I used to work in a bank call centre. Due to the sensitive nature of the data we were working with the windows were always closed and blacked out. In the summer the air conditioning rarely worked. We weren’t allowed to wear strappy clothes or open toed shoes. So it could get rather uncomfortable. One summer I remember sitting back on my chair and telling a colleague that I could kill for an iced tea. His mouth dropped gobsmacked. I should probably tell you that my colleague was a 50-year-old Texan, who proceeded to tell me he had never met a single Brit who liked iced tea. He had been in the American military but had moved here for good a few decades previously. He then told me about sun tea – the first time I’d heard of it. He told me that the sun got so hot in Texas that they would make the tea cold and then stick it on the fence at the end of the yard for the hot sun to brew it.
The only iced tea you can really get here is Lipton which is either peach or lemon (sometimes mango) flavour. If you’re lucky you can find their green tea with lemon version. Before you could find Lipton in shops you would have to visit a health food shop to buy iced tea. I used to love getting the Arizona iced tea because the bottles were so beautiful.
I must admit I’m jealous when I watch an American film or tv show and they are sat in a restaurant and they have a glass of iced tea. I wish I could go into a food place and know that it was definitely going to be an option! Which is why I got so excited in Disneyland Paris when they has Nestea on tap in all the food places. Yum Yum!
I don’t know why exactly I like it so much except that I know it’s one of the few drinks that leaves me feeling instantly hydrated. My old boss found a place near our shop that sold it and in the summer she’d go off and buy it for me on hot days. A hydrated worker is a happy worker. She also used to buy me cream cakes but I think that was just so she wouldn’t feel bad if she ate them herself…..
Anyway, I was shopping in Bicester Shopping Village the other week and I went into the Bodum discount shop because I love my quirky kitchen gadgets. Lo and behold they were selling an iced tea jug! For some reason in their shop they take their products out of the box so I spent a good 5 minutes looking it over trying to work out what you do with it. I bought it anyway of course, and then went to the Bodum website to find out about it. This is what it said:
This distinctive BIASCA Iced Tea Jug by BODUM® is named after a small town located in the south of Switzerland where it gets unusually warm during otherwise chilly summers. For locals, cold brewed green tea provides exactly the energy kick needed after hiking in the nearby mountains. To recreate this experience at home, place a desired amount of green tea leaves in the BIASCA jug and fill it with cold water. Let it steep over night.
Totally fabulous. Minimal work and maximum flavour. I went to my local tea shop and bought some lemon flavour loose black tea to use with it. Now I’ve taken some photos of how to make it, but they’re a bit rubbish because I did it on the fly. But here you go;
Here’s the jug. It’s pretty – just over 1 ltr and all the parts are dishwasher safe. It fits fine into the door part of my fridge. The lid has a filter to stop the tea leaves going into your drinking glass when you pour. The filter also comes apart from the lid so it’s really easy to clean if any tea gets into the lid.
This is the tea I bought. You use quite a lot with each batch but I’ve made 2 batches so far (I’m the only one who drinks it in my house), and I’ve still got a load left.
I have to admit I made it all by eye, based on the photo on the website, but this amount was plenty – obviously add more or less to your own taste.
Then fill it up with cold water. I used tap water – if you can’t drink the tap water where you live then use filtered or bottled. I did read that if you use bottled water it helps to prevent a bitter taste you can get from the tea, but I haven’t found mine to be bitter.
And that’s it! Easy peasy. I make it at night in about 2 minutes before I go to bed. Don’t put it in the fridge or anything, just leave it on the side over night. It’s ready to drink about 12 hours after you’ve done it. This is a picture of the morning after:
Obviously this tea is now room temperature and not at all sweetened. I pour mine into a glass (the filter in the lid stops ALL tea leaves from going into the glass) and then I squeeze some honey in and stir until dissolved. Again I do this by eye and then by taste. You can add lemon or if you want to use sugar instead then make a sugar syrup and let it cool before using to sweeten. Then I drop in ice. Perfect.
So that’s how I came to live in iced tea heaven at home! It’s all I drink when it’s hot outside. I just hope that one day I can live in a country where ordering an iced tea is as standard in a restaurant as ordering a coke.