With just 3 basic ingredients, you can have a refreshing pitcher of homemade sweet tea recipe ready to be enjoyed! With our tips and detailed guide, you’ll have this delicious Southern sweet tea perfected in no time!

Homemade sweet tea in a pitcher next to ice, lemon and lemon slices.

There is nothing better than a sip of cold sweet tea during the day, you are going to LOVE this easy recipe.

If you are looking for other drink recipes, you might enjoy the apple cider, our copycat Olive Garden’s Peach tea, or even our strawberry lemonade.

SWEET TEA recipe-

During the summertime, we always have some in the refrigerator for the kiddos to enjoy! The strong and rich flavors from the tea combined with the sugar poured served with ice are truly amazing! Add some flavor to this homemade tea if you want something more than sweet tea.

Homemade sweet tea in mason jars with lemon slices and mint leaves.


You will not believe how easy it is to make iced tea at home! With just three basic ingredients you can have a pitcher ready to go in under 15 minutes.

This recipe makes a pitcher, 8 servings, but double or triple the recipe for a larger portion. Here is what you need:

  • Black tea: The recipe calls for 4 black tea bags. We use Lipton tea bags, but you can use any of your favorite black tea bags.
  • Water– You will need 8 cups of water for this recipe.
  • Sugar– The sugar is what brings you that sweetness! But if you like unsweetened iced tea then leave the sugar out!
  • Pitcher– You have to have a cute pitcher when making this sweet tea recipe. We have two of these pitchers for the kids to enjoy and this pretty one for guests if hosting!


  1. Boil water– In a large pot, bring water to a boil then remove the pot from heat.
  2. Add sugar/tea bags– Add the sugar and tea bags into the water and steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Cool tea– Remove the tea bags and allow the tea to completely cool.
  4. Serve with ice– Add the tea to a pitcher and serve over iced, or add ice cubes to the tea.
  5. Enjoy– Enjoy, friends.
A mason jar loaded with ice, lemon slices and mint leaves next to lemon slices and cubed ice.


You can adjust the strength of the iced tea based on the number of tea bags you use and the steeping time.

  • LIGHT– For a lighter brew, steep 3-4 minutes.
  • REGULAR– This is the recipe we share. The tea isn’t too strong or light.
  • STRONG– For an extra-strong tea, add six tea bags and steep for 6-7 minutes.


We most often enjoy the classic sweet tea with no add-ins! You can add some of your favorite add-ins for more flavor.

  • Lemon– I love adding lemon slices for that extra citrus flavor.
  • Orange– Squeeze orange and add some slices for an orange-flavored tea.
  • Mint– Adding mint leaves brings that extra fresh flavor, this is our favorite.
  • Lemonade– Add some lemonade if you like the combination of tea with lemonade!
  • Syrup– For other flavors, sometimes we will add fruity syrups such as peach syrup, raspberry syrup or your favorite will all work great.
Two cups of homemade iced tea next to lemons and ice.

Other favorite drinks to try:

Classic Sweet Tea Recipe (Iced Tea)

Author: Valentina
5 from 4 votes
With just 3 basic ingredients, you can have Southern homemade sweet tea with ice ready to be enjoyed!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 pitcher (8 cups)



  • In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Add the sugar and tea bags into the boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard.
  • Cool the tea and transfer to a pitcher and serve over ice.
  • Enjoy!


581kcal Calories150g Carbs96mg Sodium150g Sugar57mg Calcium
Nutrition Facts
Classic Sweet Tea Recipe (Iced Tea)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 581
% Daily Value*
Sodium 96mg4%
Carbohydrates 150g50%
Sugar 150g167%
Calcium 57mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)