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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 8/23/2009 9:51:16 PM EST
I have trouble making really good sweet tea. I'm from the south so I like it cold, but I don't usually put ice in it, (too lazy to deal with ice trays) , just let it get really cold in the fridge. My problem is that I'm getting a bitter taste to it. What is the best way to make really sweet tea. Brand, amount of sugar, seep time, container etc. Do you mix the sugar while hot or cold etc. Thanks so much. Oh, and by the way, this isn't just for the rebs out there, my ex-wife made the best sweet tea, iced or otherwise, that I've ever had, and she was from New York. She just never allowed me in the kitchen when she cooked or anything. Thanks folks.
Link Posted: 8/23/2009 10:20:06 PM EST
LOL
Link Posted: 8/23/2009 10:25:15 PM EST
The bitterness comes from oversteeping the tea. Take the tea out of the water sooner. Or add more water after brewing.

It's easiest to get the sugar to dissolve while the tea is still hot or at least warm. Try honey or blue agave instead of sugar too.
Link Posted: 8/23/2009 10:39:15 PM EST
My firehouse sweet tea recipe:

For 1 gallon of tea:

Bring COLD water to boil in a 12q saucepan...
(DO NOT ADD TEA BAGS WHILE THE WATER IS STILL BOILING)

When the water boils, remove the pan from the heat, wait about 20-30 seconds, and then add tea bags. (I use 4 family sized bags).

Let steep for 10-15 minutes, and then remove the tea bags.

Add 1 level coffee mug of sugar to an empty 1 gallon pitcher.

Pour the hot tea over the sugar, and fill the pitcher the rest of the way up with water.

Stir thoroughly, and refrigerate.

Let the tea sit for a while before you drink it. (By the time it gets cold, it is ready to drink).
Link Posted: 8/24/2009 1:37:14 AM EST
Thanks people, I knew I could count on you. There has always been a great deal of info on many subjects to been gleaned from this site. And yes, I would say a plethora of info.
Link Posted: 8/24/2009 2:06:33 AM EST
I just use the cheap family-sized tea bags from Aldi. Steep 3-5 minutes and pour over a pitcher half filled with ice cubes.

Every restauraunt I know of oversteeps the tea. They make up for by adding WHOPPING amounts of sugar.

Link Posted: 8/24/2009 2:10:46 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/24/2009 2:30:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/24/2009 2:41:50 AM EST by Morning_Wood]
Originally Posted By pavlovwolf:
I have trouble making really good sweet tea. I'm from the south so I like it cold, but I don't usually put ice in it, (too lazy to deal with ice trays) , just let it get really cold in the fridge. My problem is that I'm getting a bitter taste to it. What is the best way to make really sweet tea. Brand, amount of sugar, seep time, container etc. Do you mix the sugar while hot or cold etc. Thanks so much. Oh, and by the way, this isn't just for the rebs out there, my ex-wife made the best sweet tea, iced or otherwise, that I've ever had, and she was from New York. She just never allowed me in the kitchen when she cooked or anything. Thanks folks.


If you're getting a bitter taste, you are using too many bags, steeping it too long, or are squeezing the bags to get out the last drop. My wife used 5 family size lipton bags. brings them to a boil in about a 2/3 qt of water. Removes from heat when the boil starts for 10 min. Adds that to the pitcher along with sugar (up to you here, we use about 1.5 cups per gal.) stirs and allows the sugar to break down. Then add cold water. Allow to chill. Don't add ice to the pitcher, add ice to the glass. Don't add lemon to the pitcher either. This makes a full pitcher. Not sure of the size, but it's more than a gallon. Probably around 1.25 gallons. If you don't drink it within 24 hours, pour it out and make fresh.

Do not squeeze the tea bags. Guaranteed to make it bitter.

Link Posted: 8/24/2009 2:42:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/24/2009 2:58:34 AM EST by NoVaGator]
+1 on not squeezing the bags

here's my quick method for 2 quarts:

fill a large Pyrex measuring cup with 3 cups of water

microwave to boiling

pour one cup of the boiling water into a 2 qt pitcher

add 3/4 cup sugar to that pitcher and swirl the water around to make sure the sugar is dissolving

put 3 family size tea bags in the Pyrex

you're going to let the bags steep for about 12 mins or so...you can let this steeps for a very long time w/o bitterness if you don't squeeze the bags.

Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the pitcher.

When done steeping pour the tea into the sugar water. DO NOT squeeze the bags out.

top off pitcher with tap water

stir

refrigerate or serve over ice
Link Posted: 8/24/2009 2:51:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/24/2009 2:53:02 AM EST by TrijiCog]
I make it wrong according to the other recipes here,but it tastes great.

Bring 1 gallon of bottled water to a boil (My town water sucks)

Take off heat

Add 3/4 to 1 cup (taste) of cane sugar and stir until it is dissolved.(

Add 2 family size Lipton tea bags.

Let steep covered for 15 minutes.

Pour in 1 qt Mason jars.


