Sunday, May 23, 2010

we are lipton girls

Faith and I have been enjoying a lot of iced tea lately. It is so refreshing and nice to have a healthier comfort beverage than my old Diet Coke (I have done incredibly well with eliminating it almost altogether). I love having a pitcher of iced tea ready to go in the fridge. I take mine with a big squeeze of lemon and tons of ice. Faith has hers with less ice and a babyspoon and a half of sugar.
Here is the pitcher I am using now. Not ideal, because it doesn't have a lid. We started out using this one, which has a nice glass stopper, but Faith broke it recently when taking it out of the dishwasher. It's actually still available, but I'm on the spending freeze, so am making due with this green pitcher. I just use the glass stopper from the old one (I set it down in there but it doesn't really fit of course). Using this one instead of replacing the old makes me feel resourceful, frugal, and has the distinct advantage of increasing my use of a very pretty pitcher in my favorite shade of green which otherwise wasn't getting very much use at all.
We are total Lipton girls! I bought this giant Costco-sized 3-pack and we were so excited to open it (for real--we love the lowbrow simple pleasures). Faith pointed out how good it smells. We steep the tea in boiling water right in the pitcher then fish out the tea bags after awhile, add in some more water, then chill it. I'd love to hear how to make your iced tea and what your favorite tea is to drink iced.


Rhonda said...

Ice tea is a favorite in our house. We like it strong, mostly pekoke or green tea flavors and very cold with lots of sugar and a dash of lemon. I sometimes add rosewater for a different taste. We have very Canadian tastes when it comes to ice tea.

I remember in high school working as a waitress in northern Canada, serving an American couple. The man ordered ice tea. He proceeded to tell me in no uncertain terms how wrong the ice tea was, and how it was inappropriate to not let him know it was sweet ice tea, and he refused to pay for the ice tea. I had no idea that American ice tea was any different than Canadian ice tea. I, of course, had to pay for his ice tea. I learned that day that everyone had different tastes... in general!

Mary Beth said...

I love hearing that story, Rhonda. Thank you so much! I'm so fascinated by cultural differences and similarities.

nicole said...

i love lipton tea too! hot or cold.

(lia) said...

Rhonda's story reminded me of my first trip to the South. At that time I always used sugar in my tea, so when I was offered "sweet tea" or not I opted for sweet. WOAH! I had no idea HOW sweet they made it. The rest of the trip I asked for half & half.

Lately I've been on a green tea kick myself. I make a big pot of tea then transfer it to a pitcher & chill it. I squeeze about half an orange worth of juice in it. No sugar. It's really refreshing.

Birgit said...

I never really liked tea but lately I just love it. I hardly drink anything else anymore.

My favorite by far is the "Roisbos Orange" tea by a German brand called Teekanne.
I love hot or cold. But as it's getting warmer outside I usually drink it, when it's cold.
In fact I'm sitting here with a glass of it right next to me.

Riffkir said...

This really made me giggle. If I offered iced tea in my house I think I would be sent away with a flea in my ear!

Doesn't help that we are British so tea comes hot with milk in. Maybe our weather never gets that hot to justify it. However we are having a bit of a heat wave at the moment (for the UK) and yesterday afternoon were at a party where eventually most of the adults had a cup of tea - hot with milk in.

I am considered a bit of a oddity as I do not drink caffeine however I drink decaf tea hot with milk in. Maybe I will expand my families minds and offer iced tea. I get the feeling this will mark me as really odd!!!

Denise C. said...

I have not had iced tea in a long time. I too am a Lipton girl. It has such a simple flavor which is perfect for me.

I lived in Texas for 5 years, and the iced tea there was SUPER see your dentist because you're going to have lots of cavities sweet.

I had the exact same green pitcher. Unfortunately my son broke it (I watched helplessly as it fell and broke to smithereens.)

One more note....I am curious about your spending freeze. (That sounds like an awesome goal for my own month-to-month happiness project...inspired by you!)

rm said...

I had to laugh in agreement with Riffkir, so hot here (uk) and my need for hot tea is driving me crazy.

Mary Beth, hi, I've been lurking around here forever. Sorry and hello.

