As a native of the south, there are staples in our culture that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Gumbo, cornbread, fried chicken, pot roast, banana pudding, the list goes on and on. On the top of my list of things that make the south the best place to live is sweet tea.
While I was growing up, Mom had a 2 quart tupperware pitcher she served her sweet tea in. She steeped the tea bags in boiling water inside a cute little black tea kettle. Then added the perfect amount of sugar to the pitcher plus the steeped tea. She filled the pitcher up with water, stirred, and she was done. A pitcher of sweet tea never stayed around our home for long. She made a new one at least every other day. We are definitely carrying on this tradition up in this house today.
Sweet tea is serious business in our family. And the brand of tea I use in my home today just cannot be tampered with. Okay, as a family of seven, we budget our grocery trips tightly, so I thought I needed to skimp on buying MY brand which is $3.19 at Kroger for the other brand which rang up $2.29. I brought it home and tried the other brand, and it literally was terrible. No matter how sweet I made it, the tea was bitter and not smooth. I actually threw the rest of the box away, shaming myself for trying to skimp on tea. Want to know the good verses evil tea brands?
The most important thing about this situation is that Luzianne actually originated in Louisiana, so naturally it’s got the south’s best taste in mind. Lipton, on the other hand, actually began its commercial life with a powered tea mix… need I say more? I ain’t doing it.
Tongue-in-cheek, obviously, for calling Lipton evil, but it truly differs dramatically especially when you make unsweet tea. It just has a weak, bitter flavor, no matter the amount of bags you use.
So here is how we make our sweet tea in the Sheridan home. I have experimented with boiling the bags with the hot water on the stove top and adding a pinch of baking soda for an even smoother taste. Here is where we have landed for the perfect sweet tea.
The South’s Best Sweet Tea
4 bags Family Size Luzianne Tea
4 cups water
4 quart pitcher
1 1/4 cups white sugar
- Bring four cups of water to boil in a sauce pan. Pour immediately into pitcher then place 4 bags of Luzianne tea in pitcher and cover with lid. Allow to steep at least 10 minutes.
- Next, carefully remove tea bags from pitcher and discard. Add 1 1/4 cups of white sugar and thoroughly stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Then fill pitcher to the top with water. Stir one more time. ENJOY!
- Side note: I do enjoy having a 50/50 many days. That’s just half sweet tea, half unsweet tea. To make unsweet tea, follow the same recipe just without sugar. And to make the perfect 50/50, you first put the unsweet tea in and then pour the sweet tea on top. That ensures a true 50/50!
So, if you are looking for the best tea to brew in your home, go get you some Luzianne! Walmart has it the cheapest, but if you have to pay $1 more at your local grocery store, please please do it – you won’t regret it!