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This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves! Includes Sweet Tea Concentrate!

There are so many drinks that are perfect to enjoy from lemonade, to strawberry lemonade, to our favorite limeade recipe. But there is just nothing like a glass of great Southern sweet tea.

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves! // addapinch.com

If you have ever been fortunate enough to enjoy an ice-cold glass of Southern sweet tea, then friends, you will know what I’m talking about when I say that there is good tea and then there is great tea. My Grandmother Verdie made the absolute best sweet tea that I have ever tasted. After years of watching and asking her a million questions, she taught me her secrets for how to make the best sweet tea. I haven’t looked back since.

Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves! // addapinch.com

There are a few tips and tricks that you’ll need to know for making this tea.

  • Use tea specially blended for iced tea. Southern sweet tea is an iced tea, meaning that it is tea made to be served over ice. Some brands that are preferred for iced tea are Red Diamond, Luzianne, Lipton and Tetley. Look for markings on the package to say that it is specially made for iced tea.
  • Don’t burn your tea. Here’s what that means. You should bring your water to boil, remove it from the heat and then add your tea bags. This prevents the tea from burning and becoming bitter.
  • Steeping matters. Allow your tea to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Add a little baking soda. This can be controversial. But, hear me out. The baking soda prevents the tea from becoming cloudy and bitter. If you know that you will be drinking a gallon of tea in one day, you can skip the baking soda. If you think you’ll have some leftover to refrigerate, then definitely try it with the baking soda. It makes all the difference.

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves! // addapinch.com

How to Make Southern Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea Ingredients

  • tea bags
  • sugar
  • baking soda (optional)
  • water

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Boil. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium saucepan or a tea kettle over medium heat.
  2. Steep. Remove from the heat and drop the tea bags into the water. Allow the tea bags to steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Sweeten. As your tea is steeping, add your sugar to your pitcher. Remove the tea bags from the saucepan or kettle and press them against the side of the saucepan or kettle to press out as much of the tea as possible before discarding them. Pour half of the tea into the pitcher over the sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then pour in the remaining tea.
  4. Stir in the baking soda and then fill the pitcher the rest of the way with fresh, cold water. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

How to Make Sweet Tea Concentrate

Similar to my lemonade concentrate, I love to make sweet tea concentrate! The concentrate requires less room in my refrigerator, is easier to transport when when traveling, and is great to make ahead and keep on hand! My Grandmother Verdie would have LOVED this for her taking to reunions, church suppers and family dinners!

Boil. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and drop in tea bags.

Steep. Let steep for 15 minutes.

Sweeten. Add your sugar to a 1-quart, large-mouth Mason jar or similar container. Remove the tea bags, carefully pressing the bags against the side of the saucepan before discarding. Pour a little of the tea into the Mason jar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour in the remaining tea.

Stir. Add in the baking soda and stir well to combine.

Store. Tighten the lid onto the Mason jar and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

How to Serve from Concentrate

One recipe makes 16 individual servings or is enough for a gallon of tea!

Single serving. Add ¼ cup of concentrate to a glass. Top with ice and ¾ cup of cold water. Stir to combine.

Gallon. Pour all of the concentrate into a gallon pitcher and fill with cold water. Stir to combine.

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe includes all the tried-and-true tips for smooth, delicious, and perfect sweet tea every time! // addapinch.com

Here’s my Southern Sweet Tea recipe. I hope you love it as much as my family always has.

4.86 from 7 votes

Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

Drink 20 mins

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves! // addapinch.com
Prep Time 5 mins
Servings 1 gallon
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves!

Ingredients  

  • 4-5 family-size tea bags
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pinch baking soda (optional)
  • water

Instructions 

  • Boil. Bring 1 quart of water to boil in a medium saucepan or tea kettle set over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for about 15 minutes. Do not allow the tea to become cold.
  • Sweeten. In a gallon pitcher, add the sugar and pour in about ½ of the warm tea. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour in the remainder of the brewed tea, being careful not to drop in tea bags.
  • Stir. Add baking soda and stir to combine. If serving immediately baking soda may not be needed.
  • Serve. Fill the pitcher with cold water and serve over ice. Great with a wedge of lemon, lime, orange or a sprig of mint.

Sweet Tea Concentrate

  • Boil. Bring 1 quart of to a boil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and drop in tea bags.
  • Sweeten. Add sugar to a 1-quart, wide-mouthed Mason jar or similar container. Remove the tea bags, carefully pressing the bags agains the side of the saucepan before discarding them. Pour a little of the tea over the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Pour in the remaining tea.
  • Stir. Stir in the baking soda and stir to combine.
  • Store. Tighten the lid of the container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Serve. To serve a single serving, add ¼ cup concentrate to a glass and top with ice and ¾ cup water. Stir to combine. To serve a gallon, add all of the concentrate to a gallon pitcher and top with water. Stir to combine.

Nutritional Information

Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 73.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.5g | Potassium: 49.7mg

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Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Southern Favorites Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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Recipe Review




Comments

  1. This is exactly like I make my tea only I am not allowed sugar so I use the same amount of Stevia. Stevia is a little harder to dissolve but taste not much different than sugar.

    1. Hi Robyn and Sweet Tea Lovers everywhere!!
      I’ve found that stevia has a bitter after taste. Sugar has a very high glycemic impact. I use powdered (not granular) Erythritol, like confectioners sugar. Granular will disolve in hot water but will return to granular when chilled. Erythritol is equally (1:1) as sweet as sugar. It is a sugar alcohol and has a very low glycemic value. Overall, a much healthier sweetener. Nothing is lost in sweetness and without the glycemic impact.
      By the way … how much is “a little baking soda” ?
      My pinch is 3x as much as my wife’s.

    2. John, technically, a pinch is 1/16th of a teaspoon. Thanks for your tip regarding erythritol.

  2. Hi Robyn,

    Thank you so much for your fantastic sweet tea recipe! As a college student, I am trying to find new ways to cook at home and use homemade recipes more often. Of course, eating out at as a treat sometimes is fun. But that is something that I do excessively lol. I am a chef in process though! One of the most rewarding things about eating at home is when you have that satisfaction of “I made this!” when you take that first bite of food or first sip of drink. Thanks for all that you do.

    Clay

    1. Thanks, Clay. Good luck with your classes and your work toward becoming a chef.

    1. Each family size tea bag equals 3 small tea bags, Lisa. So use 12 to 15 small tea bags.

    1. As I state in the post: Use tea specially blended for iced tea. Southern sweet tea is an iced tea, meaning that it is tea made to be served over ice. Some brands that are preferred for iced tea are Red Diamond, Luzianne, Lipton and Tetley. Look for markings on the package to say that it is specially made for iced tea. Hope this helps.

  3. This is so good. I make it all the time. I use sugar sometimes but I also use sugar substitute because I’m not really supposed to have sugar. It works great with Stevia. It tastes the same. I’m making some right now as I type this. Thank you for sharing. I’ve seen some southern sweet tea recipe s that use so much more sugar and it’s just too much for us.

    1. Thanks, Ann. I’m glad you can make it with Stevia as you need and still have the same flavor.

    1. As I state in the post, Wendy, the baking soda prevents the tea from becoming cloudy and bitter. If you are going to drink all the tea the same day, you can omit it.

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