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"Store Bought Style" Sweet Tea

Submitted by: Keith

Recipe Ingredients:
3/4 cups Fructose (more or less to taste)
3/4 cups Sucrose (Table Sugar) (more or less to taste)
1 Tea Bag (any kind of black tea)
Small cup (mug size is fine) or small pan to brew tea in
Gallon Jug (if not available, a large pitcher

Cooking Directions:
1.  Heat: Get a small amount of water and heat it until it 'almost' boils. in my microwave that's a mug of water for 3:00 (that's 3:30 on a 1200 watt). Alternatively bring about 2-3 cups of water to a boil in a pan on a stove. Brew: Put the tea bag in the smaller amount of water and let it get as strong as 1 tea bag will get. *Note* I specifically say "black tea" because store bought green tea is sweetened VERY differently.

2.  Prepare: Take your gallon jug or large pitcher and add the sugar (the amount of sugar suggested above goes by a 1 gallon jug). I highly encourage experimenting with ratios and amounts to taste. Suggested ratio/amount: 1 to 1 ratio, 3/4ths cup of each. For more acidic tea (with lemon, et cetera) put more sucrose (table sugar) in than fructose. Mix: pour the hot tea into the jug with the sugar in it. I highly recommend adding some water to the pitcher along with 5-10 ice cubes, if not proceed to next step immediately.

3.  Add water: Fill the pitcher up the rest of the way with water. Colors should range from light amber (almost like green tea color) to dark amber if you made it stronger. ~I personally don't normally make it strong enough to mimic the color of store bought tea, I mostly aim for flavor. 6.) Stir: Stir using whatever means are convenient to you, warmer tea will help the sugar dissolve faster.

4.  Drink: I normally have 2 gallon pitchers of homemade tea available at any one time. For freshness I dump and remake any tea that is not consumed within 3 day because I leave it on the counter top unrefrigerated (will last a week unrefrigerated by us). Refrigerated will last a week, and start to not be 'as' good anymore after that, should probably be dumped after a month, but I wouldn't know, for rarely a jug of tea in my family has ever lasted for more than a week without being consumed.

5.  *Final notes*: Store bought sweet tea just somehow taste different than tea you make yourself. How? Like any candy maker should know, different 'types' of sugars combined in different ratios will achieve different levels of sweetness. The most common in America, and by popular opinion the most palatable, is a mix of sucrose and fructose. Sucrose is basically table sugar you buy in the big bags in the grocery store. Fructose by itself is really hard to come by, corn syrup will have fructose, but it's not 100% fructose (hence why high fructose corn syrup is so much better than normal corn syrup, despite popular myths surrounding it.) All sugars are NOT the same, they are indeed equally as bad for you, but nobody is trying to "trick you" by using complicated words such as "glucose, fructose, sucrose." Sugar burns in the body ridiculously easy, especially monosaccharides such as table sugar and corn syrup. They will ONLY be turned into fats and lipids in your body if you don't burn them off. Basically you'll only get fat from sugars if you do nothing all day prior to consuming them (or 3 hours before bed). It's unfathomable to me (for lack of a smaller word) how ridiculous it is to find websites with 'unbiased' facts about sugars.

    Fructose Fructose
A perfect substitute for those who can't use table sugar. It's great for baking, too!

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