Literally everyone reading this is probably thinking, “who can’t make sweet tea?” Even the people who never have, are most likely having this same thought run through their minds because it is one of the most basic things you could possibly do. As my grandma likes to say at the most inappropriate times, “don’t knock it till you try it.”
For real, it’s hard. And not so long ago, I was one of those people who couldn’t. I never had time, so I never really tried. Then Kevin went through a phase where it was all he wanted to drink, and he was making it all the time. I tried to be sweet and starting making it for him, but it kind of backfired.
I’m pretty sure that the first time I made it, I tried adding sugar after it was cold and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t mixing right. Then I thought it had to be boiled for like 20 minutes. Then I couldn’t get the right balance of sugar and it was always either bitter and gross, or sickenly sweet.
At this point in my life, I was flawlessly making pumpkin rolls from scratch without a recipe but I could NOT MAKE ICED TEA to save my life. It was embarrassing and he actually ended up being the one who taught me how to make it. I remember one day, he was like “okay, how about I just make the tea from now on?”
In true “me” fashion, I went all Destiny’s Child on his ass, and told him what an independent woman I am and wasn’t allowing no man to do something better than me in the kitchen. Nope. Not happening. So, in about 30 seconds, he broke down the entire process for me and it all made sense. It’s simple, yes, but it’s all about timing and using the right amounts of everything. Anything done wrong will ruin your finished product.
Now, I make it all the time. He still never drinks it, so it might not actually taste very good compared to his, but whatever because the tea I’m drinking; I made it.
The trick to perfect sweet tea is just about the series of events. Start by bringing your water just to a boil and add the sugar until it’s dissolved. I add a heavy cup and then a little extra sprinkle/hand full. Depends how much I care about my health that day.
I also use lipton tea bags because fancy tea is expensive and I’m cheap. Ain’t no shame here.
When your sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and add your tea bags. Let that steep for about 5 minutes.
This is where people can make a ‘UUUUGE mistake.NEVER PUT HOT WATER INTO GLASS! NEVER. Ever. You always want to let your tea cool in the pan because suddenly changing the temperate of glass can cause it to shatter, leaving scalding liquid go everywhere and trust me when I say you do NOT want that. Don’t say I never taught you anything.
Because I’m super paranoid and impatient, I always add ice to the pot before removing it.
While it’s cooling off, you can work on your lemons. You always want to add these after it’s cooled to keep the fresh lemony flavor.
I slice large end pieces off to squeeze in, and then slice the middle thin for garnishing.
Just pour it all in your pitcher and mix together!
You can never go wrong with sweet tea, and making it at home ensures that it’s fresh and made just to your liking.
4 cups water
6 black tea bags
1(+) cup sugar
2 cups ice cubes
Bring your water to a boil, add sugar until dissolved and turn off heat.
Place tea bags in the water and let steep 5-10 minutes
Allow tea to cool before transferring to container
Slice lemons and squeeze the juice from the ends into the pitcher