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iced tea in mason jar mugs
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5 from 2 votes

Southern Sweet Tea

There is NOTHING more comforting than a big tall glass of my mama's southern sweet tea. It tastes EXACTLY like home...
Prep Time7 mins
Cooling time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 7 mins
Course: Beverages
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16
Calories: 48kcal
Cost: .50


  • 2 quarts fresh water
  • 1 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 4 regular size tea bags OR 1 family or "gallon" size


  • Heat 2 quarts fresh cold water in a medium pan on the stovetop.
  • When the water is near simmer, turn the heat off.
  • Add 1 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Add 4 regular-size tea bags (or 1 gallon-size tea bag) to the water and place the lid on the saucepan.
  • Allow to come to room temperature.
  • Remove the tea bags and gently squeeze to remove any remaining tea. Or strain loose tea. Discard tea bags.
  • Pour the tea concentrate into a gallon size tea pitcher and add 2 quarts of fresh, cool water. 
  • Serve over a full glass of ice.


Note 1: You will want to use the best quality tea that you can afford. She prefers Luzianne or Lipton. Look for gallon-size tea bags (sometimes called "family size"). This allows you to use a single tea bag in this recipe instead of 4 little ones.
Note 2: Use the BEST water you can for your tea. If you are using tap water pour it from the tap the day before you make the tea and let it sit. This allows some of the chlorine to expel from the water.
Note 3: Never boil the water with the tea bag in it. You want the hot water to steep the tea from the leaves. Boiling is far too rough.


Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Sodium: 6mg | Sugar: 12g | Calcium: 4mg