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Sweet Tea (how to make it at home)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by dannew02, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

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    So recently I was in Mobile Alabama, I had a great time, the people were all super friendly and I ate seafood like a pig. Oh, and I had Sweet Tea whenever I could get it. I've had what they sell here in WI as sweet tea, but none of it tasted like what I had down south. (And I don't want to get into the HFCS can-0-worms...) I've also tried making it myself, and it just doesn't come out right. How do you-all make it?
    I did find this stuff at a couple convenience stores
    [​IMG]
    which was as good as any I got from food places (or the person's house we were at-I asked her how she made it, and she said "Well, you put sugar in it." [emoji12])
    I looked into getting this stuff shipped to me, but it doesn't look like they sell/ship their stuff.
    So yeah, anybody want to share their Sweet Tea recipie?
     
  2. WigWam

    WigWam TDPRI Member

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    I used to be a sweet tea fiend, it was practically all I drank until acid reflux caught up with me and I cut it out of my diet. Now I just drink it when I go out to eat. And since I live in the south, every restaurant has it. Lucky me eh? Anyways, I used to make it with bags of Luzianne decaf black tea. I used three or four, steeped in a quart of hot water from the kettle. After letting it sit I threw out the teabags and added roughly a quart of room temperature water and then added the sugar. I think it was somewhere around 1-2 cups. you can add more or less water depending on how strong you like your tea.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  3. cowboytwang

    cowboytwang Poster Extraordinaire

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    I make a gallon of it every couple of days. Start off by making a simple syrup, with one quart of water brought up to under a boil (195°-210°), take off heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups, or 2 cups depending on taste, of sugar (or preferred sweetener, I actually use stevia and skip the heating up part since, unlike sugar, it will dissolve in cold water). Then I heat up another quart of water to about the same as before (195°-210°), just under a boil, take it off the heat and add two of the family size Luzianne Iced Tea Bags, and let it steep for at least 5 minutes. Then add that to the quart of simple syrup into a one gallon pitcher along with two quarts of cold water & ice.

    http://www.luzianne.com/site305.php

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  4. telefunken

    telefunken Friend of Leo's

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    I take about 10 black teabag and put them in a 1/2 gallon jar of water and sit it on the patio in the sun for about 4 or 5 hours. It brews very slow and smooth. Then add sugar or Stevie to taste.
     
  5. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not a big fan of sweet stuff, but I make it for my son. I do some cold-brewed Happy Valley Darjeeling with citric acid and sugar to taste.
     
  6. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Simple syrple is the key, as Twangmo said. Otherwise you cannot get enough sugar to dissolve and it will be cloudy.
     
  7. DonM

    DonM Friend of Leo's

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    I lived in Lousiana for five years and loved their spiced sweet tea. I use an Ice Tea maker and use Lipton tea for iced tea, and then add one bag each of Bigalow's "Plantation Mint" and "Orange and Spice". Sweeten to taste.
     
  8. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

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    INGREDIENTS:

    10 bags black tea
    3 cups boiling water
    1/8 tsp baking soda
    1 1/2 cups cane sugar
    5 cups cool water


    METHOD:

    Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. This will raise the pH of the water slightly.

    Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for 5 minutes.

    Remove the tea bags, but do not squeeze them.

    Stir the sugar into the hot tea concentrate until totally dissolved.

    Allow the concentrate to cool to room temperature before adding the cool water and then ice.

    If you pour the cold water into the hot, the temperature shock will force the soluble proteins out of solution and make the tea cloudy.

    Serve with lemon wedges over ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
     
  9. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    That's about what I do but maybe 8 bags. I use Red Rose, and stir in just a bit of sugar if I want some sweetness before I add ice to my glass. I don't sweeten the whole batch because my wife etc. just don't like sweet tea.

    My mother grew up dirt poor in a lumbering town, Harbeson City, in NW FL. It was already a ghost town (aka 'jungle') when she tried to show us her birthplace back about 1964. She brought some 'delicacies' from her upbringing that I didn't care for, like scalded milk poured over torn up white bread. That one swore me off even slightly soggy bread for life, but her love of sweet tea stuck. She made it the boiling water way & it was darned good with lots of ice.
     
