Thursday, 7 July 2011


Fact: store-bought iced tea--whether prepared or in an easy-to-mix powder--is chock full of sugar. Fact: there's a better, less sugary way to prepare and drink iced tea.

While iced tea (or sweet tea for our American friends) may not have as much sugar as soda, it is considered a 'soft drink'. And with good reason, as its sugar content doesn't trail far behind those fizzy sugar-saturated liquids.

I never was a huge fan of iced tea, but recently I've fallen in love with the refreshing summer beverage--no, not the sweet syrup(y) kind you can get at the grocery store or the nearest restaurant, but the kind you can make at home, where you can control the sugar content (so as not to add an unnecessary amount) and what kind of sugar (because, as I'll explain in a later post, this matters). See below for my go-to iced tea recipe:

White Lemon Iced Tea

1 1/2 litres water, boiled
2 tea bags (I use white tea, but you can use whatever you like)
agave nectar, to taste
1/2 lemon, sliced

1. In a kettle or pot, bring water to a boil. Place tea bags in a glass jar, jug, or pitcher (I use a wine carafe and it works perfectly) and carefully add the hot water until full. I'm basing the 1 1/2 litre measure off of how much tea I made--in my size of carafe--but depending on the size of your canister, you may need more or less water.

2. Let tea brew for about an hour, then move to the refrigerator to chill for a few hours or overnight.

3. Once tea is chilled, add agave nectar to taste and stir well. Add lemon slices and serve over ice.

Try This: If I'm just keeping chilled tea in the refrigerator for my own enjoyment, I like to keep it unsweetened. This way, I can sip a glass of cold tea in the evening (guilt-free) without the added sugar. When I want something sweet, I'll just add a bit of agave, stir, and enjoy!

While agave is my choice of sweetener, feel free to use crystallized sugar or even honey as a sweetening-agent.

image via that kind of woman

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