Ice lemon tea

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Dearest Sultana

Feel pretty good today. Did some grocery shopping in the morning then went home, got June to bed and started juicing 5 kg worth of lemons. To freeze and use to make lemon juice. More on lemon juice in a sec.

Used my food processor, even so it took me about 40 minutes! Thought I’d be done in no time with my recently discovered old-new food processor. Its been sitting in its box for the past 2 years, since before we moved  to this house really.

So last week when I had a peep into its box I became inspired and so today I decided to mass juice lemons (while they’re still in season and cheap), make a batch of German bratknoddle and another batch of meatballs. The food processor did cut down on some of the messy time but I still spent almost 4 hours and by the time I was shaping the meatballs to go in the oven, I was getting a headache and getting nauseous from the garlicky smell of the choritzo sausage meat that went into the meatballs. And the meatballs were cooked just in time for school pick up time.

So back to the lemon tea. I have a lot of weaknesses regarding food (and drinks to a lesser degree). I know I eat too much but I love food and I love comfort food even more, starchy foods, soups, foods that remind me of childhood. Of all the yummy things I can think of, iced lemon tea is all the way somewhere the top of the list.

I only started drinking lemon tea back when I was in school in Singapore. Its a common drink there, all kinds of brands. It was sold as a soft drink and was everywhere. When we moved to NZ, I really began to miss it and at first I couldn’t find any of it in NZ, over time they started importing it but they didn’t import “Seasons” which was my favourite brand, later on they imported Pokka lemon tea but it doesn’t taste quite like I remember it. And then later on Lipton started selling in the supermarkets, but even that wasn’t quite right. Oh and for a short time Coca-cola produced a lemon tea brand too, I think it was called Nestea and that was quite good but was discontinued. Sigh…

Strangely enough I never thought about making my own… I must have tried but got discouraged when it wasn’t how I liked it.

Fast forward many years later, tried again and hit the perfect recipe. And its so very simple, I have no idea why it took me so long!

Four ingredients: water, sugar, tea, lemon juice!
I used to use English Breakfast tea and that works very well but lately I’ve been experimenting with one bag English Breakfast and one bag Earl Grey and I really like it. I don’t know, maybe the bergamont from the Earl Grey will become too strong overtime and I might go back to the original recipe but for now I’m sticking with it. I also discovered on Garden Betty that adding a pinch of baking soda gives the tea a better and smoother taste. To be honest, I can only taste a very slight improvement but any improvement is good and it only takes me a second to add a pinch.

So the revised recipe for my Ice Lemon tea:
1 bag English Breakfast tea
1 bag Earl Grey tea
500ml just boiled water
Sugar, lots of it (I use about a cup but its a matter of personal choice)
Pinch of baking powder
3 juicy lemons, squeezed
Water to top up
Mix boiling water, tea bags, sugar and baking powder in a big jug and allow to steep.
Add cold water and lemon juice.  Mix and you’re done!
I like to use this a bit like a cordial and pour half of this mix and half water on to a glass of ice. Keep jug in fridge.
Especially good on a hot summers day, but its just the beginning of spring and I’m already making it a few times a week.

PS. When I’m feeling a bit bad about my sugar intake, I use a mix of granulated stevia and regular sugar.

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