Tea Time!

I’ll never forget the first time I ordered “tea” in Georgia. My drink of choice whenever we go out is always water or tea. I typically ask for tea if I’m in need of a pick-me-up, because tea is caffeinated and doesn’t have extra calories.

But in Georgia—or the South in general—”tea” means something completely different than it does on the West coast.  If we (West coasters) want “sweet tea” we simply put our own sugar or spenda in the glass and mix it till it’s as sweet as we like. That’s not how it is here, which is what I very quickly learned the first time I ordered “tea” in Georgia.

When the waitress asked what drinks we would like I ordered “tea” and waited in anticipation. It gets hot down here in the South and I desperately needed something cool to drink. My tea came and I quickly unfurled the straw to get a taste of the iced tea in front of me. But the second it hit my lips I knew something was very, very wrong. The taste that followed lingered and resembled a sugary syrup mixed with a little bit of tea. I’d like to think that the reason I didn’t spit it out right then and there is because I’m a lady and that would just be gross, but the real reason is that I needed to experience what sweet tea actually tastes like. 

My husband—we were just dating at the time—was with me and I’m pretty sure he just chuckled and said something along the lines of, “Oh yeah, you need to specify sweet or unsweet tea out here. Sorry I forgot to tell you.” Thanks, babe.

Now, whenever we go out and I order “tea” I very clearly state that I would like “unsweet tea, please.” Of course, some places still get it wrong and I end up with my first sweet tea experience—sugary sour face—all over again. 

So tell me, what’s your “tea” pleasure? 

Tea Time: What’s your sipping pleasure?
  • Unsweet (traditional) Tea
  • Sweet Tea
  • Neither, tea is gross

If you’re reading this in Reader, come on over and click which one you drink!


  1. Oh wow, definitely sweet tea!! That's just the Southern Belle in me I guess 😉 My dad is from Illinois, so whenever we would go to visit, my grandma would make unsweet tea…..yuck yuck yuck! What will I do if I ever live somewhere where sweet tea isn't the default beverage?! Haha 🙂

  2. Another West Coaster here who loves unsweet tea!! 🙂 I can't stomach sweet tea….definitely too sweet 🙂

  3. my heart just tightened when i learned you don't like sweet tea! it's the ONLY way i can drink it. even hot tea, i sweeten with honey or sugar.
    but, i was also raised in the south, where people put sweet tea in their baby's bottle.

  4. Sweet Tea. :] It is the only way to drink it in my opinion!

    Although, I was born and raised in the South, so I am a bit biased. ;]

  5. Sweet tea to the max! Regular iced tea…I might as well go lick on a tree in my backyard. Ew!! It's all how you were raised 🙂

  6. I am definately a Southern girl. I LOVE sweet tea. Growing up, we always had sweet tea in the house and now I keep it in our house.

  7. Oh, I'm a Southern girl! But sometimes it is overkill. The best sweet tea that is sugar sweetened is done while the tea is still hot. I aim for "just a bit too much" instead of "all the sugar in the land goes in THIS tea". However, I did learn in my 20s that too much sweet tea on a REALLY hot day upset my stomach to know end. Good luck in your quest! Have you tried sun tea? It is tea that is left in the sun. That way, you could sweeten just a little and experience it.

  8. WOW, I can't believe how many sweet tea drinkers there are! I go for unsweetened tea! The sweetened tea is way too sweet for me!

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