Well done with the coke!! I gave up (not diet) in February and that's it out my life. If I have any I'll be hooked again, so I need to keep clear. I like to buy sparkling water a few times a week as I realised that I missed the texture of coke.

Tea bags make a wonderful sensory activity (we play with dry tea in bowls and draw on paper with wet, then Egg will burst them open and make a really big mess).


Gift of Green said...

Hi Mary Beth,

We make iced tea in a similar way. We boil water in a spaghetti pot, at the tea bags when it is up to a boil, turn off the heat and let the tea bags steep. I never thought about adding water to the tea - I guess we like ours strong. We take ours unsweetened, contrary to the fact that we live in "the South". We also use Lipton, but ones we treated ourselves to a Paul Newman brand and it was delish. Almost spoiled us to the Lipton.

Say, Mary Beth, will you be doing a post soon on how you're preparing for summer (five weeks to go for us, but who's counting?). I always like to get ideas from someone who is in the same situation!

Rain said...

I make my iced tea from Twinnings Earl Grey. I love it because it's a little lighter than my morning tea-Irish Breakfast.
I make mine in one of those half gallon mason jars. I use 4 tea bags fill it 3/4 full with boiling water & then while it's hot I add a little bit of sugar. I HATE adding sugar to cold tea. I add lemon before I drink it. Delicious.
I also would love to hear more about your no spending freeze.

DangAndBlast! said...

Here in Texas it's often sun tea -- put the (regular tap) water and bags in a huge glass jar (if you're lucky like me, you have one designed for it that has a spigot at the bottom!) and set it out on your porch in the sun. In about an hour, take it in, pour it over ice, and you're good!

I use Tetley's black tea (from Britain, not the weaker kind they make for the US market) and a bag of Wild Berry Zinger from celestial comforts, and it makes a nice, lightly flavored, huge vat of tea.

Laura said...

Hi Mary Beth. I have been lurking around for a while, and I love your blog. You have many great ideas.
I love to make iced tea, or sun tea. I have a ton of herbs growing in my garden, so usually I add one of them to my teas. Sometimes I make sun tea, which is going to be happening today, or I use my iced tea maker. One of my favorites is to take lavender from the garden, two peach tea bags and a couple of regular lipton bags and brew together. So yummy.

Little Ol' Liz said...

We're iced tea drinkers, from the hot brewed and iced Lipton, to a wild mix of herbals (anything "Zinger" and lots of Peppermint) - anything's the limit! We really like the new Green Tea with Citrus that Lipton has put out.

And if we can't have caffiene? Ice water with thin sliced lemons and fresh ginger mulled in the enamel pitcher before the ice goes in. Now THAT tastes like summer to us!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I just made a batch of sun tea using store-brand Green Tea bag and 1/2 a cup of sugar. Heavenly! The kiddos like to mix in a little fruit juice.

Heather said...

Oh I love iced tea. Love it Love it Love it. I make so many different kinds, and I enjoy everything from iced tea with lemonade and thyme leaves, to a good cup of Lipton with a slice of orange.

I try and grow three or four different kinds of mint in the garden to enjoy with them.

Family of 4.... said...

Marybeth have you tried the Lipton Cold Iced Tea brew? We use it mostly as I don't really like to have to brew the tea and then ice it. It tastes pretty good. I'm a fan of the British Tetley hot tea. It's very good and at one point I was drinking hot tea with creamer in it in the am. I have switched back over to coffee and now think I should try tea again, now that summer is coming up.

Love iced tea, always have. Enjoy making and drinking it. :-)


Amanda @ said...

We quite like iced tea here, too--particularly since moving to the South from the West six months ago. I especially like the Constant Comment Green Tea iced. Brew it in not-quite-boiling water for FIVE minutes, then take the bags out (the timing keeps it from becoming bitter). As for sweetening, I quite like agave nectar. It dissolves very quickly and doesn't impart a sugary flavor. More honey-like. Yum!

Elaina said...

