Tea & Coffee – Southern Sweet Tea

iced-teaIced Tea From The South ~

Southern Sweet Tea isn’t unique, but it is certainly different from iced tea made in other places. Why? Well my personal experience has shown that making sweet tea in the north and out west is sweetened with fruit juices, not sugar. Ok if I wanted fruit juice, I’d have some. Can’t stand it when restaurants serve “sweet tea” and it ends up being raspberry tea.

While that might be better for you, um…it’s not Southern! We make our iced tea with sugar, plain and simple. Though some of us may use it with fake sugar, it’s still sugar!

There are two different kinds of Southern Sweet Tea. Sun tea and brewed tea.

Sun tea uses more tea and of course it takes longer to make. But beyond that, they’re virtually the same.

I have fond memories of making sun tea with my Mom in the hot Virginia summers. We had a large 2 gallon jug that she used to make sun tea. We’d fill it up and set it out on the front porch in the morning and by dinner time, it was ready!

Now how sweet you want your tea is up to personal preference. Mom used two cups of sugar per gallon. It was sweet, but not too sweet. My Man on the other hand, uses ½ cup for a gallon. So it’s up to you.

Today we use the family size tea bags. 4 to a gallon. And which brand you use also matters. We prefer Luzianne, but growing up Mom always used Lipton. We’ve made some changes to make things better. My son loves iced tea, but I don’t care for him having that much caffeine. So we use Luzianne’s Caffeine free family tea bags.

So here are our recipes.

Sun Tea

  • For 2 gallons of tea:
  • Add 1½ gallons of water to a 2 gallon jug.
  • Add 10family size tea bags (20 individual bags).
  • Set in the warm sun for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Add ½ gallon of water to a small sauce pan.
  • Add 2 cups (or what you prefer) of sugar.
  • Cook until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  • Remove from stove and let stand until you bring the tea back inside.
  • After your tea has brewed in the sun, add the sugar water.Serve over ice.
  • Keep refrigerated.
Brewed Tea

  • For 1 gallon of tea:
  • Add 2 cups of sugar (or the amount you prefer) to a sauce pan.
  • Add 4 family size tea bags (8 individual bags).
  • Add enough water to cover the sugar and tea by at least 1 inch.
  • Brew for at least 25min. Don’t boil it!
  • Turn off the heat and let stand for at least 1 hour. We typically allow the tea to steep for several hours.
  • Poor the brewed tea into a 1 gallon pitcher.
  • Run cold water over the tea bags and squeeze the excess water/tea into the pan. Add that to the pitcher.
  • Fill the pitcher near the top, filling the remainder with ice.
  • Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Serve over ice.
  • Keep refrigerated.


VR-Hanko ~ All Rights Reserved ©

 © 2013 Victoria’s Rose ~ All Rights Reserved.

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One thought on “Tea & Coffee – Southern Sweet Tea

  1. I’m in the north and we’ve always had tea sweetened with fruit. I’ve never liked it. Went to the beach in SC one year and had sweet tea at a restaurant. I LOVED it. Haven’t been able to find a good recipe that tastes like that. I made some tea tonight by your post and it’s exactly the same! Thank you for sharing this!

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