Southern Sweet tea is one of the most popular iced-tea consumed in the United States and Indonesia (Reference: Sweet Tea, Wikipedia, Retrieved on 1 January 2023). It is always served with ice and comes with additional flavours of lemon, mint, peach, raspberry. Sweet tea is considered as the regional staple drink of southern United States (Location - the Southern United States, Google Maps, Retrieved on 1 January 2023) and Indonesia (Location - Bali Indonesia, Google Maps, Retrieved on 1 January 2023).
What is Southern Sweet Tea?
In this article, we have tried to answer the following questions.
- Why is Southern Sweet Tea Special?
- What are the ingredients?
- What is the equipment required?
- How to make Southern sweet tea?
- What Factors affect the taste of Southern Sweet Tea?
- What are the Tips & Tricks?
Why is Southern Sweet Tea, special?
The southern states of the United States take pride in their sweet tea which can be sweet or unsweet. It is always served iced and sweet version is preferred way more than the sugarless one. Even now when everyone is flocking for diet conscious recipes, southern sweet tea is the treasured regional recipes and has been passed through generations. Southern sweet tea, being a tradition, has many memories associated with it and those are as sweet as the iced tea drink can get (Reference: How to make Southern-style Sweet Tea, Williams Sonoma, Retrieved on 1 January 2023).
- 10-12 Black tea Bags
- Sugar syrup
- Ice cubes
- Lemon slices and or mint leaves (optional)
- Filtered Water
- Small pan
- Long-handled stirring spoon
- 1-gallon pitcher (Reference - How to Make Southern Tea, The Kitchn, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
How to make Southern Sweet Tea?
- Fill the water in a kettle or big pan and bring the water to boil
- Remove the water from heat and drop the tea bags into the kettle.
- Allow the tea steep for at least 15-20 minutes
- Pull out the tea bags after pressing them against the kettle wall to drain out the black tea (Reference - Southern Sweet Tea Recipe, Addapinch, Retrieved on 1 January 2023). Put sugar syrup into the tea and mix it well
What are the factors to consider, to make the best Southern Sweet Tea?
Choose the perfect tea
- It is very important to choose the right Black tea for the Southern Sweet Tea. Always prefer the one made specifically for iced tea.
- The brewing technique matters a lot. Adding the tea bags while boiling water is a disaster and can lead to bursting of teabags. Don’t steep the tea bags for more than 15 minutes irrespective of the fact that you might want the tea to be stronger as the chances of tea turning bitter is quite high.
- The iced tea made out of iced tea bags don’t turn cloudy when refrigerated and in case you don't find one, then add baking soda to the hot water to avoid the cloudy look of the Southern Sweet tea (Reference - Southern Sweet Tea, Garden Betty, Retrieved on 1 January 2023).
Choose the right sweetener
The sweetener here doesn’t mean the artificial sweetener but the real deal you want to use to sweeten up your Southern Sweet Tea. Adding sugar to cold water and then expecting it to dissolve well is a disaster. Make a simple syrup by boiling water and sugar for 10-15 minutes. The sugar syrup is faster to dissolve in cold water as compared to powdered sugar.
Use filtered water
Although there is no harm in using the normal drinking water, using filtered water makes Southern Sweet Tea taste better.
Don't mix hot and cold
Let the sweet tea reach room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator. Placing the Southern Sweet tea in the fridge while it’s still warm will make it appear cloudy (Reference - Making the Best Southern Sweet Tea, Southern Kitchen, Retrieved 1 January 2023)
Tips and Tricks
- The Southern Sweet Tea can be refrigerated for almost 1 week. So just assemble big pitchers and pour it in.
- Do not use cold water, use water at room temperature. The ice cubes will do the work of making your tea cold.
- Do not add ice to hot tea, rather pour the tea to the glass of water and ice cubes.
- Never put lemon pieces in the Southern Sweet Tea. Simply squeeze a lemon in the pitcher and throw the lemon layer away. The lemon slices can be kept on the side of the glass.
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