The perfect glass of Iced Tea in 6 Steps

countertop-systems-iced-teaDrinking tea is as much a ritual as it is delicious. But how do you make that perfect glass of tea? Believe it or not, water is the most crucial part. Many teas have a variety of subtle flavors that can be masked or destroyed by poor water quality that contains heavy concentrations of iron or other impurities. With that in mind, make sure you know the quality of your water beforehand as it will have an impact on your tea. If you know that the quality of your water isn’t too good, try looking at a countertop water filter system:

Take the Doulton HCPS Twin Countertop Water Filter System for example. This is a free standing twin housing counter-top water filtration system that easily connects to your existing kitchen sink faucet. The Doulton Counter Top Filter System has a lever to divert water to the ceramic filter and out the spout. The ceramic filter is self sterilizing, re-cleanable and simple to install. The Doulton UlraCarb Ceramic Filter Candle is sold separately.

Now that you have the water part out of the way, what about the rest of the steps? They’re easy and simple, so follow along and you’ll be brewing your best cup of tea in no time! Remember, preparation steps may vary slightly depending on the tea you are making.

  1. As mentioned earlier, water quality is critical. It is best to start with cold water which retains more oxygen for more flavor. Also, don’t boil the same water over and over, as it will deplete the oxygen.
  2. Begin to boil the water in your teapot or cup.
  3. Use one bag per cup. Pour the boiled water on the tea bag into your teapot or cup and brew for 3-5 minutes. Keep in mind, brew time may vary from tea to tea, so it is best to look at the recommended brewing time for each tea flavor.
  4. Squeeze the bag gently against the side of the teapot or cup with a spoon. Stir once, then gently squeeze again.
  5. Place or set the tea in the refrigerator to allow it to cool down. Two-three hours should be sufficient.
  6. When chilled, it is ready to drink. Just add ice cubes to a tall glass and pour the iced tea into the glass.


There you have it! A perfect glass of iced tea. Remember, water quality is a big part of the taste of tea so be sure you have good water quality before brewing. If you are interested in knowing what your water quality is, try the Complete Home Water Quality Test Kit, which test for over 13 different contaminants in your drinking water. What is your favorite flavor of tea?

The Sights of Nature Contest

The scenes while spending a day outside can be visually stunning. Camping, hiking, a stroll through the park or sitting and watching the sunset can be a beautiful sight to see. Nature itself can be so beautiful. So now is the time to show off nature in all its glory. Send in your best nature related photo to It can be a photo of the environment, the landscape or anything else nature related. Maybe it’s the sunset, birds sitting in a bird nest or a rainbow, it doesn’t matter. Send in your photo to and the photo with the most Likes wins a FREE Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter. Details below:

To enter the contest:

1.)    Email your nature-related photo to  and we will post the photo to our “Sights of Nature” photo album (located directly under the cover photo)

2.)    Tell all your friends to “Like” our Facebook page so they can “Like” your photo

3.)    After your photo is submitted, everyone will vote for their favorite by “liking” the photo

4.)    The contest ends Friday June 29 at 3:00PM EST

5.)    The winner of the contest receives a FREE Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter


7.) Only those who have not won a contest in the past 60 days will be eligible to win the prize

Prize Details:

The Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter Water Filter is the number one selling microfilter for outdoor use. This compact and lightweight backpacking microfilter removes bacteria, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The Hiker Pro is easy to operate and has a high water output system. Using microfilter technology, the Hiker Pro also reduces bad taste and odor from your drinking water. This comes with a Prefilter, Universal Bottle Adaptor, Carrying Bag, Field Maintenance Kit and Quick Connect Fittings.


Additional Information:

  • Voting and submission begins Friday June 22 and ends Friday June 29 at 3:00PM EST. The photo with the most “Likes” by the end of the contest wins.
  • Please be sure to post only your own photos.
  • Only those who have not won a contest in the past 60 days will be eligible to win the prize.
  • In the event of a tie, a winner will be randomly selected.
  • The winner of the contest has one week to claim their prize.

You can win a great free Katadyn Microfilter just for sending in a photo. It’s a win-win situation. Submit your photo today!


What’s in your Water: City Water versus Well Water

Generally speaking, there are two ways people get their drinking water: through city water and well water. But what are they and what is the difference between them?

City Water

City water is typically river water. While this type of water has a lot of pollutants and contaminants to begin with, it is put through an assortment of cleaning processes and purity tests before entering your home. By law, city water is treated on a daily basis and often has chemicals added to it such as chlorine and fluoride. Bringing in city water requires changing the pipes in and around your home. Also, you have the added cost of a monthly water bill. Despite daily testing, there is the risk of contamination from old pipe lines that need upgrading. If you doubt the safety of your water, you can do research and find various water test kits that have been done to ensure water quality. Oftentimes, the biggest problem with city water is that just because the water is safe does not mean it tastes or smells very good. City water often contains minerals that will give the water an unpleasant look, taste, smell and may have undesired effects on your dishes, laundry and your hair. Fortunately, there are filters and additives you can get for your water that will make it look and taste better.

If you want to personally test your water supply, the Watersafe All-In-One Drinking Water Test Kit is highly recommended. This test kit is for city water only and contains everything you will need to find out simply and accurately if your water contains unsafe or undesirable levels of one or more of eight common contaminants.

Another way of ensuring water quality is through the use of purifier tablets such as the Aquamira Purifier Tablets. These tablets are used by dropping one tablet into one liter of water and waiting the required time. These tablets will not discolor the water and will improve the taste of treated water.

Well Water

Well water comes directly from the ground, and while it does not go through the same cleaning process, the water is filtered to a degree as it slowly trickles from the surface into underground reservoirs. Unlike city water, there is no monthly water bill that you will be required to pay. However, as a well water owner, it is up to you to test the safety and quality of your water. Generally, well water can be clean or dirty, depending on where you live.  Just like safe water might smell or taste bad, unsafe water may taste, smell and look perfectly fine. There can be many dangerous chemicals found in well water that have no taste, smell and do not change the look of the water. Well water can often contain agricultural runoff such as fertilizers and pesticides. It can also contain jet fuel and other chemicals from “fracking” (a process used in drilling for natural gas). Unless you have your water tested, there is no way to guarantee well water is safe, free of bacteria and other dangerous chemicals.

One way to get your water treated is through the Complete Home Water Quality Test Kit which tests your water for over 13 contaminants, allowing you to identify the issues in your water quality so you will know how to correctly and appropriately treat your water.

Once you test your water, you may find it handy to invest in a whole house water filter system such as the 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filter System. This whole house water filter has a 100,000 gallon capacity or up to one year cartridge life which reduces the multi-year cartridge replacement required with most water filter cartridges. This whole house water filter system will extend the life of all your household appliances that are connected to the water line.

Which do you prefer? City water or well water? Sound off in the comments below.