Tea is an ideal beverage for almost any event. It can be made hot or cold depending on the season and preferences. Tea can supplement food, or it can be enhanced with different ingredients and aromas. Making tea at home is easy enough, but it can be tricky to brew tea for a crowd. You must balance the amount of loose tea and water and let the leaves steep till the tea reaches the intended strength.
You can make gallons of tea by:
A tea concentrate is a double-strength brew which is diluted with boiling water when serving. The straining, timing, and measuring is mostly done beforehand so that it makes work easier during an event. The process remains the same with different kinds of tea, including green and black.
The process involves:
- Measure. To make tea in bulk, use twice the number of leaves or bags you normally use. If one teaspoon of tea serves you for one cup, use two teaspoons of tea.
- Steep your tea for the usual period of time. Increasing the steeping time of tea can cause the resulting beverage to be bitter.
- Strain out the bags or tea leaves.
- Cool the concentrate to room temperature.
- Refrigerate the concentrate in an airtight container for two days.
- When serving, dilute the concentrate with boiled water. Use a boiling kettle if you can as it makes boiling easier. The ratio can be experimented with, but generally, an equal volume of water is advisable. The tea can be diluted in a pitcher or a teapot, or even in individual teacups. Do not use a pot or vessel that has stored coffee since it can alter the flavor of the tea.
Tea concentrate is perfect for large crowds because it will let you make tea quickly. It is also more economical since fewer leaves make more tea.
Brewing a Large Batch
To brew tea for a crowd, decide how many servings of hot tea will be required, and multiply this number by 0.75. This will be the water you will require to brew the needed amount of tea. Multiply the number of servings by one to determine the number of teabags or by 0.5 to identify the number of cups of loose tea needed for hot tea. For iced tea, multiply the number of servings required by 1.25.
Fill a pot with the appropriate amount of water which should be then heated to the necessary temperature for the kind of tea you are brewing. Once you remove the water from the burner, pour in the loose tea or the teabags. Steep in the procedure recommended on the packaging, because each tea needs a differing amount of time for steeping. Strain the loose tea using a fine-mesh sieve and drain the tea into pots.
Brewing Loose Leaf Tea
When brewing loose leaf tea, you will need to consider the steeping time, quantity of tea, and the temperature of the water. The process includes:
- Measure the loose tea. One teaspoon of loose-leaf tea generally corresponds to an 8 oz cup of water. Fluffier blends like chamomile may, however, need more while denser varieties such as gunpowder may require less than a single teaspoon. The label at the back of the bag will direct you when measuring. Drain the measured tea in an infuser or a teapot.
- The next step is heating the water to the recommended temperature. Use fresh water because water that has remained in a kettle overnight may result in a stale taste in your tea. Additionally, refrain from over-boiling the water since it can lead to unwanted flavor in the tea. Black and herbal tea need a temperature of 212ºF. For green and white tea, the recommended temperature is between 170 to 180ºF.
- Steeping the tea is the next step. Pour the boiled water over the tea-concentrated infuser. Ensure that the tea is completely covered with water. Steep the tea for the appropriate time. Black tea needs 3 to 5 minutes while white and green tea needs 2 to 3 minutes of steeping. Remove the infuser after the recommended time is over.
If you are steeping straight to a pot, wait until most of the tea leaves have collected at the bottom of the cup. Steeping beyond the required time can extract undesired bitterness from the leaves. For a stronger beverage, utilize more tea instead of steeping for longer and then re-steep the tea leaves as desired. Most teas can favorably be re-steeped many times.
Related Article: Brewing Tea: 5 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Is Making Tea by the Gallon Difficult?
It is natural to be hesitant about making tea for a lot of people. Making tea for your family members is a straight-forward process, but things get complicated when you host a tea-party. You will need to brew individual pots for every table, keep the tea hot, and avoid over-steeping. Things would get more manageable if you had service staff dedicated to preparing the tea, but it would be expensive.
The simplest way to manage to provide hot tea to a crowd is to utilize tea bags and have multiple sources of hot water on the go. The kind of tea you will be serving will also dictate the method you use. Most teas become bitter quite fast and do not hold well. Look for quality teas that blend well with the food being served. Avoid the flowery of fruity blends. It is best to keep the tea varieties at two or three, including blended, black, or white tea. Iced tea is ideal for the warm seasons.
Making tea for a crowd can be a daunting task if you consider all the logistics that will be involved. To simplify the process, use a tea concentrate, where you will do most of the procedures beforehand. Whether you brew or make a concentrate, you will need a steady supply of
hot water during the event. Use freshwater to maintain the tea’s aroma, and also ensure that the pots you intend to use have not interacted with coffee as it can ruin the flavor of your brew. If you have no alternative options, remove the coffee residue using Oxyclean. If your event will have many guests, you can opt to organize a beverage service as done by professional caterers.