Posted by: brittany marie | June 14, 2008

sugar cane and black tea

My father was in the military, so I moved around the nation quite a bit. I’ve lived in the north, south, east, west…each area with their own traditions and idiosyncrasies and I’ve found a love for each of those places: New York’s passion and drive or California’s freedom and promise.


However, there is something about the south that pushes states like Georgia and South Carolina to stand out amongst the rest. I don’t think it’s the horrific vocabulary of words like “y’all” or “fixin” or how people measure distance in units of time. It’s definitely not the shared seasons of soon to be summer, summer, more summer, and Christmas. It’s not even country music or big Baptist churches.


No, I think it’s something different…something deeper that breaks the boundaries of race and class…a creation that unites even Savannah and Jacksonville.


It is sweet tea.


Where else in the world do you ask for “tea” and receive a tall cold glass of sugary black tea garnished with a lemon? Seriously. It wasn’t until I moved to the southern states that I realized there was such a craze over this beverage. I have a friend who is boycotting a restaurant in downtown Savannah because they don’t serve sweet tea. I agree, the manager is either a fool or a foreigner, as Savannah has got to be the capital of the sweet tea nation.


I’m not even sure how any sane northerner could ask for unsweetened tea, or why such an abomination is offered on menus or in grocery stores. Half the joy of sweet tea comes from the colossal amount of sugar stirred alongside the melting ice cubes.


Savannah is a city where people of all types sit out on their porches sipping sweet tea. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn of a sweet tea law that designates porches, park benches, and street cafes as sweet tea zones and demands that all citizens consume at least one glass a day.


Whatever the truth, I’m definitely craving a beautiful cold glass dripping with condensation and full of sugary tea. Perhaps I’ll sit on the porch.  



  1. Love your perspective here! I live in Sav, but my parents live on Amelia Island, just north of Jax…and sweet tea is a MUST for breakfast! great blog by the way…i’ll be sure to stop by from time to time.

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