Tea is a big deal in my house. My wife is a major fan, evidenced by her robust collection of different kinds of teas, to say nothing of our array of unique mugs. I like tea, too, especially of the black kind. One of my daughters is even known to drink tea from time to time.
Most of the tea in our house is of the hot variety, infused into hot water from a tea kettle or electric kettle. Popular options include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Lemon Ginger, Orange Spice, stuff like that. During the rare times when we make iced tea, we typically use a handful of black tea bags before chilling.
The obstacle with iced tea is that it takes time. Regardless of how you make it — and there are a few different ways to get there — there is a preparation minimum time, from one to several hours. It’s no wonder that stores sell bottled iced tea. (You could also use an iced tea maker like my in-laws do, if you are willing to purchase another kitchen gadget.)
Tea mix represents a middle ground between brewing and bottles. It can be made instantly, simply by adding the mix to a quantity of cold water and stirring it. No heat, no brew, none of that. Just cold water and the powder. Many grocers, especially big ones, sell some kind of instant tea. Aldi also sells an instant tea.
Benner Lemon Iced Tea Mix is an Aldi Regular Buy. That means you can find it on store shelves all the time. It comes in a 47.2-ounce container. According to the container, it makes 20 quarts of tea. Twenty quarts of tea is equal to 5 gallons, 80 cups, or 640 ounces.
At the time of this post, the container costs $3.69. That comes out to about 8 cents for an ounce of mix, or about 0.6 cents (a little more than half a cent) per liquid ounce of tea.
Making the tea is easy. The container has instructions on what amount of mix to pour in what quantity of water. A gallon of water, for example, uses about 1 1/3 of a cup of mix. The instructions note that you can add more or less to taste, but the numbers on the container offer a helpful benchmark.
The container also has nutrition information. Of note: each serving, which is enough to make 12 ounces of tea, has 23 grams of sugar, or close to 50% of the recommended daily allowance. Cane sugar is, in fact, the largest ingredient. That’s not quite as much as a soft drink, but it’s a lot. It goes without saying that this is a sweetened tea, so if sugar content is a concern, you’ll want to hunt for an unsweetened tea mix or make iced tea yourself.
For this review, I opted to make 2 quarts of tea, or about 2/3 of a cup of mix. I poured tap water into a container, added the mix, stirred, and then refrigerated for a little while before drinking.
Our tea testers thought it was fine. It’s definitely sweet, and it definitely has lemon flavoring. Is it as good as tea made from tea bags? We’re not sure it is, and it is definitely more sugary than if we made the tea ourselves. It works, though, and our testers would not have a problem drinking it if it was served somewhere.
Benner Lemon Iced Tea Mix is a fast and cheap way to make and serve iced tea with sugar and lemon flavor. It’s not quite up to par with homemade tea, but it’s not bad, either. It’s also high in sugar. If you need to make sweetened tea for a crowd, this might be worth a look. Otherwise, you can do it healthier if you have the time.