It’s Tea Time!!!

The other day, while trying to come up with something to post about, I ran out of tea.  I went to the kitchen to make more, and that was when I realized that I could post about that!  This blog is mostly about doing things on a budget, and helping the planet, with lots of decorating tips thrown in.  Truth is, making my own tea saves me probably around 50 bucks a month, if not more, and since I’ve always made my own tea, I just assumed everyone knew how to do it.  But maybe you don’t.  Maybe you have fallen in love with iced tea, along with the rest of the nation, and make a run to McDonalds everyday for a 32 sweet tea, since it’s only a buck.  And if that’s the case, I could save you… ok, that’s only 40 something dollars a month, but still, that could add up.

All you need to make your own tea is a coffee pot, loose tea, sugar, water, coffee filter, funnel, and a gallon sized jug.  We use an old milk jug.

When I went to college, a coffee maker was the only appliance I took to my dorm room.  My roommates were confused when I told them I didn’t drink coffee.  I do now, but that’s not part of this story.  Also, at least here in the south, people tend to be very brand loyal when it comes to tea.  I use Lipton, it looks like this…

Some people are Louzianne people; we are Lipton people.  I can’t even tell you why.  It’s just what we have always used, and it’s pretty good.

To make a gallon of sweet tea, you will need to pull out your coffee pot, and fill the water reservoir all the way up.  Mine holds 12 cups.

(You thought I was kidding earlier when I talked about my crackle-finish cabinets, didn’t you?)  Place your coffee filter into the hopper, and then add 5 heaping teaspoons of tea leaves.

Then just close ‘er up, and turn ‘er on.

While the tea is brewing, add a bit of hot water to your jug; I usually use about an inch.  Then, pour in your sugar — this is where the funnel comes in.  *Important note:  Always add the sugar before you get your funnel wet.

And swirl to help dissolve the sugar.  As for the amount, it is really up to you for how sweet you like your tea, and how strongly you have brewed it.  We like just a hair more than 1/2 a cup, but my dad still uses 2 full cups for the same gallon size batch of tea.  We have to cut it with water when we visit.

You may also notice that our tea jug is a bit brown.  I view it like the Italians view coffee pots.  We rinse the jug out each batch, but the build up adds flavour.  It also helps to identify which jug is the Tea Jug.

After you add your sugar, fill your jug with cold water, leaving just enough room for your brewed tea.  This is a trick that Husband taught me.  If you add the water after you’ve added your tea, it will foam up, and you can’t fill it as full.  Sure, this will be mere ounces, but when you drink as much tea as I do, those ounces count!

So on an old milk jug, and with my coffee 12 cup coffee maker, the water gets filled up to right about where I took the picture.  Then just add your brewed tea, and shake.

That’s a pretty sweet pour, isn’t?  And I even did it with my left hand so I could shoot the picture with my right.  I’m just that awesome.

Once it’s all put together, I usually let it sit out to cool down before I add it to the fridge.  The gallon lasts me anywhere from a couple of days to a week, depending on guests, and my own appetite.

Add ice, and enjoy summer!

Do you make your own tea?  Do you have a different method?

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Filed under Cooking, Fun and Free Ideas, Musings, Save my Wallet, Save the Earth

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