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One of the very few things in life I am an expert in is Iced Tea.  Drinking 3-4 glasses a day will do that to a person.  It will also make you a little jittery and give you heartburn, but its a small price to pay for something so good.  And frankly, I need the caffeine to keep up with my life.

Here’s what I have discovered is the best method for me.

First, fresh filtered water- about 4 cups.  Put it in a clean pot and bring just to a boil.  Don’t microwave it!  I don’t know why, but it doesn’t taste as good or steep as well.

Once it has come to a boil, take it off the heat and put in 3 family size bags of black tea (I like Lipton or Red Rose).  I like it slightly fruity, so I also add two personal size bags of a peach or fruity herbal tea for a hint of sweet fruit. I also like it VERY strong, so if that’s not how you roll- use 2 family size tea bags instead.

Let it steep for exactly 5 minutes.  Set a timer.  This is where you can go horribly wrong with tea.  Too little- tastes like dirty water.  Too much- tastes bitter.  I’ve read that the anti-oxidants in tea can evaporate with the steam, so I cover mine while it steeps.  I also always keep it covered once its in the fridge because otherwise it tastes like leftovers.

Remove tea bags to your compost (no throwing food scraps in the garbage! Our city lets us put them in yard waste, find out if yours does too.).  I add 3 T unrefined or raw sugar and a handful of ice cubes.  Sometimes I use raw honey instead.  You can also use blue agave, or brown rice syrup. Find out what amount and type of sweetener you like best.

Give it a stir and about 10 minutes to cool off before you pour yourself a glass.  Its probably best if you cool it in the fridge before pouring a glass, but I can never wait that long.  Fill a cup with ice, pour your iced tea, and go enjoy a few minutes alone.  Sometimes I tell my kids I have a phone call and go sit outside for a few minutes all by myself.  Ssshh… don’t tell.  We do what we gotta do to keep ourselves sane, right?

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Also shared on these great blogs…

http://www.crystalandcomp.com, what I whipped up wednesday, allergy free wednesdayshttp://bizzybakesb.blogspot.com, cast party wednesday, full plate thursday, simple lives thursday, link it up thursday, melt in your mouth monday,  my meatless monday,  made it by monday,  tip me tuesday,  hearth and soul

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