Food - Drink
Why You Should Add A Bit Of Baking Soda To Sweet Tea
By KAREN HART
Sweet tea is a Southern staple that may have been invented in South Carolina, or perhaps in Boston in 1869, as cited in "Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue" by John and Dale Reed. Either way, this beverage is an American icon, and while it's pretty hard to mess up sweet tea, baking soda can maker your pitcher even better.
If you want your tea free to appear beautifully clear and ginger-brown, as a good glass of Southern sweet tea is supposed to be, Southern Living recommends adding a "pinch" of baking soda. Not only does this secret ingredient get rid of cloudiness and floating particles in your tea, but it almost completely eliminates any bitter flavors.
On the other hand, you might not need baking soda at all if you don’t oversteep your tea; brewing for the right amount of time will negate the need for baking soda to mitigate bitter-tasting tannins. Tannins are also the cause of a cloudy appearance in your tea, but brewing your tea at room temperature can prevent this.