Healthy Homemade Sweet Tea Recipe
Perfect homemade sweet tea recipe made with black tea, and a hint of honey is refreshingly bold and crisp! Pour this sweet tea over ice for an unforgettable experience! When making homemade sweet tea, you are entirely in control because you add the amount of sweetness you want, and you make it as light or as concentrated as you wish.
Having said that, with my easy-to-make healthy homemade sweet tea recipe, you can customize this tea recipe to suit your current need. It can be the perfect hot tea for the winter months and a phenomenal sweet iced tea for hot summer days! The best part is that this homemade sweet tea is refreshing, energizing, and health-improving! This tea recipe is one size fits; this way, you save time, energy, and resources; indeed, best sweet tea recipe!
Origin of Sweet Tea (Southern Sweet Tea Recipe)
Whenever you mention sweet tea, the next thing that pops up is southern sweet tea; this is because sweet tea is said to have originated from the south. Southern sweet tea aka, Southern sweet iced tea, was first documented in a community cookbook (Housekeeping in Old Virginia) in 1878 by Marion Cabell Tyree. Though the original recipe calls for green tea, my homemade sweet tea recipe uses Lipton Black Tea. To be honest, I don’t think the type of tea you use matters; some people may argue that it does. The unique thing about cooking is that you can make it to your preference, which means making it your way. The truth is that most recipes are just a guide; perhaps what works for you might be in the middle.
On another note, if you are used to following every recipe to a dot (not necessarily a bad thing). However, please be mindful that some southern sweet tea recipes have excessive sugar, even as high as in Coca-Cola, which sucks because tea is supposed to be better. Right? Always important to remember that sugar is anti-nutrient. Fortunately, this homemade sweet tea recipe uses honey instead of sugar, and you will actually enjoy the flavorful taste of tea rather than watered-down tea with too much sugar.
BLACK TEA: Why I like using Lipton Black Tea.
There are various other types of tea, such as oolong, yellow, white, and green teas, but I prefer black tea for this homemade sweet tea recipe. Most teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant; however, black tea is usually seen as “the true tea,” this is because black tea leaves oxidize fully before processing. Typically, black tea has more flavors than the others as their dark brown leaves give the tea its distinctive flavor. Black teas tend to have more caffeine than the other teas and less caffeine than coffee. As you can imagine, I want the boldest flavor for my homemade sweet tea recipe, so I went with black tea!
Additionally, growing up in Nigeria, all I ever had was black tea; in fact, I never heard of or had any other type of tea until I started living in the United States. So, pardon my bias for this tea, but, by the same token, there are plenty of reasons to love black tea, even if you are new to tea!
Benefits of Black Tea.
- Lower “Bad” LDL Cholesterol; Black tea is can lower bad cholesterol and thereby reducing cholesterol build-up in the arteries.
- Heart Health; black tea is heart-healthy because it contains antioxidants called flavonoids. Relatively, been heart-healthy implies that it can reduce the risk of heart disease. This includes reducing blood pressure and as well as lower the risk of Stroke.
- Black tea can improve gut health; our gut is essential to our health. The polyphenols found in black tea promote the growth of good gut bacteria. In other words, a simple cup of black may help maintain a healthy gut. I personally think this is enough reason to indulge in black.
- Packed with antioxidants, healthy antioxidants can help reduce the damage of free radicals. Luckily black tea has some of these antioxidant properties.
- Black tea may lower blood sugar levels, which is a pretty big deal because high blood sugar has many health risks and complications. Point often overlooked is that black tea has more flavors than other teas.
Ingredients for Homemade Sweet Tea Recipe
How to make Healthy Sweet Tea without Sugar.
Making sweet tea is easy peasy, and gladly you can tailor it to suit you. Though this recipe isn’t exactly a southern iced tea recipe, it is my interpretation of it! However, you can add more water and sweetener to create your own southern iced tea banger! Follow the steps below to make my homemade sweet tea recipe:
- Boil the water.
Add three bags of Lipton black tea; steep for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard them. I typically steep for 10 minutes on the exact. You definitely do not want a bitter tea by keeping them longer.
