1. I am a tea monster. No two ways about it. I love the stuff.
2. I've given up coffee. I wasn't drinking it, I was using it, like a drug It wasn't doing me any favours.
3. I'm a teacher. My morning break is only 10-15 minutes, and I usually have stuff to do. Pesky students.
4. Brewing a hot cup of tea, pouring a bit away and then adding some cold water from the tap is abhorrent. Yes, it's expedient when you need to drink your tea in a hurry, but see Point 1. Criminal!
So, I need a refreshing beverage to pick me up mid-morning (and usually mid-afternoon too) that doesn't need time to cool down, won't burn my mouth, and won't make me explode with caffeine. I also need something I can grab quickly in a busy office while I check emails, photocopy things and deal with pesky students.
The solution: Fridge brewed tea!
Step 1: Ingredients
2. A teabag. Nothing fancy or expensive, just a bog standard one will do the job.
3. Cold water. Straight from the tap.
When you're choosing a bottle you should bear in mind that a teabag will be going in and coming out. Try to get something with quite a wide opening and you can avoid fishing around with a chopstick trying to get the damn thing out again.
I've chosen Jasmine tea for this Instructable, mostly because I want to drink some tomorrow. While my first cuppa of the day is always hot, always a brand of blended breakfast tea, and always has milk in it, I usually brew fridge tea with something that doesn't usually have milk in it. The green teas, white teas, yellow teas, flower teas and jasmines are good, although I've also had some nice results with Earl Grey. At the moment I can count around 10 different kinds of teabag in the cupboard, and that's before I start on the loose leaf stuff, plus two cakes of pu'erh. Like I said, tea monster.
If you want to use loose leaf tea, jessyratfink's method has instructions on making a little tea pouch. As soon as I can find some cloth that my wife doesn't want, I'll brew up some long-jing. I love that stuff.
Step 2: Putting It All Together
2. Insert the teabag into the bottle. Not really much more to say about that.
3. Fill the bottle with cold water from the tap. Honestly, what's this page even doing here?
4. Upend the bottle a few times so the teabag floats up and down and gets really wet. Not sure if this helps, but I like to think it does.
5. Pop it in the fridge. This is going in overnight so I can take it to work in the morning. It'll be brewing for about 12-18 hours in total, but it'll be brewing very slowly, and there's only one teabag for a whole litre. It's only the last couple of cups from the end of the bottle that are sometimes a bit strong, but at that time of the afternoon I need it.
6. OPTIONAL STEP: Have your work checked by a 1 year old child. This step is optional because 1 year old children can be pretty hard to source. An older or younger child would probably be okay, but feel free to skip this step altogether.
Step 3: Job Done
I take mine into work with me to keep me perky through the day, but that's not the only thing you can do. I've taken bottles of tea on my afternoon walks with my family, and if I had a porch or a stoop, I'd take a bottle out there in the evening. You could also make three or four different bottles for a barbecue or a picnic.
There's also a lot of room for experimentation. Cold brewing brings out different flavours from the tea, and these days there's a pretty good range of teas available in supermarkets in the UK. Once you get outside the supermarkets the range becomes huge, of course, and there's the whole herbal thing if that's what you're into. Go play. I haven't experimented (yet) with putting a slice or two of lemon in the bottle with the teabag, but that could be an avenue that's worth exploring. If any mavericks out there have a SodaStream...
Right, I'm off to find some cloth. I fancy brewing some long-jing for tomorrow...