Smooth Sweet Tea Recipe -
Smooth Sweet Tea Recipe
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Smooth Sweet Tea
See how to make a sweet Southern refresher. See more
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Smooth Sweet Tea

Recipe by  

"Southern sweet tea, perfect for hot summer days!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 quarts Change Servings
  • PREP

    5 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    3 hrs 20 mins


  1. Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda into a 64-ounce, heat-proof, glass pitcher. Pour in boiling water, and add tea bags. Cover, and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags, and discard; stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour in cool water, then refrigerate until cold.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 25, 2008

I would give this recipe 100 stars if I could!!! I am in love with McDonalds sweet tea. I would go every morning after I dropped the kids off at school and buy 2 large teas with no ice. I would grab a drink here and there!! I would crave it if I didn't have any left!! Well sorry Mcdonalds!! You have met your match!! I double this recipe and make a gallon of sweet joy!! I love the baking soda trick. It really does keep the tea clear and not bitter. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jun 14, 2008

Pouring boiling water into a glass pitcher (even a "heat-proof" one) is a recipe for disaster. The glass will crack/shatter. The best thing to do is to pour it into a plastic container first and then put it in the glass pitcher after it has cooled.

Apr 04, 2008

The baking soda is the key ingredient in this recipe to make a smooth tea. It helps to cut the bitter taste that you can get from tea. It's really refreshing and for me it has the right amount of sweetness. Thx.

Aug 30, 2007

As if this recipe needed ANOTHER 5 star rating, but I couldn't help myself. I agree with another reviewer that the baking soda DOES take the bitterness out of the recipe. I had stopped making iced tea for that very reason, and then I found this recipe. It's absolutely delicious. For those of you who see the baking soda in this recipe and frown in curiosity, turn that frown upside down. The baking soda makes it delicious (and is necessary in my opinion)! Now, I will say that I did not use quite as much cool water as the recipe calls for. I think I stopped at about 4 cups. But the strength of your tea is such a personal taste thing, so I would recommend that as you're adding the water, give it a good stir after the first few cups and taste it and see whatcha think. As for the sugar, I used exactly what the recipe called for (keep in mind I used less water) and it tasted perfect. Not too sweet, because I don't like sweet, sweet tea. This recipe can be tweaked to suit any taste. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. It's absolutely delicious! Try it...once you do, you won't have it any other way!

Jul 06, 2008

Some of my family members are not sweet tea drinkers, they prefer their iced tea unsweetened so I tried the pinch of baking soda in unsweetened tea and it seemed to be just as effective at smoothing the bitterness and preventing it from getting cloudy. Thanks for the tip!

Apr 22, 2007

A lovely recipe. I used 1 cup of sugar (If you've ever had the "Tradewinds" brand of iced tea, then you'll know what I mean when I say I prefer "super sweet" to simply "sweet". The baking soda worked its magic even better than I thought it would. I also substituted ice for some of the cold water which speeded up the cooling process. This will make you feel like you're sitting on your wrap around porch in a white rocking chair, even if you live in the city without so much as a patio.

Jul 25, 2010

I made this yesterday for my husband, as he's big on sweet tea. Yes. Thumbs up. He approves! I'll be making the sweet tea like this from now on. EDITED: This also works with Splenda and agave nectar!

Jul 28, 2009

Yey! No more cloudy tea! And all it took was a pinch of baking soda? So clear you can see right through it. Using 1/2 cup of Splenda was the perfect sweetness for us and I thank you cookincode3 for sharing your great tip!


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  • Calories
  • 73 kcal
  • 4%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 18.7 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 0 g
  • 0%
  • Fiber
  • 0 g
  • 0%
  • Protein
  • 0 g
  • 0%
  • Sodium
  • 41 mg
  • 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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