I've used a Mr Coffee Iced Tea Maker. The major benefit is that when your ice tea pitcher is empty, you can have a deliciously fresh batch in 10 minutes. I know some of you have access to fresh mint but this is stronger & tastier. The Ice Tea maker can be found at Walmart for approx $15. They last years. It's simple to use & the result is worth it. I use Bigelow brand teas, I prefer the Plantation Mint [spearment-like] & Lemon Lift. Try it, Mikey!
1Use "Mr Coffee Iced tea Maker". Other cheaper brand ofice tea maker don't work. You get what you pay for. Its worth it! Read instructions thoroughly to use machine properly. I got my maker at Walmart for $15. It's been working well for 5 years!
2Take pitcher and use markings to indicate how much water is needed. Make the 3 qt...the 2 qt goes to fast & the tea stays good for a week [mine never makes it that long]. Pour water into space at top of iced tea maker.
3Take bag of ice and throw on the ground HARD until it breaks up the ice that may have melted & formed lumps rather than cubes. Fill pitcher to designated 3 QT marker.
4Put 2 round, fluted coffee filters in the brewing cup. 2 filters help to keep the iced tea & sugar longer in the brewing cup for stonger tea.
5Take 8 tea bags in place in brewing cup making sure they cover as much bottom area as possible.
6Fill the rest of the brewing cup with sugar. I may take a few tries to find your family's sweetness prefernce. The sugar also brings out the natural sweetness in the mint flavor of the tea bags.
7Put filled brewing cup in proper place of ice tea maker. Place water dispenser directly over brewing cup.
8Set Brew strenth all the way to the right for strong tea.
9Push "start" button. It will light up to indicate you pressed it hard enough.
10When "start" button goes off, your tea is ready. You will notice the final sound of gurgling steaming water & ice crackling. You'll also enjoy the fragrance of the mint or lemon while its brewing.
11Immedately enjoy your icy cold beverage. If you need larger quantites, get regular picthers to store pre-made batches in, so you can use the maker's pitcher to make more.
12Note: Iced tea used to make my stomach feel acidy. Especially Sun Tea, for those of us old enoughto remember this phenomenon. I don't know why, but this iced tea never gives me acid stomach.