Welcome back to “Cooking with Gas” the blog segment that teaches you how I prepare some of the awesome food in my kitchen. You could follow these directions and make your own amazing things one day too, but for now you should probably just sit back and enjoy the pictures until you’re ready. Don’t worry, these things take time. You think I got this awesome in a day? Hell no, took a few years at least! Now, on to the part where I show you have I make Sweet Tea.
Some of you may know I deeply passionate I am about Sweet Tea, for the rest of you, just know that I believe any restaurant in Texas should serve sweet tea by law. That being said I try and always have a fresh gallon or three of tea in the fridge.
The method I’m going to show you if easily scalable so if you find yourself needing more tea at once you can do that.
Obviously to start this process you’re going to need some tea. I prefer Tetley Iced Tea Blend, but Safeway doesn’t carry it at my store. I will be requesting that it be added to the next set. To make 1 gallon I use 4 tea bags, you could easily use more if you want, but any less and you’re going to have pretty weak tea.
At this point put 3/4 you final yields worth of water into the pan to boil. IE if you want to make one gallon in the end, but 3/4 gallon in the pan.
Start heating that water to boiling. I put the burner on high, and since we have a gas range the water boils in about 2 minutes. Take that shitty electric stoves.
Here’s one of the main reasons I like the Tetley Tea bags better, Tetley bags are circles with no strings on them. These bags have strings which suck and add ink, paper, and metal to your tea if you leave them on. That’s why I cut them off, and shoot them the bird so there’s no confusion as to how I feel about them.
At this point of the process some people will have some objections about tossing the bags in too early and “burning the tea” which is a reasonable concern when you’re dealing with nice green teas, rishis, and others, but for my tea I like it strong and this method works. Toss the bags in as soon as they’re ready (even if the water isn’t boiling).
I have two wooden spoons that are only ever used to stir tea. They are then rinsed off with hot water, air-dried and put away. This results in a nice seasoned spoon that only ever tastes like Tea vs a spoon that imparts a tomato paste flavor since it was used to make Spaghetti the night before.
Once your water reaches a nice boil turn the heat down and let the tea brew at a low boil for another 5-10 minutes. If you think your tea needs more time let it brew longer. Careful with stirring and boiling these tea bags too much as they have tendency to rupture mix little leaves all in your tea. This isn’t the end of the world though.
Take the tea bags out of the pot, pour in your sugar, and give the whole brew a good stir with your teaspoon.
Fill you final pitcher with the rest of your water. It’s important that you put this water in the pitcher now before you pour that hot brew into the pitchers lest you melt your pitcher and ruin your tea.
Once you pour your brew into the pitcher with the water give it a good stir and then set it aside on a counter to cool down before you put the pitcher in the refrigerator.
Once the tea has cooled down in the fridge you’re ready to serve it up. I usually don’t bother putting ice in the glass but I did this time for the photo. Now it’s time to take a sip and enjoy the delicious brew you’ve just made.
Sweet Iced Tea Recipe
- 1 gallon water
- 1 1/4 cup white sugar
- 4 large tea bags