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Iced Tea: The Silver Lining

It seems that everywhere you turn these days, there is another article about this recession we’re stuck in — tent cities springing up, unemployment rates sky high. One of the most prominent topics is how to save money, which isn’t a bad thing. Being frugal is a good idea even in the best of times, since it leaves more money to do the things you love. It also helps to cut out waste, which is good for the environment. So as a tea drinker, what can you do?

Refreshing Iced Tea

We still have a few more days of warm weather and iced tea left. While there are some really great bottled iced teas on the market, sometimes they are hard to find, not to mention, a little expensive. Then you have a glass or plastic bottle to dispose of. So why not be prepared and carry iced tea with you? Then you have complete control over what you are drinking for pennies instead of dollars.

First, think about what kinds of bottled tea you usually buy. Do you go for black teas? Green? White? Or perhaps a mix? Do you like your tea plain, slightly sweet, or with a bit of lemon? Making your own gives you complete control.

To make iced tea, double the amount of tea you usually use. In most cases, for iced tea you should use two teaspoons per eight ounces of water. If you like it slightly stronger, use a tablespoon per eight ounces. For white, green, oolong, and black tea (anything from the camellia sinensis plant), follow the same steeping times as you would for hot tea. For herbal teas and rooibos, the longer you steep, the better. Steep for no less than five minutes, ten is better.

If you want your tea sweetened, add your sweetener of choice while the tea is still hot. There’s always sugar of course, or try honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup.

Then pour over ice, or just stick it in your fridge if you have time to let it chill. Make a big enough batch to keep you going for a couple of days and refill the container of your choice. I like those aluminum water bottles. Home bottled iced tea. Don’t leave home without it.

Check out Stephanie Hanson’s blog, The Tea Scoop, for all things tea!

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