Long Steeping Thai Iced Tea

    This process gives me Thai Tea that tastes exactly like it does in my favorite Thai restaurant. I put a cup of the loose tea leaves into a big pot of water (the kind of pot one boils pasta in, a big stove pot). I bring the tea and water to a rolling boil, stirring constantly and monitoring the heat so that it doesn’t overflow. After it has boiled for a minute or two, I reduce the heat and allow the tea to simmer for 15 or 20 minutes. Then I cover the pot and allow the tea to cool on the stove top. At first the tea leaves all stay at the top of the water, but as the water cools they all drop to the bottom of the pot. I then carefully pour the tea into a pitcher, using a metal strainer to catch any leaves that happen to get stirred up during the process. (However, virtually all of the leaves stay settled.) I add sugar until the bitterness of the tea goes away, usually between one and two cups. If the tea seems too strong, I also add water to dilute it a bit. I pour the tea over ice, filling the glass 2/3 full, then top it off with half-and-half.
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