Easy Sweet Tea

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Make ice cold sweet tea at home, perfectly refreshing and sweet each and every time. It’s super easy to make and get tips to make sure it’s never bitter.

Sweet tea with lemon slices in cup with ice

Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is simply tea that has been sweetened with sugar.

The tricky part is figuring how much sugar to add and making sure the tea doesn’t get bitter — I have the solution for both!

  • Popular style of iced tea in the South.
  • Sweet, refreshing and easy to make.
  • Recipe makes 4 cups with 1 family size iced tea bag.
  • No special tools needed to make this iced tea at home.
  • Made without baking soda — no need for it if tea is made properly.

Conversion Chart

TO MAKEWATERTEA BAGSSUGAR
4 servings4 cups
(1 quart)
1 Luzianne family size or 4 regular tea bags1/4 cup
8 servings8 cups
(2 quarts)
2 Luzianne family size or 8 regular tea bags1/2 cup
16 servings16 cups
(1 gallon)
4 Luzianne family size or 16 regular tea bags1 cup

My Sweet Tea Iced Tea Bag Pick:

Questions You May Have

Is there caffeine in sweet tea?
Yes, sweet tea is made of black tea so there is caffeine in the drink.

What is a family size tea bag?
A regular tea bag makes 1 serving but a family size tea bag is bigger and makes 1-2 quarts or even 1 gallon of iced tea.

Do I need to add baking soda to sweet tea?
Nope, a lot of sweet tea recipes add baking soda to make it taste smooth, but if prepared properly, tea can taste just as smooth without it.

How many regular tea bags can I use instead of 1 Luzianne family size?
Replace 1 Luzianne family size tea bag with 4 regular sized tea bags.

Luzianne has Cold Brew Iced Tea in family size tea bags too — should I use that instead?
I’ve tried both the cold brew and iced tea bags, and the plain family size iced tea bags tasted a lot better so that’s the one I recommend.

RELATED: Quick & Easy Iced Tea

Sweet Tea Tips

  • To prevent tea from getting bitter, don’t use boiling hot water and don’t brew it for more than 5 minutes.
  • Add sugar while the tea is still hot to make it easier to dissolve.
  • To cool down the tea faster, you can add ice to the pitcher but that may result in a cloudy tea. 
  • Squeeze half a lemon into the sweet tea to give it more of a citrus kick.

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Sweet Tea Ingredients

What You’ll Need

Sweet tea with lemon slice in cup with ice

How to Make It

There are two parts to this recipe:

  • Hot brewed tea concentrate
  • Cold water to dilute the concentrate

STEP 1: Boil 2 cups of water.

Heat water on the stovetop (bring to simmer then turn off heat) or in an electric kettle with a temperature setting (set to 180°F).

Instead of using boiling hot water to make iced tea, I like to use water that’s not as hot. This cools down the tea quicker and also prevents the tea from from getting bitter.

Use filtered water if possible for the best tasting iced tea.

STEP 2: Pour hot water into a pitcher and add 1 Luzianne family size iced tea bag.  

We’re making a tea concentrate so just 2 cups of hot water is needed to steep the tea.

STEP 3: Steep tea bag for 5 minutes. 

Discard the tea bag after the 5 minute steep.

STEP 4: Add sugar and stir until dissolved.

For every 4 cups of water, put in 1/4 cup of sugar.

I tried it with less and with more, and 1/4 cup of sugar was the sweet (haha) spot. 

Make sure to add the sugar while the tea is still hot so that the sugar dissolves easily.

STEP 5: Add 2 cups of cold water into the pitcher.

Cold water will cool down the concentrate.

STEP 6: Chill tea in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Leave in refrigerator for 1-2 hours to completely chill.

STEP 7: Pour tea into cups with ice.

Optional: Place lemon slices in the cup with ice.

Related

Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea

Yield: Makes 4 cups

Make ice cold sweet tea at home perfectly refreshing and sweet each and every time.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Boil 2 cups of water.
    Heat water on the stovetop or in an electric kettle with a temperature setting. Set the water temperature to 180°F when using the electric kettle. On the stovetop, boil water then wait 2-3 minutes for the water to cool to bring down the water temperature.
    Use filtered water if possible.
  2. Pour hot water into a pitcher and add 1 Luzianne family size iced tea bag.  
  3. Steep tea bag for 5 minutes. 
    Discard the tea bag after the 5 minute steep.
  4. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  5. Add 2 cups of cold water into the pitcher.
  6. Chill tea in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
    Leave in refrigerator for 1-2 hours to completely chill.
  7. Pour tea into cups with ice.
    Optional: Place lemon slices in the cup with ice.

Notes

To make 4 cups (1 quart):
4 cups water + 1 Luzianne Family Size Tea Bag (or 4 regular tea bags) + 1/4 cup sugar 

To make 8 cups (2 quarts):
8 cups water + 2 Luzianne Family Size Tea Bags (or 8 regular tea bags)+ 1/2 cup sugar

To make 16 cups (1 gallon):
16 cups water + 4 Luzianne Family Size Tea Bags (or 16 regular tea bags) + 1 cup sugar

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