Sweet tea recipe: How to make it from scratch

ST.

LOUIS — The recipe for a sweet tea recipe is simple: Add a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and stir in the water.

Throw in a little vanilla extract, and voila: a sweet, frothy tea that tastes like it was brewed in the middle of the night.

“I have a feeling that this is going to be a hit,” said Jessica Geller, 30, of Indianapolis, who is the owner of the Sweet Tea and Liqueur shop in St. Louis.

“You have to do it with the most ingredients, but it’s a really good tea.”

Geller’s sweet tea is made from scratch at home, and she has no ingredients to buy.

“It’s a little bit more complicated than most, but you don’t need fancy equipment,” she said.

She sells the tea online, at her bar in downtown St. Charles, and in bars and restaurants in the St.

Louis area.

But the sweet tea business is growing fast, with the online sales of tea products rising from $11 million in 2011 to $3.4 million last year, according to data from online retailer Mintel.

The trend is fueled in part by the popularity of online-only sales, where people buy products online and then return them to the shops where they bought them.

Some of the big players are tea and tea accessories stores, such as The Tea Warehouse in Indianapolis, which has a thriving online marketplace for tea and liqueurs.

“We’re seeing a lot of online sales and that’s why the demand for tea is so strong,” said Michael Tindell, the store’s chief executive.

“People love tea and they love to have a good tea, and this is a really fun way to do that.”

The online tea industry also has a big following.

One of the biggest tea stores, Kettle & Spoon, opened in downtown Dallas in 2012.

It sells tea and other sweetened beverages online, and has about 400 stores nationwide.

“They’re trying to get a little more mainstream,” said Kettle owner David Deutsch.

“But I don’t think they’re going to go away.”

Tea is a relatively inexpensive beverage, making it an ideal target for online stores, said Michael Fung, a marketing professor at the University of Maryland who studies the tea industry.

Tea is not as expensive as beer, but its price tag is much higher.

Tea drinks often come in flavors like vanilla and chocolate, and they usually have more sugar than the average beverage.

Tea sellers are also looking to expand into health and beauty products.

The American Beverage Association has reported that tea sales jumped more than 9 percent last year from 2011 to 2014, while tea accessories sales rose nearly 10 percent.

“There are going to always be people who are buying it for their own enjoyment and that needs to be the goal,” Fung said.

“Tea is a very popular drink and the people who love it are not going to stop.”