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Is making iced tea as expensive as it seems?

I buy my tea in 3 oz increments for $13 (I know that’s extremely cheap for some people on here but for me it’s perfect) and the tea lasts me quite a long time. But yesterday I just made a pitcher of iced tea which required 10 teaspoons of the tea I have and the pitcher only seems to last me two days. Compare that with the two teaspoons it takes to last me one day with hot tea and it seems kinda expensive to make iced tea.

So tell me, how many times can I resteep these 10 ounces into iced tea. And if I can’t, am I doing something wrong that is making it seem more expensive than it is?

15 Replies
cteresa said

It all depends on the tea you are using. Because 3 oz is 100 grams, and $13 is 10-11 euros which IMO is pretty pricey for most teas, though pretty cheap for others. But all depending on what tea you are using, I can get some really good indian mix or ceylon tea usually for around 5 euros per 100 grams, some very good chinese plain blends for about 7 euros per 100 grams, some mariage freres blends for about 7-9 euros per 100 grams. And some fruity hibiscus blends for 4 euros per 100 grams and sometimes they came with a nice reusable tin.

But usually let me figure out, for 1 liter (30 ounces? dunno) of tea I use:

15 grams of hibiscus tea, the 4 euros per 100 grams one, which will make 60 cents per liter. Not too cheap.

10-12 grams of Mariage Freres´ Casablanca or Nil Rouge, at about 8 euros per gram, makes a total of 80-90 cents per liter. Ok, not much cheaper than soda, particularly if you add sugar.

8 grams of a Ceylon tea plus fruit – 40 cents per liter, plus fruit. Pricier than the cheaper own brand iced tea from the discount supermarket actually.

So yeah, iced tea can be pricey, at least pricier than hot tea.

I don´t resteep tea for iced tea.

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darby select said

I personally don’t double the amount of tea that I use when making iced as I cold brew overnight. Even when I do a hot brew I make it hot and put into the fridge – not over ice as that’ll water it down.

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Lala said

I think it depends on the technique you are using. Some iced tea recipes call for a lot of tea to be used. I usually brew a normal amount of tea (1-2 tsp) in 1-2 cups of water for 15 minutes, then add ice and let melt, or add 4-6 cups cold water to dilute it to taste. When I cold brew I actually end up using less tea than I would if I was hot brewing, because it steeps for a long time in the fridge (6tsp for 64 oz).

It also depends on the tea you are using, some teas need more when brewing iced just because of how they taste. Some companies acutally sell tea designed for making iced tea. Just experiment and see what you like.

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Anyanka said

I use cheap bagged tea for iced tea or resteep my hot tea past its prime and ice that. I can’t taste flavors nearly as well cold, so I don’t waste the first steeping of a good tea. I also brew weaker iced tea than hot tea.

But, if you like strong, high quality iced tea, I can see how it would be pricy.

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Angrboda said

I tend to use more leaf when making a cold brew, so for me it’s definitely more expensive. On the other hand, I tend to do it primarily with teas that I don’t really super-much care for otherwise, so in that way it evens out. :)

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I agree with Angrboda Iced tea/cold brewing is definitely more expensive but it’s such a great way to use up teas that you are not keen on or don’t plan on purchasing again.

You may find it best to even mix your own to make it cheaper, there are always very cheap fruit mixed teas around that you could use two parts of that and one part of a nice tea to make something half decent.

ifjuly said

Yeah, this. I know not everyone is like this but personally I can’t detect subtle nuanced flavor when tea is cold nearly as well as when it’s warm, so I tend to set aside any tea samples I’m not too crazy about hot expressly for the purpose of making iced tea with them later (cold steeping is the way to go for that). You can always add runover herbs from your garden too, as mentioned.

And I’m also not ashamed to use Luzianne for sweet tea (which involves it own particular voodoo methods, ha)—it just feels wrong to make it with anything else.

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gmathis said

I agree with Anyanka — cheap steeps are the way to go with iced tea. I keep a big box of grocery store brand on hand in the summer just for that. Or if I want to try something a little finer, I’ll only do a quart at a time.

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K S said

Cheap steeps all the way baby! Tastes just like Mom use to make. You know, like last Saturday night ;)

Or, try resteeping your expensive stuff several times and pouring it all in the same pitcher before icing. If 2tsp lasts all day hot, I see no reason 4tsp won’t last 2 days iced.

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Uniquity said

I don’t actually like iced tea (I much prefer water or hot tea) but I cold steep tea for the beau on occasion. It is much more economical BUT time consuming. When he wants a cup of iced tea right away we brew double strength and pour over ice, which uses twice as much tea for just one steep. It’s a difficult balance.

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Garret said

Yep! With great loose leaf tea, you can make many steepings of the same leaf. Even with black teas here at the shop, we do 3 steeps of the same leaf – 1 min, 2 min and a 5 minute and combine them in a pitcher to keep in the fridge and serve over ice. It’s excellent. With some other teas, our milk oolong for example, I will steep 5 to 10 times and combine the steeps.

If you are brewing to serve as iced tea right away, certainly you will need to use extra leaf and a longer steep as the hot tea will cause quicker melt in the ice. Brewing it stronger will lead to less dilution of the tea flavor.

Tea ya!

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