Sweet Tea Concentrate

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + cooling


20 servings (5 cups concentrate)

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
Sweet iced tea is a southern classic, and this is a fabulous recipe for 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. Using a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife, peel the lemon lengthwise into strips, peeling only the zest; reserve. 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 zest strips. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain tea, discarding tea leaves and lemon zest; 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 1 cup cold 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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