Friday, June 17, 2011

Tea For Way More Than Two

I'm attending an all-day meeting tomorrow for about 150 people. For lunch they're serving sandwiches, assorted side dishes and salads, iced tea, and lemonade. I volunteered to make the tea, because I figured it would be an easy job...I didn't stop to think how much I'd need for that many people!

After resolving a couple of issues, today was tea-making day. Eight gallons ready to go.

Years ago I used to make sun tea, filling an empty milk jug with water, adding tea bags, and then setting it on the deck for a couple of hours. However, somewhere along the line scientists proclaimed that sun tea is bad, because the sun doesn't get the water hot enough to kill any lurking bacterial nasties.

I had a problem coming up with containers to hold that much tea. When the boys all lived at home, we went through 4 or 5 gallons of milk every week, and it would have been easy to save enough, Since now it's just Tony and me, we drink substantially less. Fortunately Tony had four two-gallon jugs left over from a project. I washed them well and lined them up on the counter, waiting to be filled.

Since I couldn't use the sun's power, I had to make the tea with boiling water. My stock pot, which is the biggest one I have, would only hold two gallons of water. In order to keep the project from taking all night, I made each two-gallon batch double strength. After it had steeped, I poured it into two jugs, then added an equal amount of water. I let them cool a bit, then slid them into the refrigerator, where they took up all the extra room on the milk shelf.

I repeated the process a second time, emptying and removing a refrigerator shelf so the containers could fit. There are jugs of iced tea everywhere, but only till tomorrow morning. After breakfast they'll get moved to my car along with the other things I'm taking.


  1. Wow, that's awesome you volunteered to make the ice tea, I probably would have just bought the junk from the store! lol That sure was kind of you.

  2. Have fun! The lunch sounds yummy!

  3. I use reverse osmosis water and organic tea therefore no bacterial nasties! However, I agree with darlin...I woulda bought it! Good for you! :)

  4. Sounds like a lot of work! You were smart about the double-strength.

    Back in high school I worked at a fast food restaurant. We had one of those super-large stainless steel tea dispensers. We would fill it with ice, and then brew the tea in the coffee pot. The tea bags were commercial-size, and I forget all the ratios. But basically we would brew one (or more?) pots of super-strength tea, then pour it over the ice in the dispenser. But even then, it was still super-strength (and I think it was kept hot all day too...scooping ice was just faster than pouring so much water into the thing).

    To serve, we would fill the cups with even more ice and pour the dispenser tea over it.

    Have fun!