Iced tea is a summer staple, and a great choice on boats when you really don’t want another soda or beer.
But how to make it without boiling water or putting something hot in the refrigerator?
Basically, when it’s over 100º F. outside, I don’t want to have heat from the stove or humidity from boiling water inside the boat. And the refrigerator is running almost nonstop, and I don’t want to overtax it by putting in a bottle of hot liquid as would happen with sun tea.
Cold-brewed tea is the perfect answer. Just add tea bags to a bottle of water, put it in the refrigerator, and let it brew as it chills. No heat or humidty in the boat and no load on the refrigerator beyond what any other stored drink would impose on it.
Just recently, I saw that Lipton’s (and probably some other brands) were selling special tea bags for cold brewed tea and bought a package to try. I really didn’t notice a difference in the finished product — despite saying that the tea would be fully brewed in 5 minutes of frequent dunking, it tasted more like colored water at that point. Left overnight, it brewed to a normal taste. Bottom line: the special cold brew tea bags aren’t necessary and really don’t add anything.
Cold-Brewed Iced Tea
- 1/2 gallon water
- 12 tea bags
- Fill half gallon bottle with water, leaving at least an inch and a half of air space at the top.
- Put tea bags in water, with tags hanging outside of top.
- Put lid on and screw on tight.
- Place in refrigerator at least 10 hours or overnight until tea is chilled and brewed. Tea bags can be removed.
Erin Jackson says
I’m so glad you posted this! We drink a lot of tea. When we leave the states and Arizona tea isn’t available, you’ve given us another option. I was planning on making Sun tea, cold brewed is even better!
Chuck Wass says
It’s HOT for our little fury friends too Don’t forget ice cubes in Paz’s water dish !!! Hopefully hes not tied up under the boat ?
The Boat Galley says
She gets cold water several times a day (no ice for her or us) and is currently napping in front of the AC. She’s the lucky one who doesn’t have to work outside!
Roberta Nunemaker says
I just tried one of those Cool Towels from Sports Authority and they work amazingly well…it really cools u down…Great help!
Did you try making Cold Brewed Coffee to make iced coffee in the summer? It is just like the tea.
First, you fill a container 60% with water. Then, you add coffee grounds. The more grounds, the richer (concentrated) the coffee will be. I like to make it very rich. This makes the container last for 2-3 days. After the grounds are added, fill the container the rest of the way up with water. Shake the container to wet, and mix the coffee grounds. Shake the grounds to mix several times throughout the time that the container is cold brewing, to make sure that the coffee grounds ‘leach’ the flavor out into the water.
Let the coffee mixture stay overnight in the fridge.
The next day, line a strainer with a coffee filter, and pour the coffee mixture through the strainer/filter to transfer the cold brewed coffee mixture in to another container. I just use a mixing bowl. Then, when the grounds are cleared out (you may need 2 or so coffee filters for this) just rinse the original container out (for any remaining coffee grounds) and return the coffee mixture to the original container. Keep in fridge. Enjoy.
Carolyn Shearlock says
I’ve done it a couple times, but I’m far more an iced tea drinker than iced coffee . . .
Sheryl Shard says
Thanks Carolyn. I’m looking forward to trying this!
Roy Hulse Cox says
Lipton …. (shudder)
The Boat Galley says
Use your own preference . . .
Joanna Antkowiak Castells says
Try Tazo’s passion tea – my favorite!
Cheryl Geeting says
We love iced tea and never thought of this. Thanks for the tip!
Michele MV Double Trouble says
We have been brewing our tea like this for years. I love using Celestial Seasonings herbal teas also. I am enjoying all your tips and have gotten quite a few things you have recommended on your blog. Thanks so much!! We are preparing to shove off in a few years.
You obviously aren’t a Southerner because you failed to mention adding sugar, lots and lots of sugar. Personally, I prefer my Tea Unsweet but I migrated to the south 25 years ago and my Southern friends and neighbors cringed when I offer them any of my preferred beverage. For a true southerner, it has to be Sweet Tea and adding the sugar AFTER isn’t generally acceptable.
That’s where making Sun Tea comes in handy. Place your container with water and Tea bags in the sun and let the sun warm the water (make sure to leave enough room for your desired amount of sugar to be added later) Once the water is warm enough and Tea has steeped to your desired strength, stir in your sugar, seal the container and place in a shady spot until it cools down and can be placed in the fridge.
Another (pardon the pun) Solution is to get liquefied sugar (aka simple syrup) and add that to your Tea after cold brewing. I find adding sugar before/during the steeping process limits how well the Tea will steep.
Carolyn Shearlock says
Ah, no, I’m a northerner and now a diabetic, so no sugar for me! But for all those who DO want sweet tea, thanks for the tips!