**Update to add: If you prefer, you can leave the sugar out. **
We drink a lot of iced tea around our house. When the weather turns warmer, we can go through more than a gallon a day. It seems like I am forever making iced tea when it is nice outside.
So I was making some juice from a frozen concentrate the other day and wondered why the same concept wouldn't work with iced tea.
I've never seen frozen iced tea concentrate in a store... I wonder if there is a reason why. Does it not have a long freezer life? Does it get bitter after so long? Or, has no one ever thought of it since you can make it from tea bags?
I decided to give it a shot because I think this could be a real time saver for me. To make iced tea, I usually heat 48 oz. of water in the microwave and let 3* of the large, family sized tea bags brew for an hour. I remove the tea bags, add just under a cup of sugar and add cold water to make a gallon. If I had concentrate in my freezer, I wouldn't have to wait an hour for more tea and it wouldn't be warm when I finish it.
To make the concentrate, I figured that since I use about a cup of sugar, I should at least have double that in water. I heated 20 oz of water (figuring that the tea bags will soak a little of it up permanently), added the tea bags and let it brew for two hours. (I thought that I should let it brew longer since there wasn't as much water as I usually use.) I added just under a cup of sugar and stirred it until the sugar was completely dissolved. I put it in the freezer since it was relatively cool (never put warm or hot items in your freezer- let them cool first).
That was a couple of days ago. Today, we were low on iced tea and it was just before supper. I got out the container of concentrate and set it in some water to thaw the sides a little. It popped right out of the container and into the pitcher. I filled it up to the gallon mark and stirred. It didn't take very long to thaw out completely.
I tasted... Excellent!!
My plans for this is to make several concentrates at one time. Even though I let them brew for a longer period of time, making more than two concentrates will save me time instantly!
Try it for yourself and see if you get the same results! Let me know about it!
*I prefer Luzianne brand. One bag is supposed to make a quart, but if you let it brew long enough, I find that 3 will make a very tasty gallon.