How To Make Iced Sweet Tea (Video)

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A lot of folks have asked me how I make my sweet tea so today I’m bringing you a video showing you exactly how I do it. Hope you’ll join me for a glass!

This is how we make our sweet tea but everyone has their preference. If you prefer a weaker tea, use fewer tea bags. If you like it sweeter, taste it and then add more sugar to suit you. Note: Most restaurants use a much more sugar than this :). We always go through a full gallon a day (at least) but if you have any left you can just store it in the refrigerator and enjoy over the next day or two!

Sweet Tea

  • 5 Tea Bags*
  • 3/4 Cup sugar (more if you prefer)
  • Water

Remove tags from teabags and place in small pot. Fill up pot most of the way with water (exact amount doesn’t matter as long as the tea bags are covered and then some). Place on medium to medium high heat and bring just to a boil. Remove from stove eye and prepare your pitcher.

Fill pitcher halfway (or so) with cold water. Add your sugar**. Add hot tea. Stir until sugar is dissolved and fill remainder of pitcher with cold water. Serve over ice.

*We use Orange Pekoe tea but you can experiment with making iced tea with other teas as well. Earl Grey makes a delicious iced tea!

**I prefer to use Splenda or Ideal Sweetener in my tea but use the same amount as I would were I using sugar.

The trick to having a good smooth tasting tea is to avoid adding hot tea directly to the sugar or sugar directly to the hot tea. This scorches the sugar and creates a very bitter taste in your tea. To avoid this, place cold water in your pitcher first, add your sugar to that, and then pour in your hot tea.

If you have a traditional coffee maker, I talk about how to make sweet tea in that in this post.

Funny Family Stories of Sweet Tea

One time my mother was watching a television talk show and they were talking about how much Southerners love sweet tea. The host said “Well it’s no wonder, they’ve probably been drinking it since they were four!” Mama took objection to this and huffed “Four? I was putting it in your baby bottles by the time you were two!” ~giggles~

My Grandmother Lucille spent a great deal of time at the elbow of my Great Grandmother (Mama Reed) after she was married learning how to cook. A lot of the daughters in law and mothers gathered at Mama Reed’s house on Sundays to help prepare the big meal. Shortly after Grandmama joined the clan she was given the task of making the Sweet Tea. Back then it was made in a large glass recycled pickle jar. Grandmama poured the hot tea directly into the jar and set to stirring it up vigorously with a long handled metal spoon. A few clinks later and the jar shattered, sending sticky sweet tea all over Mama Reed’s clean kitchen floor. Everyone had a good and gracious laugh about it but Grandmama said “I liked to never got the sticky off’n that floor!”

How young were you when you started drinking sweet tea?

Do you have any special or funny memories of Sweet Tea in your family?

I’ll pick one of the comments below to win a Luzianne Prize Pack

Winner announced on this post and notified tomorrow evening. Giveaway closes at noon central time Friday, July 1st.

This Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Joan Whitaker! I’ve been in contact with Joan and given her directions on how to claim her prize. Have a great day and thank you!

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Luzianne nor was I compensated for doing it. I just think it’s awfully good tea. I also think y’all need to go make some right now.

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how.”

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  1. I usually have to make two or three gallons of tea a day at my house. It depends on who all shows up during the day. If my brother, nephews, and niece show up…I can count on making even more. We’ve been drinking sweet tea since we were born. My mother and grandmother never bought sodas, we just had sweet tea. I’d rather drink a glass of sweet tea to this day though. I use almost two cups of sugar in my tea and everyone loves it. I’ve been told that I make the best tea in town.

  2. I was born and raised and still live in GA 63 yrs later. I never developed a taste for tea or coffee, lemonade and hot chocolate are my drinks of choice. My late husband always told me I made the best coffee and tea he ever had. I could make it, I just couldn’t drink it ! 🙂

  3. I started drinking sweet tea at about age two. By the time I was five, I was putting catsup in it. I don’t know why…just thought catsup tasted good on everything! I quit about age seven. I think it was probably peer pressure. haha! While grocery shopping today, I bought two boxes of 48 tea bags and one box of 24. All Luzianne, of course. I just cannot be without my tea! I don’t drink coffee at all. Ever. Yes, I have iced tea for breakfast.

  4. Thank you so much! I started drinking sweet tea last January when I gave up soda. I love it with Barrys Irish Breakfast blend. However, for some reason I could not figure out why it seemed it would turn after the first glass. It had to be how I was adding the sugar. Thank you so much I am going to run down and make a batch now and see if that fixes the issue.

  5. Hi Christy! Thanks for sharing the video on how to make sweet tea. My parents made it a lot in Michigan and I loved it as a kid. However, they would boil the sugar with the water.. much more bitter. I made it using your method instead and used..

    7 bags of green tea
    4 teaspoons (8 packets) of bulk stevia sweetener.

    for a 2 quart pitcher. It was wonderful and my 11-year-old son says it’s the best sweet tea he’s ever had! Now we keep a pitcher of it in the fridge all the time. I love that it doesn’t have any calories using the stevia! However, some people like stevia, and some think it’s too bitter (my husband), so to each their own.

  6. Here’s how I make my sweet tea
    I personally don’t measure the water for our tea I just know about how much to the size of pan that I use.

    a few cups Water
    1 cup sugar (for a gallon of tea) more or less to taste
    2 family size tea bags

    In a small pan add your water and sugar; bring to a boil, remove from heat and add the tea bags and let sit for 20 minutes. Then mix in your pitcher with some more water until you reach the gallon mark.

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