The Trick To Making The Perfect Sweet Tea

Sometimes, you just need to sip a perfectly sweetened tea. It's refreshing, and it's perfect for summer, though we can't blame anyone for drinking it year-round. Any tea can be made iced, though traditional sweet tea in the U.S. is made with black tea, so you ultimately even have options for how you want to enjoy your iced tea.

There isn't much of a difference between green tea and black tea when it comes to brewing, only a slight temperature change, per Artful Tea. Therefore, you can use the same technique for any tea and also buy new teas comfortably knowing that you'll know how to properly prepare them. Get experimental with your tea drinking habits to keep your tea routine fresh – each type of tea also does different things to the body, so they might surprise you!

Sweet tea is ultimately delicious, but it can be bad for you if it's too sweet and consumed in too high a volume. Sweetening one's tea too much is just one of many common habits that make cups of tea unhealthy, so one should simply beware of their habits when it comes to tea (via Eat This, Not That!). However, when you're going to make sweet tea, there are one or two tricks you need to know to make the perfect cup every time.

The 't' in tea is for 'tannin'

To make the perfect sweet tea, you may want to handle the tannins that form when brewing tea with hot water. According to Today, tannins give tea a harsher taste and cause the "pucker" face you sometimes get when drinking it. Instead, they recommend brewing your tea in cold water, just as one would make cold brew. In fact, the difference between making cold brew versus iced coffee is the exact same as cold brewing tea versus traditional tea brewing methods, respectively. This process takes longer — you can let the tea steep overnight — but it will yield a much smoother result.

If you don't want to cold brew your tea — or can't because you're in a pinch — add some baking soda to it once it's brewed (via Garden Betty). When applied to hot, brewed tea, baking soda neutralizes the tannins that formed during the brewing process. You only need a pinch, though. Too much baking soda can alter the flavor in a different but equally harsh way. Simply stir in the baking soda to dissolve it, and you should be left with a smooth drink for everyone to enjoy.

Avoiding the tea's tannins is the biggest tip to make a good sweet tea a great sweet tea, but you can also throw in berries, fresh mint, citrus, ginger, cinnamon, and more to make your sweet tea your own (via Taste of Home). You don't have to add too much, either; rather than overwhelming the flavor, you can add a little dash of something to accent the tea's natural flavors.