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How I Make Tea {Scott’s Cold Sweet Tea}

mason jars of iced tea with slices of lemon

We’re heading out this week on a little road trip to my sister’s house. Chances are, when we arrive, there will be a pitcher of Scott’s Cold Sweet Tea chilling in the refrigerator. And, lucky me, I know just the cabinet to find a tall glass!

I’ve always liked iced tea. As a kid, my tastebuds leaned on that sugary Lipton mix, preferably the one flavored with lemon. It was so easy to stir a couple heaping spoons into a tall cold glass of water and cool off.

Nowadays, however, my sweet tea drinking is on a little different, and I think much better, level. And my brother-in-law Scott is to thank for keeping me on my tea making toes.

Scott uses a method that involves adding just a pinch of baking soda to the pitcher. I guess this is not something new, but I certainly hadn’t heard of it until just last summer. (Did you know about this?!) 

The baking soda gives the drink clarity. And it also takes the edge off the tea’s natural acidity, making for a smoother, more enjoyable cold sipper. Needless to say, Scott’s method is now my method. He’s a real smart guy.  :wink:

There is so much you can do with a cold glass of sweet tea! Stir in some fresh lemon juice or make an Arnie Palmer with half lemonade and half tea. Smash in some summer berries, citrus slices, or sprigs of fresh herbs. I loooooooooove mint in my tea!

How do you like your cold tea?! 

a pitcher and glass of iced tea
mason jars of iced tea with slices of lemon

Scott’s Cold Sweet Tea

Yield: 8 cups
There is so much you can do with a cold glass of sweet tea!
4.5 Stars (2 Reviews)


  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 6 tea bags regular Lipton tea or your favorite black tea
  • ¼ to ¾ c. sugar depending on your preference for sweet (I like to use super fine sugar)
  • 6 c. cold water


  • Sprinkle baking soda into a heat-proof pitcher.
  • Pour in boiling water and add tea bags. Let steep for 15 minutes. Discard tea bags.
  • Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour in cold water. Bring to room temperature and then refrigerate.


From my brother-in-law, Scott Bebensee.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 20kcal Carbohydrates: 5g Sodium: 19mg Sugar: 5g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
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30 comments on “How I Make Tea {Scott’s Cold Sweet Tea}”

  1. As a North Carolinian, I love sweet tea! I add 1 3/4 cups of sugar to a gallon…and that’s not as sweet as a lot of folks make it down here. I should try the tip about adding baking soda…thanks!