Thursday, February 4, 2016

Recipe: Southern Sweet Tea

We've been living in Tennessee for nearly eight months, and I finally decided to try my hand at making sweet tea. Up North, most people drink iced tea (which means unsweetened), and if you ask for sweet tea, you will most likely get a glass of iced tea and a few packets of sugar.

My sweet tea turned out to be a big hit. Here's the recipe I used:

2 cups water
6 tea bags (I used English Breakfast)
1 cup white sugar (or less, depending on personal preference)
6 cups water (cold)
1/8th teaspoon baking soda

Bring 2 cups water to a boil (either on the stove or in an electric kettle) and add tea bags. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. When finished steeping, discard tea bags, and stir in sugar.


Put 6 cups cold water in a pitcher.


 Add tea mixture and baking soda. Stir well.


 Refrigerate until cold, and serve over ice. Enjoy!


Southern Sweet Tea

Ingredients
2 cups water

6 tea bags (I used English Breakfast)
1 cup white sugar (or less, depending on personal preference)
6 cups water (cold)
1/8th teaspoon baking soda

Directions:
  • Bring 2 cups water to a boil (either on the stove or in an electric kettle), and add tea bags. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. When finished steeping, discard tea bags, and stir in sugar.
  • Put 6 cups cold water in a pitcher.
  • Add tea mixture and baking soda baking soda. Stir well. 
  • Refrigerate until cold, and serve over ice. Enjoy!

30 comments:

  1. Beatrice2/04/2016

    Being from the north, did the sweet tea take some getting used to? Does your recipe taste as sweet as the real Southern style, or is it modified so it's a little healthier?
    -Beatrice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beatrice,

      We only drink sweet tea on special occasions, but we do enjoy it. If you add the full cup of sugar, it tastes pretty sweet, but you're welcome to put in less. It all depends on personal preference.

      Blessings,
      Ellie

      Delete
  2. Anonymous2/04/2016

    I wonder what does the baking soda do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard that baking soda makes the tea less bitter and that it also makes it appear darker in color. Could be an old wives tale though. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I've never heard of baking soda. We also use black tea. I introduced my southern husband to black tea, when he'd only ever drank orange tea his whole life. He likes it better. I use 8 packets of the small black tea bags. One cup of sugar. Boil. Strain out the "drugs" through fabric into a gallon pitcher. I boil the tea bags twice. Then fill up with water. I don't measure the water.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous2/05/2016

      Thanks I will try to baking soda side by side comparison to see

      Delete
  3. Anonymous2/04/2016

    A whole cup of sugar is quite a bit! :( But you can also try organic cane sugar, which at least isn't as processed as white sugar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that a whole cup of sugar is a lot. Feel free to use less. I used all natural cane sugar, and it worked great. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  4. Anonymous2/04/2016

    I like to see your home made recipies! I like this recipe too. For some people I cook for the sugar content would be right, others would rather I put in a half a cup of sugar.http://www.traditionaloven.com/culinary-arts/sugars/granulated-sugar/convert-ounce-oz-granulated-white-sugar-to-table-spoon-tbsp-granulated-sugar.html
    I generally put a tsp of sugar into my cup of tea. That would be something like one third a cup of sugar to eight cups of water, I'm guessing. Do you like your tea with lots of sugar,maybe that is what makes it real southern sweet tea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      When I drink hot tea, I don't usually add sugar. I enjoy both unsweetened and sweetened cold tea. I suppose it just depends on the day. :)

      Thanks for reading!
      Ellie

      Delete
  5. Anonymous2/04/2016

    Sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous2/04/2016

    I love sweet tea! Why the baking soda though? TIA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tia,

      A friend once told me that the baking soda makes the tea less bitter and that it also makes it appear darker in color.

      Blessings,
      Ellie

      Ellie

      Delete
  7. Anonymous2/04/2016

    Why do you add baking soda? I've never heard of that.
    Dawn from Texas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dawn,

      I've been told that adding baking soda makes the tea less bitter and that it also makes it appear darker in color.

      Blessings,
      Ellie

      Delete
  8. Anonymous2/04/2016

    Why the pinch of baking soda?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous2/04/2016

    I remember your jar drinking glasses. The pictures are what I enjoy most about your blog posts. The recipes and stories are interesting and maybe useful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      Glad to hear that you're enjoying my blog! :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  10. Anonymous2/05/2016

    I always add some lemon juice instead of baking soda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip. I'll try adding lemon juice next time I make it.

      Ellie

      Delete
  11. Anonymous2/05/2016

    I will have to try that. I usually just put tea bags in a pitcher of water and put it outside in the sun :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous2/05/2016

    Can you use Splenda instead of regular sugar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! You can use Splenda instead of regular sugar. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Anonymous2/06/2016

      Thank you Ellie.
      Hope you and Mr.Handsome have a wonderful Sunday.

      Delete
    3. Thank you! We're having a lovely Sunday. (Watching the Super Bowl right now.)

      Ellie

      Delete
  13. Anonymous2/11/2016

    Hi. I'm have never had sweet tea before. I live in the UK and drink tea all the time but it's just a tea spoon of sugar, a tea bag then boiling water, strain out the tea bag and add a little milk. I have never had sweet cold black tea. I will have to try this and trusting you it tastes good :-) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had only had sweet tea a few times before moving to Tennessee, and I still limit my intake, but it's definitely a delicious and refreshing drink. Let us know how you like it. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  14. Here is an even easier way to make Southern sweet tea, and you don't need the baking soda because there is no bitterness at all :).

    You need:
    8 regular-size black tea bags (I use decaffeinated)
    1 cup of sugar (or however much you prefer)
    1 gallon of very hot tap water

    Dissolve sugar in hot water. Add tea bags and let sit for 30-45 minutes. Remove tea bags and stir. That's it! No bitter taste at all and it is delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kristy! That sounds a lot easier. I'll have to try it!

      Ellie

      Delete
  15. Hello Ellie

    I noticed you put tea bags in the kettle. The electric kettle should only be used for water. I suggest a aluminium large tea pot on the stove if you wish to put tea bags directly in. When I make infused cold teas I used a stock pot. It is easier to clean and your kettle will not pick up the tea taste so you can have clean water from the kettle always. I leaned from experience.

    I make a iced tea beverage with an assortment of teas that complement each other. I will usually use 2 black tea bags, 2 green tea bags and then a couple of nice fruit or your favourite decaffeinated like passion fruit, hibiscus, peach, raspberry, blueberry etc... I make it as I would steep hot tea not too strong. To serve it I fill a glass with ice and pour it over. As a result I get a nice refreshing light beverage and it is so healthy for you if you sweeten like I do very gently. Another thing I do is boil whatever sweetener. I like honey, agave, brown sugar initially with the water. To keep the tea from going foggy, the simplest thing is to just let it completely cool prior to refrigerating. O and you can't have iced sweet tea without a wedge of lemon or if you made a fruit iced tea perhaps a wedge of orange, lime or grapefruit! If it is made weak it is something you can drink all day as I add a tone of ice. It is good for your digestion your metabolism, skin etc... and it give you a little gentile caffeine to keep going ;).

    People consume far to much sugar! I water everything down though as I wasn't raised on processed sugary foods so this might be bland for some but better than drinking juice all the time. Of course it is important swell to consume a few leaders a day as well. Have a grate day!

    ReplyDelete