Can you make iced-tea ultra-concentrate?

I love iced tea. But I drink about half a gallon a day, and I always forget to make it at night. I use the basic usual process, four bags of Lipton, a bag of fruit tea in a quart of boiling water, then dilute with another quart and put in in the fridge. And cold brewing tea just sucks.

But is there a tea solubility limit? Has anybody here ever put like 50 bags in a quart of water once a week, to make a concentrate, then mix like 12-1 or something? Does it work and taste like tea?

I always start with two cups of boiling water, steeping the tea, adding sugar, and then diluting it to 1/2 gallon of tea total. It always turns out great. If you’re feeling really adventurous, I guess you could even try it with one cup and see how it goes.


Mentioned in Gorky Park.

I use a tea brewing machine. I fill it with water, and teabags to a little hopper thingy, place the pitcher, turn it on. In theory, I think I could then dilute that product with water, sugar to taste, and drink…but what I actually do is pour that first batch in to another pitcher, refill the machine, and brew again, using the same teabags. Then I combine batches, sugar, and drink. I use 6-7 teabags per half gallon, and about 3/4 cup of sugar.

None of which answers the question in the OP, sadly. Sorry.

Sure. You can buy tea concentrate, and it’s no problem to make at home. Just use whatever amount of tea you normally use with less water. If you sweeten the tea when making, add the normal amount of sugar as well. Refrigerate and reconstitute. So, for example, you could use 4 of the large teabags meant to make 1 qt tea. Use only 1 qt water with the 4 bags (1/4 the amount of water you’d normally use). To use, combine 1 part concentrate to 3 parts cold water.

It seems like what you’d butt against wouldn’t be the solubility limit, it’d be that after a point you’re extracting more of the bitter tannin compounds from the tea.

Which is undesirable.

If I was going to try it, I’d make a batch of regular tea - regular dose, regular brewing time.

Then I’d remove the tea bag (or leaves). From then I’d gently boil the tea until I’d reduced the liquid volume to maybe 1/4 its original volume.

Voila, “tea concentrate”. I have no idea how much water you could take off and still be able to reconstitute good tasting tea. Nor am I sure if extended boiling would break down some of the delicious “tea” molecules.

Like I said, I’d try a very slow boil. If I had a vacuum apparatus in the kitchen I’d boil gently under a partial vacuum to keep the temp low while driving the water off.

You could probably then freeze the concentrate.

Like I said, this is only a mind exercise - I’ve never tried it. But it might work.