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Sweet Tea Concentrate

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + cooling


20 servings (5 cups concentrate)

Sweet iced tea is a Southern classic and this is a fabulous recipe for those tea lovers or for a party. The concentrate will make 20 servings. —Natalie Bremson, Plantation, Florida
Sweet Tea Concentrate Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 medium lemons
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups English breakfast tea leaves or 20 black tea bags
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Ice cubes


  1. Remove peels from lemons; squeeze fruit, reserving 1/3 cup. Save remaining juice for another use.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until sugar is dissolved, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; add tea leaves and lemon peels. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain tea, discarding tea leaves and lemon peels; stir in lemon juice. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  4. To prepare tea: In a tall glass, combine water with 1/4 cup concentrate; add ice.

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup concentrate: 165 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 27mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

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  • Barbara
    Feb 5, 2021

    I have made this and it's a great tea. I used regular Lipton tea the concentrate as it saves refrigerator space. Big Plus! Easy to handle and make a glass as you go. Would make a nice gift, too. Decorate the jar and add a address label with the ingredients.

  • momma-of-3
    Jun 3, 2014

    I have not tried this yet but I think when I do I will just squeeze the two lemons and use the juice from them and I also use Splenda or a low sweetener thank you for the recipe

  • RC1956
    Jun 3, 2014

    Not a rating but the recipe sounds wo good. Mom used to make a tea concentrate over 30 years ago that we really liked. It was 4 cups of water, 4 cups of sugar and 16 tea bags. Boiled until thick. We also used mint tea which was my favorite. And yes, the artificial sugar worked really well too, although thinner than the sugared.

  • DeeBailey
    Jun 3, 2014

    this is a terrific substitute when the ice tea isn't drank quickly enough to make a pitcher every time you want fresh iced tea. its remarkable how it taste like fresh brewed. . "Fuze" sells a concentrate in the dairy section but I'd much rather make my own.

  • lam1085
    Jun 4, 2013

    Wondering if anyone has tried this using sweet and low or splenda in place of the sugar?

  • lahop2it
    Aug 2, 2012

    My son loves sweet tea, but I don't like any sweetner in my tea. He is visiting, and so I decided to try this recipe and see if he liked it. He loved it. He said it was very refreshing and not too heavy. I'm even having a glass. It's a little sweet for me, but the great thing about the concentrate is that it allows you to control how sweet or not to make your glass. Excellent!