Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

The Sweet Tea Line.

The Mason-Dixon line never made any sense. The South begins where the restaurants serve sweet tea. Link -via Metafilter

thanks for this. i remember visiting a friend in northern virginia and being quite irked that they did not serve sweet tea. the availability of sweet tea has always been my measuring stick for whether or not an area is truly southern.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Alex, heck yeah!!! There is no comparison between sweet tea and unsweet with sugar in it. Something to do with dissolving the sugar while it's hot I think. Also, in the north if you ask for iced tea, they usually just brew a pot of tea and then put it over ice so it gets all watery and lukewarm. BLEAH!!!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Alex, sweet tea is a saturated solution. You can't get that much sugar to dissolve in it cold. Whether its "better" is a matter of taste. I prefer my tea unsweetened. And hot.

Americans brew tea to make it hot. Then they put ice in it to make it cold. They put sugar in it to make it sweet. And lemon to make it sour. But the British put milk in it to make it completely un-tea-like! Then there's chai. You could take the tea completely out of chai and no one would know the difference.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I drink my tea pure! Hmmm not really i drink black tea with milk especially keemun black with milk and pink rose bud! yummy rose black tea?

i love it..

but green i drink it pure..never tried sweet tea except for lemon iced tea?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Sweet Tea, made properly, is the nectar of the gods. However, the quality of sweet tea down South varies from restaurant to restaurant. Small family run joints usually have the best sweet tea, followed by local chains. National chains usually screw it up, especially if they don't have any local natives employed there. Surprisingly, McDonald's does buck this trend, at least in NC, as all the tea I have had there was excellent.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
When my wife and I drove from NY to NC last year to buy furniture (a sweet deal ... try it), we noticed a similar line of demarcation. The "sweet tea line" correlates well with the "grits line","stick of butter in every dish served line", and probably the "diabetes and heart disease lines" as well.

We love iced tea, but always drink it sans sugar. Most places offered it both ways (and it was quite good), but they'd always try to refill you with sweet tea.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
It also seems to be true that the further south one goes the sweeter the tea gets, presumably until you are deep into Florida when the unfortunate influence of our Northern transplants reverses the trend, culminating, no doubt, in a restaurant in Miami that serves root beer but not sweet iced tea.

When I was travelling on business outside the South I took matters into my own hands and carried a gallon of tea with me as I drove from city to city. I can't drink unsweetened tea, and adding sugar to it just gives you unsweetened tea with a sad slurry of sugar at the bottom. I don't understand how Yankees - or anyone - can drink such a thing.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
a small bottle of simple syrup (sugar syrup) is helpful for our traveling fans of sweet tea - having a small container served to me in a very high end hotel once was an epiphany. It's easy to make, portable, and keeps well. It's already in solution so it solves the sugar won't dissolve problem. I prefer unsweetened, or sweetened WAY less than most sweet tea and bottled commercial teas.

I felt Mcdonalds called it wrong when they launched their new sweetened tea in Maryland - we're not southern enough. After a lot of complaints, many franchises are choosing to carry both. My diabetic spouse is very sensitive to aspartame, so coffee, milk and water are the only choices at a restaurant who only has sweet tea.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
To the Marylander who says "We're not Southern enough." Speak for yourself. This native Marylander is Southern born, Southern bred and when I die I'll be Southern dead. Over the last few years, the Sweet Tea line has crept up to the Mason Dixon Line. Now Sweet Tea, the "social wine" of the South, is becoming popular in Maryland. In the past, you'd find it here and there in MD. But now it seems Sweet Tea is everywhere. I never understood why anyone would drink nasty bitter watery unsweetened iced tea anyway. I'm happy to see it is becoming less popular...Yuck
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I think this article is flawed. The Mason Dixon line really is the line of demarcation, as far as I'm concerned. I notice a difference right when I cross that line.

As for sweet tea- You can get sweet tea in Pennsylvania of all places. Its just not as commonplace. Its really silly. Richmond is a truly Southern city, and its just north of the "line". Thats ridiculous!

As for Maryland- I do think Maryland has many Southern characteristics and there are many people there who are Southerners, but like Northern Virginia, its more transient and has some northern influences as well.

The True South IMO, begins at Fredericksburg, VA.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 14 comments
Email This Post to a Friend
"The Sweet Tea Line."

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More