If you're serving tea to a lot of people at a party or brunch, the last thing you want to deal with are measuring tools, infusers, strainers, or even a bunch of tea bags. Fortunately, it's really easy to make tea for a crowd using a tea concentrate. You can even prepare it a day or two ahead.
A tea concentrate is simply a double-strength brew that you dilute with boiling water before serving. Almost all of the measuring, timing, and straining is done beforehand so you don't have to worry about it during your party. Making a tea concentrate is the same process whether you're using black, green, or another kind of tea.
How to Make Tea Concentrate
- Measure: Make the tea using twice as many leaves (or bags) as you normally would. For example, if you would normally use 1 teaspoon of tea per cup of water, here you would use 2 teaspoons of tea.
- Steep: Steep the tea for the normal amount of time.
- Strain: Strain out the tea leaves (or bags).
- Cool: Cool the tea concentrate to room temperature.
- Store: Refrigerate the tea concentrate in a covered container for up to 2 days.
- Dilute: To serve, dilute the tea concentrate with freshly boiled water. You can experiment with the exact ratio, but in general you use an equal volume of water. For example, if you have 1 quart of tea concentrate, top it off with 1 quart of boiling water.
Depending on the size of your gathering and other party logistics, you can dilute the tea in individual teacups, a teapot, pitcher, or large urn.
A Few More Tips for Success
- Do not increase the steeping time, as that can result in a bitter tea.
- Avoid using a pot or urn that has been used for coffee, which can affect the flavor of the tea.
- An electric kettle makes boiling water a breeze.
- Remember to provide guests with appropriate tea accompaniments such as milk, sugar, or lemon.
(Image credits: Emily Han)