how to make sweet tea

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by kacaju, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. willowsnn3

    willowsnn3 Tagless not by choice but by circumstance

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    I pretty much just bring the water with the tea bags to a boil then remove from heat, cover & let steep for a few minutes. And yes the water needs to be hot for the sugar to dissolve but not boiling hot as that can 'burn' the sugar & leave a bad taste. I used to use 2 cups of sugar for a gallon as that is how my family liked it but my dd's and I now only use a tiny bit of sugar to taste. I never ever made a good batch of tea using Lipton. I much prefer Luzianne or Tetley.
    Oh, and remember it is always sweeter the next day!!
     
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  3. JoBird

    JoBird <font color=7570ff>Proud Charter Member of the Tag

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    I make tea super quick- by boiling it in the microwave!

    Get your tea bags, put them into a coffee cup filled with water. I usually use around 4-5 depending on how big the pitcher will be.

    Put the coffee cup with water and tea bags into the microwave and set at 2 minutes. This brings it to a boil.

    While waiting, take the pitcher and add sugar (no water yet!) -- I use about a cup and a half. When the microwave goes off, dunk the tea bags up and down for about 30 seconds then pour the tea into the pitcher with the sugar. Refill the coffee mug with water with the tea bags and let it steep while you stir the tea and sugar in the pitcher until dissolved. Then add the tea from the coffee mug.
    Fill pitcher with cold water and stir.

    You may need to add more sugar if your pitcher is big.

    Oh, and I use Earl Grey tea. Gives me a reason to go into the Twining's shop in Epcot to buy it every year.:thumbsup2
     
  4. luvsJack

    luvsJack DIS Veteran

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    My sister in law used to do it this way. And she added a couple of pinches of baking soda--no idea why :confused3 but it wasn't enough to taste it or anything. Just a tiny bit in a gallon of tea. She did make good sweet tea though.







    I make it by boiling some water in a pot and then adding two of the large tea bags, cover it off the stove and let it sit for 5 minutes. 2 cups + a little more of sugar to the pitcher, add the tea and fill with water.

    My mother in law (who makes several gallons a day) uses a tea pot to boil the water. She puts her tea bags in the tea pitcher with the strings hanging out and tied together, and adds the sugar to the pitcher. Then pours the boiling water over the bags--she uses enough boiling water that the bags are hanging in water at the bottom of the pitcher. After a minute or two she fills the pitcher with water but leaves the bags hanging in the pitcher.
     
  5. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    The baking soda neutralizes the tannic acids and takes some of the bitterness out, allowing you to use less sugar and thus, cut the calorie content. The usual recommendation is about 1/8 tsp to a gallon of tea.

    Is that a gallon pitcher? If so, that's a really super-sweet recipe, unless you are compensating for the ice melt.

    Once upon a time in my checkered past, it was my job to brew the tea for the LSU Faculty Club restaurant. We used those big 3-gal brew tanks, and our standard recipe was 3 cups of sugar per tank, using commercial tea bags, which are 3 oz. each -- again, standard commercial recipe, 1 oz. of dry tea per gallon brewed. The commercial recipe does compensate for the ice in terms of strength, as the tea sold for commercial use is quite strong.

    That said, in the OP's case, it might be easiest to just make some simple syrup for her guest to use to sweeten his tea. Simple syrup is one part water to one part sugar, cooked to a quick boil. If you bottle it you can keep it in the fridge for a month, and it is the best way to sweeten individual glasses of iced tea. Also, the best white sugar for this is ultrafine baking sugar; it dissolves at a lower temp.
     
  6. PlaneJoy1

    PlaneJoy1 DIS Veteran

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    I use baking soda after boiling when I make tea.

    In a medium sauce pan, I bring 4 family size tea bags to boiling. Take it off the heat and add a small amount of baking soda (be careful, it will cause the hot tea to 'foam' a little).

    I already have a gallon size pitcher ready with 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of sweetener (to lessen the calories). Pour the hot team over the sugar/sweetener, stir, rinse the tea bags and pour in the pitcher, then fill the pitcher with cold water and stir.

    It's how my mother taught me. :)
     
  7. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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    :wave2: Yes, a family bag is a larger tea bag. About twice the size as a normal bag so just use twice as many. :)

    I make mine with cold brew bags, don't tell Grandma though. :) :hyper:
     
  8. firecracker725

    firecracker725 Somethin' Clever

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    I'm telling you...if I had my own version of Oprah's Favorite Things, I'd include a lifetime supply of Lipton Cold Brew.
     
  9. luvsJack

    luvsJack DIS Veteran

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    Ooooh! So that's what it was for! Her tea was always really good so that makes perfect sense.

    And yeah, its a gallon pitcher. And yes, its very sweet. I cut it back to less than 2 cups but dd and dh don't like it that way.
     
  10. ilovepcot

    ilovepcot <font color=purple>Caused the first ever Tag Fairy

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    Great ways to make tea here. Thankfully no one has suggested using the "sun" method. Nas-tee and not southern. Don't ever do it. :scared:
     
  11. Liberty Belle

    Liberty Belle <font color=green>I was going to reply, but I see

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    The eye?
     
