Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wondering whether sweet or unsweetened.

Hermit Jim’s comment on my last blog got me a wondering about iced tea, sweet or unsweetened. Before I moved to Texas in 1980, I had only had sweetened ice tea and I didn’t much like it. Didn’t care much for hot tea, either. Then, after arriving in Texas, I discovered unsweetened iced tea. I really liked it; it was just so very refreshing.

I had to take a business trip to Calgary, Alberta one time. The first evening, I sat down at a restaurant and ordered iced tea with my meal. In the Houston area, I was used to being served unsweetened tea and if you wanted it sweet, there were bowls of sugar on all the tables, or they would ask you if you wanted sweet or unsweetened.

I was really dry and took a great big gulp of the tea and almost spit it all out. It was as sweet as syrup!!! I could not drink it, would have gone into sugar shock (grin). It seems to me that the further north you go the sweeter the iced tea gets. Wonder how the Eskimos drink iced tea. Maybe that far north the choice is “frozen or thawed”.

Well, I have now learned when I order iced tea to plainly state that I want no sweetener of any kind what so ever in it. I don’t drink much iced tea at home, mostly coffee, so when I go out to eat the iced tea is an additional treat.

OK, how do you all like your iced tea, sweet or unsweetened?


  1. I like unsweetened but I spent several years traveling up the West Coast and was so homesick I was craving sweet tea! In properly prepared sweet tea you must add the sugar to the hot water to melt the sugar. I hate seeing 1/4" of sugar sitting on the bottom of someone's glass.

  2. Sweet and low here.I put a family size tea bag in my coffee pot then fill it with water. Once it has brewed and steeped I pour it into a pitcher and into the fridge. I add my sweet and low to each glass. So if you show up here, you can have it your way!! :-)

  3. Never have been a big tea fan myself, but if that's all there is to drink I will. Like you I hate real sweet tea and won't drink much of it. Personally when I drink it I'd prefer unsweetened or very lightly sweetened.

  4. I love iced tea, and would drink it by the gallon. I too generally avoid sugar these days, I I still prefer something a little sweet (usually a pack or two of the pink stuff)

    My favorite way to take it though is a variation of something I read at Cold Antler Farm (a blog about a girl trying to build a farm). One quart sized mason jar, one bag of Lipton Earl Grey. Fill about half way with hot water from the stove (we actually use a Japanese style table top electric water heater), and wait until it's about room temp. Fill up the rest of the way with warm tap water. Close the lid and put in the fridge. I generally make 6 or 8 at a time, and they last me for a day or two.

  5. I don't really like tea, but if I have iced tea once in a while it has to be unsweetened. I lived in Ireland for 3 years, and drank hot tea every day although not in place of my coffee. I learned to put milk in the tea and it wasn't half bad. I'll still take coffee any day - cream and no sugar!

  6. Frann, a lot of areas think all tea needs to be sweetened. I disagree. . .

    Ben, thanks for giving me a choice. I take it straight up. . .

    David, I was never a big fan of it until I moved to Texas, then I discovered the unsweetened stuff.

    Grant, starting out with a good tea and then using the proper methods to make it, sure do allow the best taste get through. Sounds like you know what you are doing.

    Gypsy, I don’t care for hot tea and sweetener in hot tea even makes it worse. Never tried milk in it. Usually don’t have any milk in the house. I like my coffee strong and black.

    Thank you all for the comments.

  7. In georgia, they will tell you they dont have any unsweetend tea. lol. Im not much into sugar so unsweet for me

  8. I like my tea sweet! But like they said, to be done right...the sugar should be added while the tea is still hot. Right after brewing, then let it steep with the sugar already in it!
    Shucks, now I'm thirsty!

  9. I don't drink much tea,but if I did it would have to be sweet.Can't drink that stuff straight! Blessings jane

  10. Nick, isn't everything sweet in Georgia?

    Hermit, Probably I could drink properly sweetened tea easier than you could drink it straight. Like cream in coffee, I prefer black but could drink it with cream.

    Jane, nothing wrong with putting sweetner in tea. I like plain yogurt, but sometimes it is good with a little honey.