Canning Jar Sweet Tea Concentrate

canning jar sweet tea concentrateI made Sweet tea today for my guys.  We drink a LOT of tea.  And I found a great way to have it made in canning jars ahead of time so it is quick and easy to get a pitcher ready when we are out.

Make concentrate!


Just boil water, add it to a quart size jar.  Add the amount of sugar you would normally like in a gallon of tea.  We use 2/3 cup… it is too sweet for my taste!  But my husband and sons love it.  🙂 If you don’t use sugar just use whatever sweetener you would normally like.

When the sugar dissolves add a tea bag.  One family size tea bag per quart jar.  Or if you don’t have the larger family size bags just use regular tea bags and add 2 or 3 depending on how strong you like your tea.  You can use flavored teas as well.

Allow this to steep until the tea is nice and dark.  I’ll often just leave it on the counter for an hour or more.  Whenever I get back to it is fine.  Remove your tea bag, cover the jar and store in the fridge.  It must be stored in the fridge.  This is not shelf stable.

We go through this tea very fast especially in the summer so I’ve never had any go bad in the refrigerator.  I’d estimate the jars would last a week or so in there.  But remember this is very sweet, don’t leave it out on the counter.

When you need a new pitcher of tea: Using a gallon size pitcher, dump in a jar of concentrated tea, add water to fill the pitcher, stir and you are set.  No waiting for the water to boil and the tea to brew.  And when you’ve got thirsty men… they are thirsty NOW.  🙂

Does anyone else do this too?

Who is that crazy woman who enjoys canning, a full pantry, and simplicity? Hi, I am Sharon, a simple woman in love with her hardworking husband, and home school mom of 4 sons.

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  1. Sharon Burnette says:

    How long will the concentrate last in fridge?

  2. Can this be canned? When I make iced tea I simply place two quarts of boiling water over 4 family sized tea bags in a gallon jar, allow to steep for 5 minutes, add sugar and fill with cold water. It’s ready to serve over ice or be chilled. Since my refrigerator space is always at a premium I’m not sure I would want to tie up more of it.

    • I’ve never thought about canning it… I don’t know why not. I’d do some research and see if there is any reason why you shouldn’t.

      • I would be interested in trying the canning to make it shelf stable, I can’t wait to see how you figure it out 🙂

      • Nancy McDonald says:

        I’d love to know if you can canned sweet tea concentrate. I’m in chronic pain after 4 failed back surgeries and I’d love to stock some up.

    • Yes, it can be canned. Water bath for 10-15 min. I just did some this past weekend and it is nice to have on hand.

  3. Be careful! I have cracked my mason jars doing exactly this! I let it cool a bit on the stove first… And I make 6/7 and freeze some of them. I keep 1-2 ready in fridge, so they can make it quick!

  4. I make a concentrate like you do but I take some and put it in the freezer in ice cube trays or in a plastic tub so I can make individual glasses or when I know I will need some in an hour or so I can take the frozen tub out and put it in the pitcher by the time it melts it is ice cold and I normally have more concentrate made up by then in the fridge it is how I never run out even in a pinch or if I have only one person who like tea I can make just one glass up with out making a whole pitcher.

  5. OMG you are so smart we are a tea fanatic family never thought about doing this before. Thank you so much. 🙂 smile because you just made my life easier and a happy follower i would be….thank you. Seems like you should be able to can it because you can syrup right and basically it is kinda sorta that base, Thanks again….

  6. Kim Brush says:

    I do this! I have an addiction to canning jars. There are so many things in my frig in jars. So it has just always made sense to do tea in them as well. Off to make some now!

  7. Emily Patterson says:

    Thank you so much for the idea! My kids love sweet tea but hate to make it, this will make it much easier for them (and less of a mess n the kitchen for me) they will be thrilled!

  8. vjwilliams says:

    My mother taught me this years ago. Its nice to always have on hand for that next gallon of tea.

  9. An easy way I find to make UNSWEETENED tea, is to take a 1/2 gallon mason jar, add a tea bag, fill with water, and put it in the fridge. In about an hour or so it’s ready enough, but the longer you let it sit the stronger the flavor.

    This doesn’t really work for sweetened tea because since it was never heated, the sugar tends to just sit at the bottom.

  10. I make up concentrate without sugar and dilute when ready to use. I don’t drink it sweet, but people can sweeten it if they choose.

  11. Does the same apply if you do not add sugar or sweetner? By fiance doesn’t like sugar added to his tea and it’s about the only thing he drinks.

  12. grammyprepper says:

    Great ideas from all! I don’t do sweet tea myself…I prefer unsweetened…One thing I’ve noticed recently is that it is hard to find a glass sun tea jar…all the local stores are carrying are plastic…well, yard sale season is upon us, and that’s one of my goals…

  13. I add the sugar to a pan on the stove, and boil until it is dissolved. Then I add the tea bags and let step. When it has cooled, I transfer to the mason jar and for fridge storage. Then there is no danger of thermal shocking the glass. I tend to do one jar at a time, but it would be easy to divide in equal amounts in multiple jars. I make it pretty concentrated, so there is less cooling time for those times I don’t have concentrate and need some tea sooner rather than later.

  14. You can make this also unsweetened. And the easiest way to get it sweet onve it is cold for those who might want it
    sweet is to also keep a jar of simple syrup in the frig as well.