Link Posted: 8/24/2009 11:44:10 AM EST
An urban commando must drink refreshing sweet tea in order to operate at peak performance. That, and I was reading a question in GD and I guess it was in that forum as well when I hit the new topic button.
Link Posted: 8/24/2009 11:50:51 AM EST
Add the sugar while the water is still hot enough to melt it. If you are getting a bitter taste, you might be adding the tea bags to the water too soon. Bring your water to a boil, then turn the water off and let the water cool just enough to stop the boiling. THEN add the tea bags and let them seep for a few hours.
Link Posted: 8/24/2009 11:58:00 AM EST
1. Boiling is TOO HOT for steeping black tea, let it sit for 10 minutes to cool down first. If you use the weird herbal stuff the temp should be even lower.
2. Do not steep too long.
3. Loose leaf will always make better tea.
4. You can add sugar before steeping while it is still boiling -or- heat it up after the bags/tea have been removed and add the sugar then.
Link Posted: 8/24/2009 12:15:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/24/2009 12:17:54 PM EST by sinsir]
oh lord !!! i was born a yankee and know this ... although it took the wife ( a ga girl ) to teach me how to do it right ....

boil water in a 1 quart pan
take it off the heat
place in 4 of the large size - louisaane (spelling) tea bags
let steep untill the water is on the cooler side of hot - it should look dark
pour into a gallon jug
mix 1-2 cups of sugar - depending on how sweet you like your tea
stir well
add cool water into the jug untill full
throw it in the fridge untill cold
pour over ice
drink
enjoy

edit - do not squeeze the tea bags
Link Posted: 8/24/2009 6:25:11 PM EST
I used to be able to make really good sweet tea, but haven't made it in years, ( why would I, when my wife did it so well) . The only tea I can find always seems to be of an orange pekoe type. I just wondered if that had something to do with it, or if all black tea was orange pekoe. Thanks for the advice.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:09:05 PM EST
I'm making tea according to the specs listed. I'm using Lipton cold brew tea bag because that's all I have right now. I think I'm seeping it too long and also have been squeezing the tea bags. AAR tomorrow, or much later tonight if it's cold enough and I can't sleep. Oh, and thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:09:57 PM EST
Sun tea FTMF win...........
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:11:10 PM EST
phurba has it right. If it is bitter you are over steeping.


Originally Posted By phurba:
The bitterness comes from oversteeping the tea. Take the tea out of the water sooner. Or add more water after brewing.

It's easiest to get the sugar to dissolve while the tea is still hot or at least warm. Try honey or blue agave instead of sugar too.


Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:11:43 PM EST
Originally Posted By pavlovwolf:
I'm making tea according to the specs listed. I'm using Lipton cold brew tea bag because that's all I have right now. I think I'm seeping it too long and also have been squeezing the tea bags. AAR tomorrow, or much later tonight if it's cold enough and I can't sleep. Oh, and thanks for the help.


3 of the big cold brew bags and two Crystal light Lemon Ice tea things per gallon. We drink it to fast to be making real tea.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:13:05 PM EST
ask this guy what he thinks of sweet tea
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:14:20 PM EST
heat water, take off heat after it boils, steep it off the heat. Heat up more water and add sugar to eat once hot to dissolve it. Mix together & add more water to taste. Put it in the fridge and no ice is needed.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:14:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 6:15:26 PM EST by fiver]
Also sorry for the thread jack but any "sweet tea" discussion always reminds me of this:

http://comedians.comedycentral.com/gary-valentine/videos/gary-valentine––-atlanta-sweet-tea

embed fail.

Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:23:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 9:09:16 PM EST
Thanks folks, the tea was great. I think the fact that I was squeezing the bags and over seeping it was what made it bitter.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 9:13:20 PM EST
Water will be a huge part of it too, dont make tea from city water.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 9:13:27 PM EST
Arnold Palmer FTW
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 9:17:45 PM EST
I got this from a Southern Gal I know.

"So, here is how to make real Southern iced tea:

2 quart sauce pan
2 quart pitcher
2 quarts of water
LIPTON (this is the brand Southern people use) iced tea bags
2/3rds to 1 cup of sugar

If you get the big family sized tea bags, you need 3. If you get the little
ones, you need 8. You can adjust this to how strong you like your tea.

Okay, put tea bags into sauce pan with 1 quart of water. Set on stove and
cook on medium low heat for about 10 minutes, until the tea looks right. By
this I mean, has the color you want for how strong you like your tea. Do
not let the water boil or bubble. This will scald the tea and it will taste
funny.

When the tea looks right, pour the tea into a pitcher with the sugar in it.
I use 3/4 cup of sugar, plus about 1 tablespoon. Adjust sugar to how sweet
or unsweet you like it. Stir it up while it's all hot to dissolve the
sugar, then pour in the remaining 1 quart of water and stir it all up good.
Then put the pitcher in the fridge to cool. You can drink it right away,
but it tastes better if you let it sit for a couple of hours.

Also, tea goes bad. If you don't refrigerate it, it will go bad in a matter
of hours, depending on the temperature. Usually around 4-6 hours. If you
refrigerate it, you have about 4-5 days. You will know when it's bad, it
gets all weird tasting, I think it has a "rotten" taste to it. Although, I
have known people to not notice and drink it anyway, which is totally sick
and gross.

Good luck my Yankee love."

She also made me a mixed drink with Sweet Tea, vodka and an Orange slice.
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