Friday, January 7, 2011

Good Southern Sweet Tea

I am not a Southern girl. I was born and raised in the Midwest. For me, iced tea has always been the unsweetened variety. I prefer mine straight up, with lemon, no sweetener added. I had never even heard of Sweet Tea until I moved to the Washington, DC area.

For those of you not familiar with Sweet Tea, the sugar is added when the tea is hot to make sure it completely dissolves. Sweet Tea in the south ranges from lightly sweet to something akin to pancake syrup.

Although I am not a fan of it, my Sir is. And I learned from him and his mother the best way to make Sweet Tea and I wanted to share it with you. One of the big things I learned from Sir's mother was how to take the bitterness out of any brewed tea, sweet or not. The trick is baking soda, which counteracts the natural Tannic Acid in tea. The other trick that makes Sweet Tea better (according to Sir) is brewing it in a enamel pot.

So here's a list of what you need.

  • 1 Gallon Pitcher
  • 1 Enamel Pot
  • 1 Family Size Tea Bag
  • 1 1/3 cups of sugar (*this is how much Sir requires, some people want more or less)
  • Water & Ice
  • Baking Soda

Fill pot with water and add tea bag. Place on burner and heat till boiling.

While water is coming to a boil, place the pitcher in the sink add sugar. Add ice until about 1/2 full. When the water boils, add a pinch of baking soda and immediately turn off the stove, or else your pot will boil over.

Remove the tea bag from the pot and pour the tea into the pitcher and stir, adding cold water until the pitcher is full. Stir the entire time to make sure the sugar is well dissolved.

And that's all it takes!

** as a side note, cooled tea bags are good for puffy eyes.

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