Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sweet Tea

I love sweet tea, its something you can usually count on somebody to have on hand.  If you didn't grow up down here you probably think its too sweet and/or too weak, but I do know one Guatemalan girl who said she wished she could take a couple of gallons of Milo's tea back with her. 

It was suggested by a Yankee friend of mine that it should be called "sweetened tea."  I said that if she had tea with lemon would it be lemoned tea, or just lemon tea?  Iced tea is iced tea, but if you order it down here you will be asked, "sweet or unsweet?"

The first thing I typically taste at a restaurant is the sweet tea and I can usually get a pretty good read of the joint by this alone.  I can tell if it is from a concentrated tea mix and if it is I know that the meal probably isn't going to blow me away. Many "fancy" restaurants don't serve sweet tea, but will serve iced tea with a small jigger of simple syrup, sometimes with mint, to add to your tea without having to do the sip and stir.

Here's how I make sweet tea.  First you'll need.
  • Hot Water
  • 3 - 1 quart tea bags (I use Red Diamond - 2 Decaf and 1 Full Caf)
  • 1 - 1.5 cups of sugar
Mix the sugar, water and tea bags when the kettle whistles then let it cool 30 minutes or until just warm before adding cool water.  I usually leave the tea bags in the pitcher but you can remove them if you'd like.

Wikipedia says the first recipe for sweet tea called for green tea, but I suspect it was made with whatever tea was available and I've only had it made with black tea.

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