Refined Sugar-Free Sweet Tea

This paleo diet-friendly, refined sugar-free sweet tea is a refreshing and delicious drink with no added sugar. It’s perfect for barbecues and outdoor parties during the warmer months, but no special occasion is required to enjoy this flavorful thirst quencher.

How to make it

The trick to achieving a flavorful pitcher of sweet tea is allowing the tea sufficient time to steep. I prefer to let the tea steep for two hours, but if you’re short on time you can reduce the steeping time to one hour and the result will be almost as bold tasting and delicious.

I prefer to use earl gray tea in this recipe, but you can use any variety of black tea you prefer. And if you’d rather avoid caffeine, go ahead and use your preferred variety of decaffeinated tea.

This iced tea is sweetened with a simple date syrup instead of white sugar. This recipe is ideal if you’re trying to reduce your consumption of refined sugar but still want to enjoy a sweet beverage once in a while.

To make the syrup, add the dates and 4 cups of cold water to a pot on the stove. Bring that to a boil, continue to boil for 25 minutes, then strain out and discard the dates (or save them in the fridge for a few days to use as a sweetener for smoothies) and reserve the delicious syrup.

Once the tea has finished steeping and the syrup is ready, add them both to a pitcher, along with the rest of the cold water. The last step is to thoroughly chill the sweet tea before serving it. I like to refrigerate the pitcher for at least two hours, then give it a stir and serve with plenty of ice and lemon slices.

Sweet tea in a glass with lemon and ice.

Optional additions

I like to keep this recipe simple by sticking to three key flavors: the tea itself, date syrup, and lemon, but there are plenty of additional flavorings you could add if you like. Some fresh mint, berries, or peach slices would be nice additions to this refined sugar-free sweet tea recipe if you’re feeling fancy.

Iced tea in a glass with ice cubes and lemon slices.

More refined sugar-free drink recipes

Refined Sugar-Free Sweet Tea

This refined sugar-free sweet tea is a delicious and refreshing drink that's perfect for entertaining.
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 6
Calories 74kcal


  • 5 black tea bags
  • 1 cup dates (tightly packed)
  • 10 cups water (2 cups boiling water to steep the tea, 4 cups cold water to make the date syrup, 4 cups cold water to add before serving)
  • 1 lemon (sliced)
  • ice cubes


  • Add 5 black tea bags and 2 cups of boiling water to a teapot and let steep, covered, for two hours.
  • While the tea is steeping, make a date syrup by adding the dates and 4 cups of cold water to a pot on the stove.
  • Bring the date/water mixture to a boil, then continue to boil for 25 minutes.
  • Using a strainer, pour the date syrup out of the pot and reserve it (you can either discard the dates or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days and use them to sweeten smoothies).
  • Allow the date syrup to cool.
  • After the tea has finished steeping, add the tea, date syrup, and 4 cups of cold water to a large pitcher.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Serve by filling glasses with ice cubes, a lemon slice or two, then fill the glass with the sweet tea mixture.


  • You can make this in advance and store it in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Some optional additions include peach slices, berries, or fresh mint leaves.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg