Sweet Tea and Summer

iced.teaIn the movie, Steel Magnolias, sweet tea is named the house wine of the south.  I have to agree.

Here in the south, most of us like our tea sweet with plenty of ice.  Some like lemon with it and some don’t.  Other parts of the country look at you funny when you order sweet tea or iced tea at a restaurant.

In my opinion, the best sweet tea is when the sugar is added when the water is still hot — just after brewing.  If you wait until it’s cold, it just doesn’t mix very well.

My friend Dawn really likes sweet tea and regularly drinks it.  My husband does as well.  I like my sweet tea mixed with some unsweet tea as it is often too sweet for me.  And, I like lots of ice.

Imagine my delight when I realized that the town of Summerville, South Carolina, which we recently visited,  is the birthplace of Sweet Tea. I made a note to be sure and tell Dawn about this.

According to an article in Charleston’s newspaper, The Post and Courier, a receipt from 1890 indicated that this was the location of the first sweet tea.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

“For some years, the Southern beverage was thought to have happened onto the scene in St. Louis at The World’s Fair in 1904.

“But those ideas changed with the discovery of a long list of items purchased for a reunion of old soldiers near Summerville in 1890.

“Among the provisions of bread, beans, and beef were these specific commodities: 600 pounds of sugar and 880 gallons of iced tea. These folks were already enjoying the Southern beverage of choice a full 14 years before anybody at the World’s Fair had even considered dropping some ice into a glass of tea.”

The article also states that the City of Summerville was approved for a trademark to call itself the birthplace of sweet tea.  Cool!  (pun intended)

According to a Charleston travel magazine, “The tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) arrived in Summerville in the late 1700s imported by Andre Michaux, a French explorer and botanist. In 1888, Dr. Charles Shepard was the first to successfully propagate and produce tea for consumption when he acquired 600 acres in Summerville and established the Pinehurst Tea Plantation. Dr. Shepard produced award-winning teas until his death in 1915.”

The tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) arrived in Summerville in the late 1700s imported by Andre Michaux, a French explorer and botanist. In 1888, Dr. Charles Shepard was the first to successfully propagate and produce tea for consumption when he acquired 600 acres in Summerville and established the Pinehurst Tea Plantation. Dr. Shepard produced award-winning teas until his death in 1915. – See more at: http://travelerofcharleston.com/blog/summerville-tastes-like-sweet-tea/#sthash.DwbbY7m4.dpuf

There is nothing like a glass of sweet tea – served over lots of ice — especially in the summer.  AHHH!

To me, here is summer:

  • Bare feet
  • Playing in the sprinkler
  • Sand in my toes
  • Lightning bugs
  • Late nights
  • Lazy mornings
  • Making pancakes on a weekday
  • Playing a game of chess with Ian
  • Reading books anytime
  • Swimming in the pool
  • Watermelon dripping down your hands
  • Corn cooked on a grill
  • Walks with my hubby and son
  • Cookouts
  • Fireworks
  • S’mores
  • A tall glass of sweet iced tea

I wonder when my next glass of sweet tea will be?  Probably at lunch!  Take care and have a great day!

The tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) arrived in Summerville in the late 1700s imported by Andre Michaux, a French explorer and botanist. In 1888, Dr. Charles Shepard was the first to successfully propagate and produce tea for consumption when he acquired 600 acres in Summerville and established the Pinehurst Tea Plantation. Dr. Shepard produced award-winning teas until his death in 1915. – See more at: http://travelerofcharleston.com/blog/summerville-tastes-like-sweet-tea/#sthash.DwbbY7m4.dpuf
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