Making iced tea in large volumes is a pretty time-consuming process. Not only do you have to wait for the water to heat and the tea to steep, but then you have to cool it all down. It's no wonder that, instead of making their own iced tea, many restaurants choose to buy pre-made iced tea in wholesale, bulk quantities. This saves them time and keeps them from having to stock all the large equipment required to make the tea. While buying pre-made iced tea is often a good idea, there are a few tips restaurants should follow when doing this.
Check the best by dates.
While iced tea won't technically spoil or become dangerous to drink very quickly, its flavor can become tannic and less enjoyable as it sits. As such, wholesale iced tea often has a "best by" date that is closer than you'd think. Check this date before you order. If the company you're buying from doesn't tell you the best by date of the container you're purchasing before it arrives, ask for it. Don't order more iced tea than you can use by the "best by" date.
Sweeten a lot of it at once.
If you plan on selling sweetened and unsweetened iced tea, your best bet is likely to order a lot of unsweetened iced tea, and then sweeten an ample batch of it once it arrives. This is less work than sweetening it to order. The easiest way to sweeten iced tea is by adding some simple syrup. With the sugar already dissolved in the syrup, you can stir it right in.
Store it in the fridge.
Even if the tea comes in a big, sealed container, you should put it in the fridge. Unlike soda and sugary drinks, which can be okay when left at room temp, iced tea contains some organic solids — little pieces of tea leaves. These can start to spoil and give the tea an unsavory flavor when kept at room temperature. The only exception would be if the iced tea container specifically states that it can be stored at room temp. In this case, you can assume the tea has been filtered so it is safe to store in this way.
Buying wholesale iced tea can really simplify your process in the kitchen. Just make sure you follow the tips above to keep the quality up and ensure customers are kept happy.