  10. cowboytwang

    cowboytwang Poster Extraordinaire

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    OK a couple of tips:
    Don't steep tea in boiling water, it will make it bitter and cloudy, so then you have to add more sugar to make it sweet. You do want it over 195° to kill any bacteria, but keep it under 212°, or do a cold brew in the fridge. That also brings me to "Sun Tea". If you brew tea in the sun it will only hit 135° at the most, just the right temperature to grow bacteria, so just make sure you use good quality tea, clean water, and a clean vessel, and don't keep "Sun Tea" around for more than a day.
     
  11. mojz

    mojz Tele-Meister

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    i was aware that some of my fellow brits put a teaspoon of sugar in their tea :eek:
    ive even heard tell that some crazy hedonistic wildmen have 2 on a regular basis :eek::eek:although this is acceptable occasionaly, in extreme cases of shock such as if jerry had just dropped a 500lb H.E on the local pub or if iceland have knocked you out of the euros.

    i find this thread deeply shocking, its depravity is probably only matched by the highly regretable boston tea party incident (the revolution we can understand, no one likes british politicians especially the british ,but wasting perfectly good tea ???)

    im going to have to have a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake now followed by a little liedown and hopefully when i wake up victoria will be back on the throne and all will be right with the world.
     
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  12. telefunken

    telefunken Friend of Leo's

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    HaHaHa.......My mom used to do that to bread also. Now, if my bread on a sandwich is even slightly soggy I throw it away.
     
  13. Jeff_K

    Jeff_K Friend of Leo's

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    As a kid I worked in a restaurant known for its sweet tea. It was easy. One cup of sugar for one gallon of tea. Could explain my diabetes but it was great.
     
  14. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    You poor SOB, same exact result here. My mom made me that stuff after I'd had a childhood bout of vomiting. 'Twas a temporary cure as I could not eat that 'mush'. Oh man, it was awful & she meant so well.

    I agree with cowboytwang: pitch sun tea after enjoying it for one day. It gets rank even in the fridge after brewing like that. It's a constant argument with my sis and one that I, as the constant host, always win.
     
  15. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    Heh? Just drink it as boutique beer.

    I remember sun tea from my stay in Kansas. Nice, and I wasn't so health conscious then.
     
  16. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

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    Oops, I usually make sun tea all summer... And do everything you say not to...[emoji15]
     
  17. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

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    All excellent suggestions, gentlemen, I will be doing it up properly once I get home.
     
  18. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

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    Bitter tea can be a result of over-extraction, but it usually has more to do with time than temperature. The British, who know a thing or two about tea, actually pour boiling water into the tea pot and pour it out before steeping the tea in more boiling water, in order to pre-heat the pot so it will not cool down the water the tea is steeping in. Once the boiling water is poured over the tea bags in the pre-heated pot, the pot is covered with a quilted "tea cozy"- an insulator to keep the heat in. The goal is to keep the water as hot as possible. The Chinese follow a similar procedure. They've been brewing tea for a very long time.

    The bitterness in tea comes from catechins, tannins and other polyphenols such as theophylline. The raised pH in my recipe neutralizes some of these substances. As long as you don't allow it to steep for more than 3-5 minutes, and as long as you don't squeeze the tea bags when you take them out, it will be fine.

    Cloudy tea is usually caused by soluble proteins being forced out of solution via thermal shock. Assuming you're using a good quality tea, and as long as you allow the hot tea to cool slowly, you shouldn't have a problem with cloudy tea. One way to fix it if it does become cloudy is to add more boiling water to it.


    For a long time, the "temperature danger zone" for potentially hazardous foods was between 41°F and 140°F.

    In 2012, it was revised to between 42°F and 135°F.

    Either way, tea is not a potentially hazardous food. The only thing that could cause potential food safety issues would be if the water were contaminated with Shigella bacteria. As long as you're using potable water, water that you would drink by itself, bacteria should not be an issue.
     
  19. cowboytwang

    cowboytwang Poster Extraordinaire

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    The part that is usually the cause of bacteria in Sun Tea is the vessel it's brewed in. Use clean water and a very clean vessel.

    I've been brewing my tea in a coffee maker. I put the tea bags in the craft, fill the coffee maker with water, and it goes through the cycle and I let it sit for 4 or 5 minutes and it comes out perfect every time. Most coffee makers heat water between 195° to 205°. I've just always felt that was just the right temperature for brewing tea, at least it is for me...
     
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