- Sweeten Your Tea
Stir in the honey while the tea is still warm, and mix well to combine. The trick to making sure that the honey mixes well with the tea is to add it while warm. If you let the tea cool before adding honey, it will be a disaster as it will congeal (solidify).
- Cool Tea Before Serving
Allow the tea to completely cool for at least 2 hours in the fridge before serving over ice. DO NOT POUR HOT/WARM TEA OVER ICE; don’t ruin your sweet iced tea experience.
On the other hand, if you prefer unsweetened tea, aka black tea, do not add honey or any other sweetener; serve as it is. On the positive side, this homemade sweet tea recipe can make sweet iced tea, black tea, or sweet hot tea. This is one tea recipe that fits all.
Best way to Enjoy this Homemade Sweet Tea Recipe
The best way to enjoy sweet tea during the summer is to serve it chilled and over ice, typically known as sweet iced tea. However, you can make this recipe and enjoy it warm or hot during cooler temperatures. Sweet teas go well with a homemade cinnamon roll!
Sweet Tea Vs. Iced Tea
Usually, sweet tea and iced tea are used interchangeably, and they may depict sweetened tea poured over ice and enjoyed during summer as one of the best summer drinks! Though these two different words are often used as one, sweet tea specifically means SWEETENED BREWED TEA. On the other hand, ICED TEA is basically brewed tea poured over ice. Ice tea can be sweetened or unsweetened.
In reality, most iced teas are sweetened, and most sweet teas have ice; that’s why it makes sense that these two words are exchangeable! To answer the question, is sweet tea iced tea? Yes, sweet tea is a type of iced tea that most people drink during summer in the United States! Luckily my homemade sweet tea recipe is technically a flavorful sweet iced tea that you would enjoy!
Tips for Making the Best Sweet Tea Every Time!
- Do not water down your tea; haven’t you had some sweet teas that you barely tasted any flavor of the tea. Well, I have. We love our tea flavors, and my homemade sweet tea recipe is simple; 4 cups of water to 3 bags of black tea. And by the time we serve it over ice, it yields 8 cups in total. You get tea flavor with every sip.
- Add baking soda; if you are making a large quantity of tea, and plan to keep them in the fridge for a couple of days, make sure to add a dash of baking soda. We usually finish this homemade sweet tea recipe within a day. So, I rarely add baking soda to my sweet tea recipe.
- Do not steep the tea bags for so long. I have that some people steep their teas overnight, don’t do it! Unfortunately, this may result in a bitter tea. Who wants a bitter tea?
Best Tip for Ordering Iced from fast foods or restaurants:
When ordering iced teas, try and ask for unsweetened tea and perhaps request a teaspoon of sugar or non-calorie sweetener if you wish. This way, you know what you are adding to your iced tea. And when possible, use my homemade sweet tea recipe to make yours!
Homemade Sweet Tea Recipe FAQs:
You can easily make your sweet tea healthy by reducing the amount of sugar you add or substituting sugar with a better sweetener like honey (as I did in this homemade sweet tea recipe). Alternatively, you can go with a non-calorie sweetener like monk fruit to keep this recipe keto.
First of all, it depends on the recipe (however, remember, you can always reduce the amount of sugar any recipe proposes). Second, it may depend on your taste/health need (the power to add more or less sugar lies in your hand. So much responsibility, right? But like I mentioned earlier, use sugar substitutes to reduce the dangers of refined sugars.
Hands down, black tea makes the best iced tea because of its bold and robust flavors. When it comes to cooking, always make it to suit you so you can enjoy it! Alongside black tea, I enjoy African hibiscus tea, peppermint, and green tea flavors. For relaxation, I enjoy sipping chamomile tea!
Sweet tea is supposed to be a healthier replacement for sodas and other sugary drinks. Unfortunately, the food industry has hijacked it, and there are plenty of sweet tea bottles out there that is as bad as soda due to their high sugar content and way less tea. My homemade sweet tea recipe is refined sugar-free, and it is good for you! You can always opt for non-calorie sweeteners like monk fruit.
