and hey presto.
posted by Lexica at 12:05 PM on June 25, 2014

If he's making sweet tea, I'm not sure the leaves matter one whit.
posted by maryr at 12:10 PM on June 26, 2014

Try Luzianne for iced tea once, you'll never go back. To anything else.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:39 AM on June 28, 2014

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