Okay all you non-southerners or otherwise sweet-tea-impaired bloggy peoples, I’m going to give you my recipe for homemade Southern Sweet Tea! It’s just as good as Chick-Fil-A or Chicken Express tea if I do say so myself. And it’s easy peasy.

Amber’s Southern Sweet Tea

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, pour into 1 gallon tea pitcher.
  2. Add three family sized Lipton tea bags and let it steep for at least ten minutes (or thirty depending on how strong you want it. Just don’t let it cool completely.)
  3. While it’s still plenty warm for the sugar to dissolve, gently squeeze excess water from the tea bags and remove.
  4. Stir in 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar (you can reduce down to 1 cup if you prefer it less sweet, but why?)
  5. Fill with cool water to 1 gallon line and stir.
  6. Pour over ice in tall glass and serve with a straw.

That last step is important! If you’re going to drink tea like a southerner, you need a big ol’ honkin’ glass of it. Find the biggest drinking glasses you can find. Or you can do like we do, and just drink it out of quart canning jars. = )

And here’s a few more tea tips for you:

  • A good, sturdy tea pitcher is a must! Preferably glass. But if you use a glass tea pitcher, do not pour the boiling water directly into the tea pitcher. Pour it first into a pyrex measuring glass or bowl to let the tea steep and cool some before adding to the pitcher.
  • If you can’t make a whole gallon for whatever reason – simply follow the same process as above until you get to step #5. Before filling with water, pour half of the tea concentrate into a cup, measuring cup, etc and store in fridge. Fill with water to the 2 qt line. When the tea is gone, your next pitcher will be ready in only minutes. Just pour the tea concentrate in, fill with water and serve.
  • If you’re going to need lots of tea for a family gathering – make up the concentrate ahead of time and store it in individual increments (you can wash and reuse soda bottles for easy storage and mixing.) You’ll be able to keep the sweet tea flowing without much interruption and without using much space in your fridge, saving room for that big bowl of fruit salad or that whip cream topped chocolate pie.
  • For tea on the go – It might be easier to transport bottles of concentrate, gallons of water and bags of ice. Perfect for that 4th of July picnic at the park.
  • If a tea bag breaks – don’t give up on the tea! Pull out your coffee pot, place a clean filter in it, and slowly pour the tea through the filter and into the carafe. Bye bye tea grinds, hello sweet tea.


You may find that your family will get used to having sweet tea around the house. Children may begin requesting sweet tea at odd times of the day. Reports have been made of husbands drinking the last of the sweet tea straight from the pitcher and placing the empty pitcher back in the fridge. Sweet tea may cause immediate euphoria, slight weight gain and intense cravings. Symptoms of withdrawal may occur when sweet tea is not administered regularly. If these or other side effects occur, the best course of treatment is usually the administration of sweet tea. Neither Lipton Tea nor Classic Housewife is responsible for any ill side affects or addictions you may experience.


This post was originally written for Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Kristen @ We are THAT Family on March 4, 2009. If you’ve landed here from a Google search, welcome! You might also be interested in my post about homemade southern biscuits. Enjoy!

Photo Credit:Attribution Some rights reserved by Pen Waggener

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!