Making sweet tea from scratch is one of the easiest things to do. Boil the water, steep, sweeten, and enjoy. Please follow my instructions for a perfect flavorful homemade sweet tea recipe!
You can perfectly make sweet tea without sugar any time, any day. The best bet may be to use natural sugar substitutes like honey, agave, maple syrup. On the other hand, you can use non-calorie sweeteners such as Monk fruit, stevia, etc.
You can opt out of baking soda if you use up the entire tea that same day. But if you intend to make large quantities to keep in the fridge for a couple of days, you definitely should add a dash of baking soda.
Lipton (but I may be biased). I keep it basic and almost always go with Lipton tea bags; Lipton is readily available!
You make iced tea that’s not bitter by not steeping the tea bags for so long. In other words, always steep your tea for 5 – 15 minutes. I typically steep for 10 minutes. Equally, adding a pinch of baking soda can help remove the bitterness.
How to Serve Homemade Sweet Iced Tea
The best way to enjoy this homemade sweet tea recipe is to serve it over ice, especially during the hot weather summer days! We had some yesterday, and it was just the most refreshing and satisfying thing EVER!
- Fill up your cup or jars with ice.
- Pour your sweet tea over the ice!
- Enjoy the experience!
Perfect homemade sweet tea recipe made with black tea, and a hint of honey is refreshingly bold and crisp! Pour this sweet tea over ice for an unforgettable experience! Customize this tea recipe to suit your current need. It can be the perfect hot tea for the winter months and a phenomenal sweet iced tea for hot summer days! The best part is that this homemade sweet tea recipe is refreshing, energizing, and health-improving!
4 cups of water (plus more if you desire)
1/4 cup of honey
Ice ( as much as you desire)
- Boil four cups of water.
- Add three bags of Lipton black tea; steep for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard them. I typically steep for 10 minutes on the exact. You definitely do not want a bitter tea by steeping them for longer.
- Stir in the honey while the tea is still warm, and mix well to combine. Then allow the tea to completely cool for at least 2 hours in the fridge before serving over ice. The trick to making sure that the honey mixes well with the tea is to add it while warm. If you let the tea cool before adding honey, it will be a disaster as it will congeal (solidify).
- If you intend to enjoy a warm/hot tea, then serve yourself some sweet-warm tea immediately after adding honey (do not wait for 2 hours).
- On the other hand, if you prefer unsweetened tea, aka black tea, do not add honey or any other sweetener; serve as it is while warm or serve it after it’s cooled over ice as unsweetened iced tea. On the positive side, this homemade sweet tea recipe can make sweet iced tea, black tea, or sweet hot tea. This is one tea recipe that fits all.
Use a non-calorie sweetener to keep this recipe Keto.
Add more water to this recipe to dilute the flavor to suit your preference.
Make this unsweetened iced tea by not adding any sweetener.
Always add the honey while the tea is warm/hot; The trick to making sure that the honey mixes well with the tea is to add it while warm. If you let the tea cool before adding honey, it will be a disaster as it will congeal (solidify).
Keywords: Tea, Sweet tea, Iced Tea, Summer drink, Southern Tea, Sweet Iced Tea, Black Tea
WANT MORE TEA?
Watermelon Tea is a combination of fresh watermelon Juice and my sweet tea. Such a healthy and refreshing recipe for the summer and beyond!
African hibiscus tea/Sorrel/Sobolo/Bissap/Zobo drink is calling. Zobo drink is a popular drink (or tea) in Nigeria (and other African countries), though we fondly call this drink, Zobo!
MORE HEALTHY JUICES TO QUENCH THE HEAT & NOURISH?
- Carrot Juice
- Watermelon Lemonade
- Homemade Beet Juice
- Sugar-free Pineapple Cucumber Juice
- Celery Juice Recipe
- Pomegranate Juice Recipe
- Homemade Grapefruit Juice
- Ginger and Turmeric Drink for Weight loss (on my Youtube channel)
- Minty Carrots and Watermelon Juice
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