Y’all. (Because I think it’s a given that sweet tea and y’all must be said simultaneously.) This mango tea is happiness in a glass and yet one more reason to love summertime.
Last week when we took a trip to Arkansas, a friend of ours took us to McAlister’s Deli with the claim that their sweet tea was the best, insisting that we must try it. Now, I trust my friend, but I was also skeptical because it’s tea. What was the big deal? How amazing could it really be?
And then I drank some.
We all drank and drank, and sure, maybe it’s just because we were all in vacation mode, enjoying the treat of eating out and enjoying friendship and “the famous tea” – but we all loved the tea and took full advantage of every offer of, “Can I get you a refill?”
(Why yes. We did have to stop several times for potty breaks as we headed further up the road. Thanks for asking. At least it wasn’t just for me every time. That’s a first.)
I agree with my friend and declared it to be the best tea I’ve ever had even though I didn’t even get the sweet tea. I ordered an Unsweet Mango Tea, and I could not get over how much I loved it. I’m certain my family didn’t get tired of me saying, “Wow, this tea is good” after every sip during our next 100 miles of travel as we headed down the road toward our next destination.
It goes without saying that I decided that I would need to try and create a recipe to make this at home. Not surprisingly, I used actual mangos instead of whatever it is that comes out of a squirt pump. I do not want to know.
As if it’s hard to cut mangos and put them in water with tea bags. C’mon now.
Mango Sweet (or Unsweet) Tea
- 2 quarts of water, divided
- 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and sliced
- 1-3 teaspoons honey or sugar
- 4-8 tea bags of your favorite black or green tea, depending on how strong you like your tea
- Liquid stevia or sugar to taste
- In a medium-sized pot, heat 1 quart of water and the mango to boiling. Add 1-3 teaspoons honey or sugar to draw out sweetness in fruit.
- Simmer for about five minutes.
- Mush the mango in the water and add the tea bags.
- Allow tea to steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain tea into a ½ gallon jar or pitcher.
- Add a quart of water.
- Stir in stevia or sugar if you want your tea sweetened.
- Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
- Serve over ice.
If you glance over the instructions quickly, you might think it says to “serve over rice.” But it doesn’t. Ice and rice are different and ice is the obvious better choice for this tea.
Now of course, I will be experimenting with other varieties such as Peach Tea and Raspberry Tea. Watch for updates as I get these figured out!
Are you a sweet tea drinker or an unsweet tea drinker?
P.S. My favorite black tea is Newman’s Own Organics Royal Black Tea. My favorite stevia is Nunaturals.
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Oh Wow! Cannot wait to try this. We are HUGE iced tea drinkers here. We are between sweet and unsweet (as stores and restaurants sweet level usually knocks our low-sugar level socks off!) We sweeten all of our iced teas with 1/4-1/3 cup of honey per gallon. We go through about 2 gallons on a normal day. We do decaf tea bags for them all so that I don’t have children bouncing off the walls AND so that I can sleep at night. We drink “normal” tea a lot but we also do a raspberry/peach combo with Celestial Seasonings tea bags- 3 of each flavor soaked in that gallon. We also do mint by adding mint leaves from our herb garden to 5 decaf bags in the gallon. Once that has steeped for a couple of hours, we add 2-3 lemons squeezed and the honey. Delicious! So much better than pop for you… still struggling!!!!! Ugh! Will be trying the mango for supper tonight. Thanks so much!
Oh my, does that sound good! I just happen to have recently bought a case of mangoes (for $5) and they are now ripe and ready to go. I’m making this today! Thank you.
Nicole S says
I was SO happy to see this post! Over Memorial Day weekend we were in New Mexico and stopped for our first time at McAlister’s Deli! I ordered the unsweetened Mango Green Tea and fell in love too! Even made my husband stop on the way back to just get a tea!!! It was crazy to see your post today – what a small world.
Laura- checkout drinking shrubs ( not the plant silly but a drinking vinegar) and drink syrups. Also if add the sugar to the water as you boil the fruit , because sugar actually draws the juice out of the fruit.
After I posted this recipe, I made another batch in which I added just a bit of honey to the fruit and tea while steeping. That made it even better, so I edited this recipe to do as you said – add sugar to draw out the juice! :)
This post cracked me up because McAlister’s sweet tea is definitely the best. I have also taken friends there and everyone agrees, it delicious. I could drink it by the gallons. I love the idea of mango tea. Yum!!!!
Will this work with frozen mango?
Silly me! I never even thought of that option. I think it would work great!
I made it yesterday with the frozen mango. I think I used about a cup of the mango. It turned out really good. I also used 2 quart sized black tea bags instead of more of the regular sized bags.
The only thing I didn’t like was that I felt wasteful throwing out the mango after I strained the liquid into the pitcher. I tried to eat it, but it was devoid of flavor. But the tea tasted good, and I would make it again as a treat. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
I just made this tea. Love it. I followed your recipe.
Would one just boil the mango in water for flavored water, then chill?
Yes, I think so!
what a great recipe, I will have to try this someday, but I think I will use the frozen chunks of mango from trader joe’s to make it easier. Huge iced tea drinker here. I just discovered tj’s has mango black tea for you lazy tea drinkers like me. did you all know that Pollo Tropicale also makes mango tea? they have it in sweet & unsweet & it’s absolutely delicious but I think they are only in Florida. I will have to stop in McAlister’s on one of my roadtrips since there aren’t any where I live in NJ. thanks!