  12. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

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    The round cooking surface of an electric stove
     
  13. mhsjax

    mhsjax DIS Veteran

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    Maybe the difference is that I put in the tea bags while the water is still cold and turn on the heat. Been doing it this way for 28 years as did my mom before me. I have mistakenly boiled the water with the tea bags in the water and they have busted open. Anyway, I know everyone loves my tea, and I get asked to make it quite often. and this is the way my mom made it, but I may try boiling the water first and then throwing the tea bags in, I hate having to watch and make sure that it doesn't boil with the bags in it.

    I was also told one time that I wasn't really southern, because I actually hate sweet tea. I only use sweet n low. I hate the taste of real sugar. lol. I told that person that I would be sure and let my born and raised in TN and MS mom and dad know. Even worse, my mom HATED and yes I scream hated tea with a passion, hot of cold. She was really messed up. ;)
     
  14. Liberty Belle

    Liberty Belle <font color=green>I was going to reply, but I see

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    Thank you! I can't believe I'm as old as I am and have never heard of that before!
     
  15. sandramaac

    sandramaac <font color=blue>Needs to look harder...<br><font

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    Traditional 'sweet tea' is just that because it is made with a simple syrup. Begin with dissolving one cup of sugar in one cup of water. Bring to a boil on the stove, and once it comes to a good rolling boil, let go for at least a good minute or two. The boil is important! Once the simple syrup is made, it is important to let in cool before you add it to your tea. In fact, I will pop it in frig for an hour or so. I usually make a double batch. Once it is cooled it will be thick, and a bit viscous, like a very thin syrup. This process actually make the sugar taste sweeter. It is yummy.

    Now brew your favorite tea, just being careful not let over steep the tea--it will be bitter. Now cool this tea also. This is important. Now add the simple syrup to tea, bringing it the desired sweetness. Add a few thin slice of lemon, don't squeeze them into the tea, just float the slice. Refigerate for a few hours and viola, traditional sweet tea.

    You can also make flavored simple syrups such as mint and orange. Just prior to boiling the dissolved sugar mixture, add mint leaves or orange peel (peel from at least two navel oranges). Bring to boil, cool with the mint or peel, then strain prior to adding the syrup to the tea. I also like the put the syrups in decanters (the tall/skinny clear glass olive oil decanters you see work great for this since they have that long narrow spout) and let everyone add their own sugar syrup to the tea.

    Hope this helps!!
     
  16. luvsJack

    luvsJack DIS Veteran

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    Does the simple syrup make it sweeter than just putting straight sugar in the tea?
     
  17. SC Minnie

    SC Minnie <font color=purple>Are we there yet???<br><font co

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    We boil a pot of water, once it starts boiling turn the burner off, put in 7 small teabags. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes. I usually fill a gallon pitcher about 1/4 full of hot water and put in the sugar and stir until dissolved-- real sweet tea 2 cups per gallon, we don't make ours as sweet anymore and only use 1 now. After the tea bags have steeped pour the tea into pitcher and add any extra water. If I needed it cold faster I would add a lot of ice cubes.
     
  18. Wishing on a star

    Wishing on a star DIS Veteran

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    IMHO, it may make it seem sweeter... but the amount of sugar will be whatever amount you choose to use! ;)

    PS: once again, like I have just posted... I have accidentally boiled tea... And, it helped... It makes it less bitter, as it pulls the full flavor and body from the tea leaves. One can not over-steep tea.

    In fact, if the water is not hot enough, or the the tea is not steeped long enough, one will be left without the full flavor, only the bitterness that initially comes out. You don't HAVE to boil it. (as one web-site I saw actually defined southern sweet tea as 'boiled'.) but if you are not steeping in simmering boiling hot water. You aren't getting the full effect.

    I do believe that it must be sweetened when warm/hot.
    Cold tea is just not going to dissolve enough sugar, and really pull all of the sugar and tea together to get that rich flavor.

    Whenever we are up north, or even in Florida, where they only serve unsweetened tea, and not true, presweetened southern sweet tea... it is just awful... You can put sugar packets in that cold tea and stir and stir forever.... You'll never have good, sweet, southern, tea that way! :scared:
     
  19. Wishing on a star

    Wishing on a star DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2
    But, here is a tip...
    You can go ahead and sweeten the hot tea... instead of using more hot water to dissolve the sugar. It makes fabulous tea!!! Then, you have less hot water to cool before enjoying!!! ;)
     
  20. Zooshoveller

    Zooshoveller WAR EAGLE

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    I'm from Alabama and we make a lot of sweet tea! For me it's easiest to use our Mr Coffee Tea Maker (Walmart $20). The amount of tea bags and sugar used all depends on taste preference.
     
  21. sandramaac

    sandramaac <font color=blue>Needs to look harder...<br><font

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    imho
     

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