Southern sweet tea


Every since I could remember I’ve been drinking sweet tea. I’m almost 100% sure it was even in my baby bottle. Southern Sweet Tea is the house wine here and we go through it like water.

I make a gallon of sweet tea a day. That’s right, a gallon. I make tea how my Dad made tea, and how his parents made tea. I don’t use a tea brewer, nor do I use any other fancy machine that promises to brew the best tea ever. I make tea with a pot, water, sugar, and of course, tea bags, that’s it. My mom’s from NYC, she knew nothing about Southern Sweet Tea before meeting my Dad way back when. Once again, my dad’s southern side has won.

Since so many people ask for my tea I decided to blog about it, why not right? My mother-in-laws adores my tea, as does my family. I’m going to share with you how I make tea for my family. Before you attack me for the obscene amounts of sugar, remember this, everything is okay in moderation.

This is what you’ll need, not too fancy, just grab a small pot, sugar, filtered water and buy some quality tea bags if you don’t already have some. I really like to use Community tea, it’s our favorite. Before moving to Louisiana and discovering Community we drank Lipton.

1 Gallon of Southern Sweet Tea

  • 5 family size tea bags
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • filtered water


  • {Step 1} Fill a sauce pan or small pot about 3/4 of the way full with water and put on stove, high heat.
  • {Step 2} Right before the water boils turns the heat off and put in tea bags.
  • {Step 3} While the tea is steeping pour sugar into tea pitcher. Fill pitcher about 1/2 full with hot water and mix. It’s very important to dissolve the sugar using the hot/warm water. If you fail to do this the sugar will not dissolve, instead you’ll see the sugar floating in your tea and it will end up at the bottom of you glass.
  • {Step 4} Let the tea steep for about 10-15 minutes, pour tea into pitcher and fill the rest of the way with water or ice cubes.

That’s it! Very easy. Remember, don’t add tea bags to boiling water, this could cause the tea to taste bitter.

Enjoy a glass of southern sweet tea, kick back and relax.


  1. Heather M says

    You’re supposed to boil the sugar and tea together to get TRUE southern sweet tea. So you make the tea with the bags, then pitch the bags, add sugar and boil for a few minutes to let sugar dissolve. let cool and put in pitcher!

  2. says

    I love sweet tea! I didn’t know that you shouldn’t add the tea bags to boiling water. I’ve had some bitter tasting tea in the past, I wonder if that’s why. Thank you!!

  3. says

    I’ve never made sweet tea (I’m from the North), but do brew mine on the stove like you. Last summer, I’d drop a several freshly sliced peaches into the tea when it was still hot. It made the most delicious peach iced tea! Makes me long for the summer.

  4. says

    My hubby is from the south and I am from the north. Growing up we called it iced tea and for the most part people drank it unsweetened. I didn’t know anything about sweet tea until I met my hubby, and that’s how he taught me to make it too!

  5. says

    Great recipe! I had made tea with boiling water until my mother in law (who’s teas was so much better than mine) said that if it boils, it takes the oxygen out of the water which makes the tea bitter. So, I quit boiling my tea water and voila -no more bitterness! Thought I’d share why I heard not to boil the water… Who knows if that exact science is true but it works!

    • says

      You’re right. It does make it bitter. I always add my tea bags right before the water starts to boil, and remove from heat. Works every time :)


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