There's nothing more refreshing on a hot day than sitting on a porch or in the shade of your backyard with a tall, frosty glass of sweet Southern-style iced tea. The secret to sparkling clear iced tea is slow cooling and a pinch of baking soda. Though there's nothing 'wrong' with cloudy tea or cloudy ice cubes — it just isn't as appetizing. We make a fresh jar every morning during the summer months as we make our morning coffee.
4 tablespoons Wellington Afternoon Blend or Leopard Blend (or your favorite medium bodied loose tea)
1 quart filtered water, cool
1 quart filtered water, heated
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar (add more or less to taste)
Optional: Clear ice cubes, lemon slices, mint sprigs
Put 1 quart of cool water in a half gallon mason jar or other heat-proof container.
Heat the other 1 quart of water to boiling in large saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in loose tea; allow to steep 3 minutes. Add baking soda and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves (about 30 seconds or so).
Pour tea through fine mesh strainer into cool water. Pour into tall glasses filled with clear ice. (Don't use cloudy freezer ice. Just don't.) Garnish with sprig of fresh mint or lemon slice, if desired.