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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sweet Tea vs. the Regular Stuff a Great Debate

The knockout begins. 

Last night on my facebook status I posted that I was looking for a good Iced Tea recipe. It may be surprising to you, but I have never made the stuff. You see in Canada our Iced Tea is completely different. You use a powdered flavored sugary mix, and for my Canadian readers I'll give you my dad's secret - add some coke or pepsi to your Iced Tea - it's amazing.

However, back to my quest of perfecting American Iced Tea. It has probably only been a year that I could even stand to drink the stuff. Cold tea who would want to drink that stuff? But now I am hooked, especially since I have cut way back on pop. I prefer unsweetened, but I can do that southern sweet stuff if necessary.

Within an hour of me posting on facebook, that I was looking for a recipe, I had more than 10 comments, from three different countries. And you could see the battle taking place - sweet vs. unsweetened. So what kind of tea will I find in your house, and who has the best recipe? I let you know how successful I am after this weekend.

12 comments:

  1. At the Williams' we got for efficiency - so I buy bulk containers of instant unsweetened LIPTON brand tea. My "recipe" includes putting the pitcher under the faucet, and just slightly turning it on (very slow stream) - I fill it up about 1/4 of the way with just water. I then add my ice and plenty of tea (we like it dark) and lots of cut lemons (the more the better, but don't make more than you can drink in a day with this recipe or the lemons 'sour' the tea overnight). I continue to slowly fill 'er up stirring with a wooden spoon constantly so you don't get the nasty froth at the top. Then you chill it for at least 2 hrs before you enjoy!

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  2. We use bags that you either put in water and set the pitcher in the sun or make a concentrated versionin the microwave and then water down to the proper flavor. My brother mixes three kinds though and it is very good you just have a lot of stock with three bags. They are- regular brewed ice tea, green tea, and oolong.

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  3. We don't drink tea a whole lot, when we do it's usually unsweetened with the sugar bowl close by though! At church we make a pitcher of each because about half of our church are Okies and they like sweet tea :) Same thing at shipping time, we have all these South Texans or Mississippians here wanting sweet tea!!

    I posted a comment way back when about KSU, just wanted to let you know I do have a public blog now, www.cowgirl-photography.blogspot.com

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  4. It's all about the SWEET tea for me. A gallon pitcher usually includes 2 coups of sugar. Yes, 2 cups. I get a lot of teasing about it here in Oklahoma, but they always seem to drink everything I make.

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  5. BK Congrats on starting your blog! It looks like the debate is about half and half right now. I am thinking that adding lemons and oranges is the way to go!

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  6. This is too funny. I have never brewed tea, either. Someone just asked me last night how I make my sweet tea (b/c in Texas, I guess every woman is a great sweet tea engineer?) Oh, and Texans are SERIOUS about their tea... Like you, I didn't drink much of the stuff and in Michigan where I grew up, my Mom's side of the family drank instant, unsweetened tea. Ick. Now I'm a sweet tea junkie... but I still don't know how to make it! Funny, all I know is that I always see people lugging out these big ol' pitchers outside to do something in the sun... the rest is a mystery! Let me know what you find out! :)

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  7. We make a big pitcher of sweet tea every day and keep it in our fridge. I don't think it is just a southern thing, Luke grew up with a mother who did the same. I should also mention that his Yankee mother makes maybe the most delicious tea I've ever tasted.

    Anyways - here's how the Neumayrs do it. We take our smallest pot and fill it up, and bring it to a boil. We put 2 Luzianne tea bags in it and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then we pull the tea bags out and pour in a couple pounds of sugar. We just eyeball the sugar, but I'm guessing it is somewhere between 1 and 2 cups. Then we stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot (super dark) tea mixture in the pitcher and fill it up with water to dilute. We don't usually put lemons or oranges in... unless we're expecting company and trying to look fancy!

    I do believe you can sweeten with Splenda and get just as good of a taste. We've done it before.

    http://www.catherineandluke.com

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  8. I bought a great cookbook by the Lee Bros. - Simple Fresh Southern. They have a peach tea recipe that is delish. You boil 2 cups of water and pour it into a heat safe pitcher, add 6 orange pekoe tea bags. Let steep for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile slice up about a pound of peaches, and puree them in a blender. Remove the tea bags from the water, add the peach puree and another 4-6 cups of water. Put in the fridge for about 45 min, then strain out (or use cheesecloth) the peach puree and voila you have yummy peach tea!

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  9. My husband and I have this battle in our house every time I make iced tea. He likes the "corn syrup", I don't.

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  10. Ok, I am off to do some shopping tonight, I'll let you all know how things turn out.

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  11. We are sweet tea all the way in this house. All though we live in the Pacific NW, both my husband's and my side of the family are from the south. There is no tea except for Sweet Tea.

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  12. Love your ice tea posts!! I just have to say again that I am a purist when it comes to iced tea. Black tea baby...no sweetner! You might try Tazo Iced tea blend...it's also great & what they serve at Starbucks. You should order some up, unsweetened of course. Keep on having fun!

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