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Diet and Nutrition

Green Ice Tea Best Way to make 1-3 Gallons

09/02/2003

Question:

I brew my own ice tea by putting about 4-6 bags of green lipton tea bags in the coffee maker to make one gallon. I then allow the tea to cool room temperature overnight. I recently read that oxidation occurs if the tea is left open to the air in an attempt to cool it after hot brewing. Is this true? Do you have any tips for me on the best way to make green ice tea? Also, I have been pouring the hot tea into a plastic gallon water jug. Is the hot temperature making my tea toxic by being too hot for the plastic? Sorry for the long question, but I just want to make sure I am making my ice tea the right way. Thanks

Answer:

I referred to various "tea experts" on the web to help me answer your question. According to the Celestial Seasonings website "Green tea is brewed differently from black tea because its fresh green leaf makes a slightly astringent tea. With cooler water and shorter brewing time, you get more delicate flavor from the unfermented leaf." They provide this recipe for iced tea by the pitcher using tea bags: "Pour 2 cups of very hot water over 4 tea bags. Steep 3 minutes then remove the bags. If desired, stir in your favorite sweetener while the tea is hot. Add 2 cups of cold water and chill". The World Consortium of Companies, Inc (see reference below) recommends that iced green tea only be made from cold water. Here is what they had to say about brewing loose tea, "…please double the amount of the Green Tea leaves used to brew it in cold water in a sealed container. This way you keep the aroma, the natural color and the medicinal health benefits of the Green Tea. The reason this way is better, is that you avoid oxidation that can occur if the tea is left open to the air in an attempt to cool it after hot brewing. The brewing time is actually very short. For example, 10-15 cups of tea can be brewed in a jar in the ice box in just 30-45 minutes…" Salada tea`s website also provides directions for brewing iced green tea, as do many others. I recommend that you experiment with the various brewing methods, and then choose the one that works best for you and produces the taste that you desire. In addition, I see no problem with using a plastic container for brewing tea if the manufacturer approved it for use with hot beverages. (A plastic water jug probably does not fit this criterion). If you decide to change your tea preparation and use only cold water, this shouldn`t be an issue. I hope that this information is helpful to you. 

Related Resources:

World Consortium of Companies, Inc.

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Response by:

Jane   Korsberg, MS, RD, LD Jane Korsberg, MS, RD, LD
Senior Instructor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University