The Sweetest Tea

Before immigrating to the US and moving to the South, my Australian friends would ask if I was looking forward to trying sweet tea. Sweet Tea? How disgusting, I’d say. You don’t put sugar in tea, and drink it cold — you drink it as the Queen of England would — hot, and milky.

Honestly, I have no idea how Queen Elizabeth II drinks her tea, but my point is, a civilised person only drinks tea hot, and milky. I’d forgive you for adding a dainty teaspoon of sugar, but that’s where I draw the line. 

I avoided sweet tea for as long as I could, turning up my nose at it every time Jim ordered it, but eventually it was crunch time, and my loyalties were being tested. Would I strive to fit in and show that I’m on team America, or would I hold onto my English superiority complex? 

My lovely friend from church, Helen, took me to the Dine-N-Dash for lunch. She wanted to treat me to an American lunch and I was all in. The Dine-N-Dash is a cute little diner (as the name suggests), which serves hotdogs, milkshakes, and sweet tea. I ordered a hotdog with the trimmings, which comes with a bag of chips (crisps), and a drink. I had water with my lunch, and Helen ordered a large sweet tea with extra lemon wedges. I wolfed down my delicious hotdog with chilli (the meat chilli), and eyed Helen enjoying her sweet tea. So what’s it like, I asked? Delicious — nice and lemony, was the response. She offered me a sip. 

I watch a lot of travel vlogs and one I saw of my favourite vloggers, Kara and Nate, they were drinking a sweet tea and remarked that it was too sweet. I don’t really have a sweet tooth so I imagined that the tea would just taste like cold sugar syrup. Wrong. Helen’s sweet tea was absolutely delicious. It was brewed perfectly; a subtle black tea flavour with a mild sweetness, and the tang of the freshly squeezed lemon wedges, all icy cold. It was a game changer. 

I needed to have my own so excitedly Helen pulled out some coins so she could buy my first official sweet tea. It only costs about $1.00 or so in diners in the US, and it’s usually bottomless. I told the lovely lady at the counter that I had just had sweet tea for the first time, and I liked it so much I needed to have my own tanker of it. She looked at me in shock; you’ve never had sweet tea? Um no — we don’t drink it in Australia. She was so delighted she gave it to me for free!

That day has gone down as the day I fell in love with sweet tea. In fact I like it so much I drink it constantly, and try it everywhere I go. Dine-N-Dash has the best sweet tea so far, but McDonald’s has a pretty good one too. I’ve tried it at about ten different places, maybe more, and I will continue drinking it everywhere I go. It’s funny that all the things I expect to hate, I end up loving, and all of the things I thought I’d love, I don’t. I guess that’s part of what makes travelling and trying new things so much fun — you never really know how it will end up!

Published by My Average Travels

I'm Annelise; an Australian writer living in the USA, who loves experiencing new places and things. I'm perpetually on a budget, but despite this I manage to find myself in some incredible places. I'm not about glamour or luxury, but about real life, real experiences, and making real memories. Most of my travel experiences have resulted from plan B's. I write about average moments that have brought me great joy in the midst of the every day.

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