Refreshing Sweet Iced Tea

"The REAL thing! Quick and easy. I got the recipe from my mother-in-law who lives in the mountains of NC. She serves this tea at her deli and everybody asks for it!"
photo by May I Have That Rec photo by May I Have That Rec
photo by May I Have That Rec
photo by May I Have That Rec photo by May I Have That Rec
photo by May I Have That Rec photo by May I Have That Rec
photo by Sharon123 photo by Sharon123
Ready In:
1 gallon


  • 4 luizianne family-size tea bags
  • 34 cup sugar (to taste)
  • hot water


  • Heat a full cup of water in the microwave until boiling hot. I use a large measuring cup.
  • Submerge tea bags in water and let steep 3 minutes or until water gets dark.
  • Pour dark water into pitcher. Refill cup with hot water from the faucet and let steep for 2 minutes.
  • Add sugar to pitcher. Stir until dissolved.
  • Add hot water from cup and than fill the rest of the pitcher with hot water from the sink. Stir and Refrigirate.
  • Enjoy!
  • I refill my cup and let steep 4 times, but it depends on how dark you like your tea. If you are in a rush, 1 steep will do.

Questions & Replies

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  1. My grandma put 4 Lipton teabags and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan with 4 cups of cold water on the stove to boil. Once it came to an almost boil she stirred it to make sure that the sugar had dissolved, turned off the flame and let the tea sit covered on the stove until it was cool. This made the tea almost inky black. Then she poured the tea into a 3 quart glass pitcher and topped it off with water while mashing the tea bags with a spoon to get all of the extra tea out of them. The tea was put in the icebox to cool further. The glasses were filled with ice cubes and then the tea was poured over them. This is how she made sweet tea.
  2. I'm a Southerner who drinks about a gallon of tea every day BUT I hate Sweet Tea. I'm also a Diabetic. Here is my recipe: 3 Family Size Luzianne Tea Bags 6 cups water 1/4 cup sugar (I like Dominoes in the yellow tub cause it dissolves instantly) Bring the water to a boil and pour over tea bags in a gallon pitcher. Brew for twelve (12) minutes and remove tea bags. Stir in sugar and fill pitcher with cold water. This adds just enough sweetness and removes to the tea.
  3. This recipe may work for you, but there are some things in it that may also ruin it. Here are some tweaks to make it better- 1. Don't boil the water. If you accidentally do, let it cool just a bit before you add the tea bags. It's best if you can catch it just before boiling. 2. Use a pan on the stove or a 2cup liquid measuring cup in the microwave. A cup will take you all day. Steep for about 5 to 10 minutes the first time and don't steep again. 3. Do not squeeze the bags. 4. 3/4 cup sugar per gallon is not even close to sweet enough for southern sweet tea... Try 1 1/2 to 2 cups instead...
  4. Delicious iced tea. Instead of microwaving 1 cup of water, steeping the tea and then a second cup of water and steeping again, I microwaved 2 cups at once and then steeped the bags for a total of 10 minutes as I wanted strong tea. The amount of sugar is perfect for us. Made for Spring 2013 Pick A Chef.
  5. Please do NOT use hot tap water from the faucet! There are build-ups in the hot water pipes that leach into that water and can then leach into your liver, kidneys and other vital organs. Boil some in a large measuring cup in the microwave or fill up a tea kettle, but NEVER use the hot water from your tap to drink or prepare foods.


  1. See my less sweet version in Comments.


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