Enjoy a tall glass of homemade sweet tea for a refreshing break from the summer heat!
I have to admit that this California native has never been to the south. And while I’ve had a bit of sweetener in my tea on occasion, I’ve never had that real, authentic sweet tea that seems to be a staple in that part of the country.
Apparently, the difference between southern tea and west coast tea is all about WHEN you add the sugar as well as how much sugar you use. With true sweet tea, you add a lot of sugar (up to 2 cups sugar per gallon of tea by some accounts!!) while the tea is hot and brewing. With west coast tea, you typically add just a little sugar after cooling.
Now I’m not here to argue the method for making sweet tea. I’m sure there are many. But I thought it was high time I gave this drink a try, clean eating style! I will say that even with clean and natural sugars, this tea is kind of a sugar bomb. So plan your day accordingly. But it’s nice to know that if you really want to enjoy something like this, you don’t have to absolutely destroy your eating plan either.
Now according to some of my readers, in order for this to truly be authentic, it absolutely MUST be served on a front porch. It wasn’t made clear to me whether or not I needed a rocking chair, but since I don’t have one, I had to make do with sitting on the stairs of my front porch. I think I got roughly the same effect.
- Orange Pekoe (This can be hard to find. If you want to use it, you may have to order from amazon.)
P.S. – I have to admit that this recipe was FAR to sweet for my west coast taste buds. I had to add water. So if you find this is too sweet for you as well, simply add more water and leave the tea bags in a little longer as needed.
And as I said, there are many ways to make sweet tea. So if this doesn’t seem right to you, please be kind to this California girl. But I sure would love to know how you make it! Leave me a comment and share!
P.S.S. – I was told that the baking soda gives the tea a “smoother” flavor. I suppose it could depend on the tea used, but I added it. Feel free to leave it out if you prefer. You can’t taste it.
More Homemade Drink Recipes
Homemade Sweet Tea Recipe
Homemade Sweet Tea
- 3 standard orange pekoe tea bags
- 7 cups water (divided)
- ½ cup Sucanat (affiliate link) (or to taste)
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- Bring 3 cups of water to boil, remove from heat and stir in the Sucanat.
- Bring 4 cups of water to boil, remove from heat, quickly stir in the sugar water and add your tea bags.
- Stir in baking soda.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes, or until the tea reaches your desired strength.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before putting the tea over ice or in the fridge.