Sweet tea that is completely safe for home canning can be made with common kitchen equipment. Every ingredient and tool used to make a beverage is an opportunity to introduce bacteria into the recipe. Canned sweet tea is often stored for long periods of time in temperatures where bacteria can thrive. The heating process should effectively kill the bacteria in the drink in a matter of minutes.
Things You'll Need
Pour a gallon of purified water into the large stockpot. Cover the pot, and bring the water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat.
Remove the strings from the tea bags. Drop the tea bags into the hot water and stir them around gently with the slotted spoon. Cover the pot for three minutes.
Retrieve the tea bags from the water with the slotted spoon. Discard the tea bags. Cover the pot and bring the contents back to a rapid boil over medium-high heat for at least three minutes.
Pour a single cup of water in a small saucepan. Put it over medium heat and bring it to a slow boil. Stir in the granulated white sugar. Increase the heat to medium-high for three minutes of rapid boiling.
Remove the saucepan of now boiled simple syrup. Pour the syrup into the boiling tea. Stir the mixture thoroughly with the steel spoon.