Sweet Iced Tea-Southern Style

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I couldn't imagine a day without my sweet iced tea; it just wouldn't be complete for me.
This recipe is is the way I have prepared my tea for many years. I've shared this recipe with my family and now I'll share it with you. Enjoy.

Ingredients
4 Luzianne or Lipton family sized tea bag's (both are excellent brands, though I'm partial to Luzianne) These two brands produce a more clear tea.
1 1/2 cup's sugar or half that amount for 1/2 gallon container ( For those with diabetes use sugar substtute to taste )
Lemon's (optional) I like lots of lemon in mine :)
Fresh mint leaves(optional)
Water
1 gallon or 1/2 gallon container

This recipe is for 1/2 gallon. Double the ingredients for one gallon.

Step 1. In large pot , bring 6 cup's of fresh cold water to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to med. low setting.

Step 2. Place 2 tea bag's in the boiling water. Let them slow boil for about 2 minute's.

Step 3. Remove from cook-top. Cover with lid and let set-steep for about 30 minutes.

Step 4. Remove tea bag's and pour into container while tea is still hot , add 1 1/2 cup's sugar (or sugar substitute). Stir until sugar is disolved completly , about a minute should do it.

Step 5. Add cold water to within 3" of the top of the container. Stir again.

Step 6. Let cool completly in fridge. When ready to serve , pour tea over ice-filled glasses. It's great just like this or you can garnish with a thin slice of lemon and a mint leaf or two if you like.

Iced Tea - A Worldwide Favorite

Sweet iced tea is a favorite across the United States but is enjoyed by many people around the world. In the South, it is the standard beverage enjoyed by most. Next to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.

Most teas get their flavor from the tea leaves themselves. but in my opinion, the brewing process of the tea is also plays a major role in the quality of the taste.

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A Little History of Tea Bags

According to Wikipedia, "In 1907, American tea merchant Thomas Sullivan began distributing samples of his tea in small bags of Chinese silk with a drawstring. Consumers noticed they could simply leave the tea in the bag and reuse it with fresh tea. However, the potential of this distribution/packaging method would not be fully realised until later on. During World War two, tea was rationed in the United Kingdom. In 1953 ( after rationing in the UK ended), Tetley launched the tea bag to the UK and it was an immediate success."

"Tea leaves are packed into a small envelope (usually composed of paper) known as a tea bag. The use of tea bags is easy and convenient, making them popular for many people today. However, the use of tea bags has negative aspects, as well. The tea used in tea bags is commonly fannings or "dust", the waste product produced from the sorting of higher quality loose leaf tea. However, this is not true for all brands of tea; many high quality speciality teas are available in bag form. Tea aficionados commonly believe this method provides an inferior taste and experience. The paper used for the bag may also be tasted, which can detract from the tea's own flavour. Because fannings and dust are a lower quality of the tea to begin with, the tea found in tea bags is less finicky when it comes to brewing time and temperature."

Additional reasons why bag tea is considered less well-flavoured include:

  • "Dried tea loses its flavour quickly on exposure to air. Most bag teas (although not all) contain leaves broken into small pieces; the great surface area to volume ratio of the leaves in tea bags exposes them to more air, and therefore causes them to go stale faster. Loose tea leaves are likely to be in larger pieces, or to be entirely intact.
  • Breaking up the leaves for bags extracts flavoured oils.
  • The small size of the bag does not allow leaves to diffuse and steep properly."

"The "pyramid tea bag" (or sachet) introduced by Lipton and PG Tips/Scottish Blend in 1996, attempts to address one of the connoisseurs' arguments against paper tea bags by way of its three-dimensional tetrahedron shape, which allows more room for tea leaves to expand while steeping. However, some types of pyramid tea bags have been criticised as being environmentally unfriendly, since their synthetic material is not as biodegradable as loose tea leaves and paper tea bags."

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Comments 7 comments

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I love Southern ice tea. Growing up we had ice tea every evening for dinner and we now have it in our home. Voted up


SanneL profile image

SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

Thanks for sharing your family recipe with us.

With our hot days here in Greece, this Iced tea will be just perfect! But instead of sugar, I will use stevia which is natural, healthy and has zero calories.


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

Good Morning New Neighbor... I will be three times a day just ring the dinner bell!!!


Becky Puetz profile image

Becky Puetz 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

thanks images99


Becky Puetz profile image

Becky Puetz 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

tnflash, you're right, sweet tea is Southern speciality. Thanks for commenting.


TnFlash profile image

TnFlash 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

This recipe sounds really good. I was born and raised in the deep south and sweet ice tea is a way of life down here. Great Hub! Voted up and twittered.


images99 6 years ago

perfect tea.

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