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Sweet Tea - the Beverage of Choice in the Deep South

Aug 17, 2007
As everyone in the Deep South of the United States knows, there is usually always a pitcher of sweet tea brewed and ready for company to drop by. The presumption in many restaurants is that when a guest asks for tea, he or she means sweetened tea. So popular is tea with sugar that many cafes and restaurants will have large quantities ready to serve and have less than half the same amount of a non-sweet blend on hand.

Far and away, the most popular tea to use is the common black and orange pekoe blend. Available in every supermarket, brewing a pitcher of tea each day is almost as automatic a task as brewing coffee in the morning. Guests are invariably offered a cup or glass of tea as they are seated. There are those that think the entire social framework of the Deep South would collapse if tea were to suddenly disappear from the face of the earth, and just about as many people who would agree.

Making sweet tea does not require any special equipment, although there is one fact of making a proper pitcher of sweetened tea that seems to elude people in some parts of the country. Sugar must be added to the tea while the brew is still warm. Attempting to add sugar to cold tea has been likened to attempting to breach a hole in a dam with the use of an elastic bandage. In short, it is futile. One may also observe that by adding the sugar while the tea is still warm also means you can use much less sugar than one would in that vain attempt to sweeten the cold tea.

An earmark of serving tea in Southern restaurants is that one may have free refills, with no limit. In fact, many a homestyle Southern restaurant will gladly leave a sparkling pitcher of tea on the table if the guests ask for it. This is not true in other parts of the country, where you will be billed for each glass of tea you consume during your meal. Southerners tend to view tea as part of the hospitality that one receives in a restaurant. In fact, there are restaurants that will be happy to leave a pitcher of tea at your table, should you make the request.

Sweet tea is so much a part of the landscape of the Deep South that when its sons and daughters move away, they always have a direct connection to their roots, no matter where they are living. All it takes is a nice glass of freshly brewed tea, sweetened to perfection, to remind him or her of their rich heritage.
About the Author
Mayoor Patel is the writer for the website http://iced-tea.tea-universe.com. Please visit for information on all things concerned with Sweet Tea
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