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Here is another from my 'bag of tricks'. We call it 'Cheat Tea' as it can be used both hot and cold, which is good for the weather transition months and keeps well, on the counter, as there is no sugar to 'turn'. It also stretches the tea supply.


One large mason jar with plastic lid.

Four 1 cup teabags of the tea of your choice.

Five packets of Truvia brand sweetener (Stevia)

Five drops Real Lemon brand lemon juice, optional, if for iced tea only.


Dump the sweetener in the jar. Any stevia based sweetener will do, but you want to be equivalent to ten tablespoons of sugar. The 'carrier' in Truvia helps with any overbrewing harshness, which you can get with some teas, like Bigelow brand orange spice. Drop the teabags in the jar after removing any strings, etc. Boil water to hard boil. Put jar in sink, in case of thermal shock breakage. Pour the boiling water to half way up the neck. Lightly cap and let cool. If using lemon juice, add it after cooling, and stir, but be aware that the addition will make the tea 'turn' quicker. No, you do not need to pull out the bags.


Even without the lemon, it will eventually turn, but it never lasts twenty four hours in this kitchen, so it never has a chance to turn.


If you want iced tea, pour over ice, it will be slightly stronger than a standard iced tea you are used to, but good. If you want hot tea, simmer up on the stove top, or microwave. And if that man is going to be working in the field, you can make it in a two liter plastic bottle for him to take with him (bags in the tea!). The bottle can be reused if you have a good set of needlenose pliers to put the used bags out.


If needing a Christmas theme tea, use Celestial Seasonings brand Nutcracker Sweet using this method. Very smooth, almost a coffee.


If you think your hot tea is weak on 'mouth feel', put some maltodextrin in it. Some use PG, but I am sensitive to that stuff.



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I am sorry, but this is still not a safe thing to do. Tea left out at room temperature like that will grow bacteria and can make you very sick. Happened to my boss at a function. She was so ill for days. Leaving it at room temp that long is a problem. Tea should be kept on ice or in the fridge, not on the counter unrefrigerated. We teach it is the same as any other food, no more than 2 hours. After that, throw it out.




When people read a person's food safety information, you are libel when posting information if someone gets ill from following your recommendations. You can be taken to court and sued. Please, everyone, when posting something be sure it is safe, current, and up to date.

Edited by Violet
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Violet, this is the second time you miss-corrected me.


I let it go the last time, but this time I am going to gently correct you, even if moderated, as it is you who erred, and putting out false information. Again.


It is the sugar that is the issue, and/or improper hygene, that gives the base for such poisonings, cheat tea has no sugar.


Did you read your own cite?


"But the bacterial strain cited has very limited pathogenicity and I can’t find even a single report of a person getting sick from sun tea, from the CDC or any other source…
I’m trained in epidemiology, so I’m not inclined to pooh pooh risk. I just don’t think there’s any good evidence for this one.on that same article."


Isn't most 'sun tea' presugared when put out? I do not know, as I do not do 'sun tea'. Cheat tea is not a 'sun tea', it is hot steeped, in a capped container, so no 'airborne pathogens'. IMHO, if you put sugared tea, or any sugared liquid out, or do not practice good hygene, you get what you deserve. But no evidence even with this, IMHO 'poor', practice? I think I know why, see below.


I gently suggest you review the various unrefrigerated unsealed storage lengths for UNSUGARED teas, especially the Japanese. Weeks. Or better yet, just google 'cold steep teas'. (quickly typing it in...) Yes, I thought so. SUGARED. And by some very reputable entities.


Did you know that strong tea has been used externally for generations, and documented as effective by the CDC, as an antibiotic? Perhaps this is the reason there is no reports of poisonings with sun tea?


I was certainly gentler than you.



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I know the safety of tea. I teach food preservation and food safety as a profession. I am trained in all USDA methods of food preservation and food storage .

My boss got very, very ill from drinking iced tea at a function. She was ill for days. That is one way I have evidence it does happen. The health dept. did trace it to the iced tea. We have other reports of illnesses from iced tea. It is leaving it unrefrigerated that is the issue.

No, sun tea is not sweetened ahead of time.

I am sorry we do not agree on the safety of tea and leaving it unrefrigerated .

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