Hold The Kettle! Cold-Brew Sweet Tea Exists
And we tried it.
Sweet tea is a classic that Southerners take very seriously. We know how much sugar to include, why a pinch of baking soda makes a difference, and the importance of keeping a full pitcher perfectly chilled in case of drop-in guests. It's one of our Southern staples that we aren't willing to compromise on.
So, when we heard about Southern Breeze Cold-Brew Sweet Tea, we were very skeptical. The newly launched product from Marietta, Georgia is, according to the website, "inspired by the South itself." A box of Southern Breeze Cold-Brew comes with 20 single-serve, pre-sweetened tea bags. Each bag of tea is zero calories, and has instructions to brew in 8 oz. of cold water for 5 minutes. Once the tea has "brewed," throw out the bag and pour over ice. Tea-lovers have the option to choose from Original, Peach, Raspberry, Half-and-Half, and Decaf Sweet Tea.
We put each flavor (minus Decaf) to the test around the office to see if this instant Southern tea could measure up to our classic recipe. Needless to say, a few favorites rose quickly to the top.
"Woah – this is just as sweet as my Mamaw's tea."
"I'd definitely buy the peach! I think it'd be perfect for the beach."
The raspberry is even more mild than the peach – it's the perfect hint of fruitiness."
We all agreed that the tea was very, very sweet – but sippers have the ability to add a little extra water or ice for a more subtle glass. Plus, the teas didn't have any of the bitterness that comes from hot-brewed tea. While three out of four teas had generally positive feedback, one flavor missed the mark all-around – the Half & Half (half-tea, half-lemonade).
"It tastes like melted candy with Splenda on top."
"It feels like abrasive, fake lemon."
"This definitely tastes fake-sweet."
All in all, though, we were pretty impressed with these 5-minute brews. Southern Breeze didn't skimp on sweetness, skipped the calories, and showed up with a very convenient package. It'd be a great hostess tool to whip out in a pinch. Just make sure to follow the instructions – too little water is overpowering and too much water dilutes the flavor.
One of our editorial fellows summed it up perfectly: "I didn't expect it to be good. But, after trying it, I'd probably actually buy that."