I really wish this was in loose leaf or at least family sized so I would be able to put, say, 2 or 4 bags instead of 16… but that said, I like my southern sweet tea strong and sweet, so I was pleased to find that this can handle a pretty intense amount of steep time… as in “oh crap I was supposed to take those out….” still not resulting in a bitter tea.
*EDIT!! My previous note said “I’m not sure what % of this tea’s leaves are FROM the SC plantation—it could be 10% USA tea and 90% other (Bigelow/the plantation haven’t answered my 3 email attempts!), but…” See the comment by Kathy, and HOORAY, it IS 100% SC goodness!
And back to the review: …but it is perfect for cold sweet tea and leaves NO bitterness. I’ve found AGE matters—the boxes aren’t really sealed well and the leaves being quite small, there’s a decent amount of powder that ends up spilling out. Older boxes definitely show their age in strength as it takes several more bags (and when I use 16, it’s for a half gallon that I add a very little bit of ice to). When I’ve been able to get it in grocery stores in NC, though, it was much fresher than what Bigelow delivered (my sister’s b-day gift to me)… still, it’s good stuff. Don’t miss out on it; again, with age, it only loses strength; it doesn’t get bitter at all (I also recommend you store it in zip lock bags or snapware etc—something air tight will serve it well!)