Here’s my recipe for southern sweet tea. Again, you can adjust the sweetness so it fits your tastebuds. Enjoy!
A little background on Tea:
All tea comes from the leaves of the same plant: Camellia Sinensis
Some Basic definitions
Tea – The dried and prepared leaves of a shrub, Camellia sinensis, from which an aromatic beverage is prepared.
Tisane – An herbal infusion of fresh flowers or leaves prepared as a beverage or for use as medicine.
There are six types of tea:
White | Yellow | Green | Oolong | Black | Post-Fermented
photo credit: Tubbytoons on forum.detik.com
The differences and distinct flavors are created by their differing chemical compositions. As you can see from the second picture, the categories are stretched some to make room for other composed teas. The post fermented tea is sometimes called Puerh (poo-air) but that is also left to whomever is discussing the matter. There are other post-fermented teas. Other herbs, petals, and flower buds can be combined to create an herbal tisane, but tea types are determined by their oxidation process. The other highlighted teas fall under the six categories. Tisane can be created at home with the use of any combination of aromatic herbs and flowers.
Weights of Tea Types
|Rose Petals||White / Mint||Oolong / Green||Black Tea|
|1 Pinch||0.2 g | 0.007oz||0.2 g | 0.01oz||0.4 g | 0.014oz||0.5 g | 0.17oz|
|1 Teaspoon||0.5 g | 0.017oz||0.8 g | 0.028oz||1.9 g | 0.067oz||2.8 g | 0.28oz|
|1 Cup||16 g | 0.560oz||29 g | 1.023oz||66 g | 2.350oz||92 g | 3.25oz|
There are two methods for brewing tea: Hot brewing & Cold brewing
The jury is still out on which method is better but, traditionally, Black tea using the hot brewing method is the way to go for Iced Tea. This is what we focused on in this episode but I included brewing instructions, here, for hot tea and iced tea.
When you measure for Hot tea a cup is considered six ounces (6 oz). When measuring for iced tea a cup is considered eight ounces (8 oz). This makes all the difference in the world when you use the table above to measure out your tea.
My rule of thumb is to use 1.25 tsp of tea for each cup of hot tea I brew and 2.5 tsp of tea for each cup of iced tea I brew. As you can probably deduce, iced tea uses double the tea per cup.
Here is a chart I downloaded from Teavana. They use a “ball” system but again the measuring is still based on teaspoons per cup.
If you are using pre-bagged tea as opposed to loose leaf you are working with finer leaves with more surface area. The greater surface area will increase the rate at which tannins from the leaves are released. The tannins, like wine, are the culprits of bitter taste. Steeping at a higher than recommended temperature or steeping for too long will give you some unpleasant tea. If you are using loose leaf tea, using too many leaves will make your tea bitter. I must repeat…stick with my rule of thumb:
1.25 tsp of tea for each cup (6oz) of hot tea you brew;
2.5 tsp of tea for each cup (8 oz) of iced tea you brew.
Remember, the longer you brew tea, the more tannins will be released and the bitterness just gets stronger and stronger. If you use the recommended times above as a starting point, you should be good to go!
Each batch/cup of tea is unique, and each tea drinker’s taste is different. Experiment until you find what you consider to be the perfect cup of tea. Start with my recipe and adjust from there…use it as your GPS on your quest for Your best pitcher of tea. Here’s the link to it again: