Real Southern Sweet Tea

Real Southern Sweet Tea

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Serves 2 Quarts


  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) loose black tea
  • 2 quarts room-temperature water
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 quart cold water
  • 6 lemons, sliced


Bring 1 quart of water room-temperature to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the boiling water into a pitcher or large bowl, add the loose tea, and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

In the meantime, fill a large pitcher (large enough to hold at least two quarts of liquid) with the remaining 1 quart room-temperature water.

Strain the brewed tea into the pitcher containing the room-temperature water. Discard the tea leaves. Set the pitcher aside.

In a small nonreactive pot, combine the sugar and cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemons and remove from the heat. Allowed to cool for 10 minutes. Strain the lemon-sugar syrup into the pitcher. Discard the lemon slices. Refrigerate the sweet tea until serving time.

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