I'm a huge iced tea drinker too, and actually wrote a whole blog post last year about how I make it. Since then, I've stopped making it, and started buying the jugs of it from Trader Joe's! If you want to see how I used to make it, here's the link:

Mountain Mama (Wesley Jeanne) said...

Just a tip: I bought a beehive glass carafe (with stopper) identical to that one for much less than that at Wal-mart (the Evil Corporation). I think I got it for $6 or $7.

I am eliminating Diet Coke from my life too and bought my carafe to hold tea for the summer, so I'm enjoying these comments.

hanna said...

mmm, sounds delicious and refreshing, and the green pitcher is gorgeous! - and it matches your little jug.

Sarah said...

we're a spice it up kind of family...I use to be all out for Lipton but now I like to try whatever is available :) I keep an assortment of caffeine free berry and green teas available at all times (with two people with type 1 diabetes we need options). So, sometimes I'll plop a few berries with a green tea, or maybe a blueberry and some orange slices....whatever catches my fancy. And I just throw it in a big sun tea pot with warm water. Let it brew in the sun for the afternoon, add a few handfuls of ice and put it in the fridge. We've found a ton of fun different flavors. Oh, and we add mint from our garden often, too...I think that's the boys favorite part of helping me make tea!

Maiz said...

I love iced tea, too, but I'm still drinking it hot right now. I like to use more tea and steep for 3 minutes max (less frugal, but less bitter).

Here's my favorite pitcher:

It's not vintage or cool, but it is glass and fits really nicely in the fridge.

We drink a lot of "spa water" in the summer, which is just a big pitcher of water with cucumber slices, mint, lemon & orange slices. Not tea, really, but very fresh and nice for the kids.

Removalist Melbourne said...

I just discovered that I'm not the only one. A day wouldn't be complete without a glass of ice tea.

Hannah said...

my favourite ice tea is made with an earl grey blend of redbush (rooibos) tea. I have a brand called Dragonfly here in the UK.

It really does fill that cola hole.

Stacy of KSW said...

Funny, we're delving in to the art of iced tea this summer too. My 4 yo says his favorite part is picking out the special ingredient (I like to add a cinnamon bag here or an orange spice bad there, just to change it up a bit). We have two plastic beverage dispensers that we keep different flavors and in the name of summer, I'm thinking I'll teach the kids to make some sun tea this week. I'll bet they will love it :)

Oh yeah, it's my 1st visit to your site by way of an Artful Parent interview, just can't wait to read more.

Tonya said...

Iced tea is definitely a favorite here...although I am usually the only one who drinks it...and this is why:
I steep my tea bags (usually Lipton as well) for awhile...the darker the better to me. Then I put concentrated lemonade in my pitcher (my favorite is the frozen Minute Maid cans - use half the can, but have also used Crystal Light - just the powder...this is why I don't usually let the kids have it because it isn't exactly the healthy-est refreshment), I sometimes use a good lemon concentrate too. Anyway, this usually acts as my sweetner so no extra sugar is added. I put lots of ice in the pitcher and fill with the tea. Dilute with water until flavor is as desired.

One of my absolute fave teas is Ginger Peach by The Metropolitan Tea Company... it came in a little wooden box (oh how I LOVE to repurpose those wooden boxes), but I can't seem to find it anymore. Anyone know a similar substitute?

Thanks for a great post MaryBeth!

Dayna said...

We are a tea drinking house too. I just found that I can fill my glass pitcher with water add my tea bags and put the whole thing directly into the fridge. No heating necc. Has made life so simple. We love the STASH tea flavors and occasionally add herbs from the garden.

lisarenata said...

when it come to ice cold tea I am lazy. I like the instant Lipton. Bad I know and according to tea experts it does not taste the same as when heated. Well. What can I say. But when it comes to hot that I am picky about.

btw- check out Maya Made blog. She made this great elastic wrap to keep in place cloth napkins or pretty hand towels over dishes. What you do is place the napkin over your dish (in this case pitcher) and then keep it in place with the elastic wrap. can make it all with what you have at home. I plan to make several, because I am always covering my pitchers with these plastic covers that look like shower caps (and well once they are all torn- and most are) I don't plan to use any more plastic to replace them. Such perfect timing. Hehe.