Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mango Sweet Tea

                 

I came to learn about Sweet Tea when I moved to the South of the United States. Over here, they call it the "nectar of the gods". For those who are not familiar with Sweet Tea, it is simply a style of ice tea commonly consumed in the US. Sweet tea can be enjoyed plain, or flavored. In my home country of Kenya, we do drink a form of sweet tea called "sturungi" in Swahili. HOWEVER, we drink it hot, and unflavored (except for sugar which is optional).  So when I drank sweet tea here for the first time, I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that:

a).They sell it in stores as a bottled drink. Wait...what?!?!?

b).It can be enjoyed cold just as you would enjoy a soda or fruit drink.

c).It can come in many flavors.

So for the 17 years that I've lived here in the South of the US, and copious amounts of sweet teas later, I've played around with several recipes and this is my favourite. Raspberry sweet tea comes a close second to this. Here's a recipe for mango-flavored sweet tea. It's simple to make, very affordable and extremely refreshing any time of the year. You're very welcome!  ;)

Serving Size: Makes 13 cups.


Equipment:

-Strainer/sieve.

-Medium-sized pan.

-2 pitchers (one of them should be heat-proof).

-Blender or food processor (to purée your mango pulp).


Ingredients:

-4 cups water.

-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar.

-8 cups ice-cold water.

-8 regular sized tea bags with the strings tied together (whatever kind you like. I like black tea for my sweet tea).

-The pulp of 3 ripe mangoes.

-1/4 teaspoon baking soda. This reduces the tannin (the bitter-tasting substance that's present in tea).

-Ice cubes (to serve).

      


Directions:

-On medium heat, bring the 4 cups of water and the sugar to a boil. Stir to ensure that all the sugar is dissolved.

-In a big pitcher, hang the tea bags, letting the strings hang over the sides of the pitcher. Add in the baking soda. Pour in the hot sugar/water mixture and let the tea bags steep in this mixture for about 20 minutes.


-In the meantime, purée your mango pulp in a blender to a smooth consistency. Strain the mango purée using a strainer set over a bowl.


-Pull the tea bags out of the pitcher after the aloted time. You can toss them. This is the base for your sweet tea.

-Pour the mango purée into the pitcher with the sweet tea. Stir. Don't panic as it will look slightly curdled (see picture below). Pour the mango tea through a strainer to remove any lumps and pour the strained mango tea into your serving pitcher.


-Top your tea off with some ice cubes. Enjoy!