Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hells Bells

I readily admit that iced tea is my beverage of choice.  But, hells bells, something is wrong with this country when you can't buy a decent glass of the stuff outside a restaurant.  

Heck, I live forty-five minutes from the city that made ice tea famous and it's almost impossible to pull into a gas station or convenience store for a decent glass of the amber liquid.  Seems most places around here have gone to using those bag-in-the-box mixes and I find them to be just plain nasty tasting.  And, those bottled teas are a close second for terrible taste.  Doesn't anyone besides me expect their tea to be fresh brewed, icy cold and served in a giant glass.  

Now, I admit,  I would prefer my tea in a large glass made from real glass, but, that just makes a big mess when traveling.  So, depending on whether I am the driver or the passenger I will take either my big purple Bubba or one of the Old Salt's preferred insulated tumblers (sometimes both) into my pit-stop for a refill.  But, regardless of what container I use I expect to fill it with some good old fashioned fresh brewed iced tea.

That is especially true when I am in the South! Doesn't everyone in the South have sweet tea at the ready?  Apparently not.  I just returned from a trip to Alabama and can't believe the number of places we stopped along the way that did not carry fresh brewed tea.    It took two stops in one Kentucky town.  The gas station did not serve tea at all so we had to go across the street to the Burger King to fill our jugs.  It got so bad in Tennessee I finally went into a grocery store and purchased a gallon jug we could carry to refill our glasses. While visiting my Aunt in Dothan I visited six gas stations and could not get fresh brewed tea at any of them.  Five had that nasty bag-in-the-box stuff and one no tea at all.  Can you believe that in the state best known for it's sweet tea and southern drawl, the tea was either not fresh or not available at all?  

found this tea container in a shop window
 I had to hug and bless the heart of my dear cousin Margaret (who lives on Pine Mountain in Georgia) for seeing to it that we left her house with every container we had filled to the brim with her amazing fresh brewed tea and a Styrofoam cooler so that all we had to do was fill up on ice every so often.  What a difference the drive home was not having to go on a tea hunt.  

Guess I've ranted enough about my tea trials of late.  Now I know how it feels to see something I always took for granted fall by the wayside,  another victim of payroll cuts and that "pay more for less" mentality that is permeating the retail market these days.    

I will leave you with this photo I took of the t-shirt a lady was wearing outside of our hotel in West Memphis, Arkansas on the ride down.  It certainly reminded the Old Salt of what he could expect during our stay down south.   


  1. I am with you on the sweet tea rant! It is amazing that people don't know how to make it anymore!

  2. Well sister dear give it up, literally switch to Diet Coke!

  3. Good Evening Rita Sweetie...
    Oh my goodness gracious, I feel your pain. Here in Phoenix, they have a lot of instant tea in some places. Yes I said instant. At least if you go to Wendy's, Burger King or McDonald's you can get a fresh brew glass of tea, with lots and lots of ice. I bought a tea maker just for work, and I myself, go through a pitcher a day. I love my tea.

    So my dear friend. I feel your pain. Yes I do. I can't even imagine not being able to get a cup or glass of the wonderful amber drink of choice during the heat we have all been having.

    Thank goodness for wonderful relatives that send you packing with the thing we need most, that amber liquid that quenches our thirst and helps keep us awake. Need the caffeine.

    Have I helped you feel any better dear friend? Did I say that I feel your pain? LOL... Lots of love and many hugs, Sherry

  4. I love my southern tea, sweet, sweet, sweet. I was shocked yesterday to pull into a local Burger King and be told they don't carry sweet tea anymore. Heck fire, I may have to stop going to Burger King!!!

  5. Good point, Rita! Your mention of sweet tea reminded me of a frustrating experience in Montgomery years back:
    Mother and I'd just finished a marathon shopping trip and she was "spitting cotton." We tried 3 different fast-food places, looking for UNsweetened tea (no luck) before heading home and making our own.

  6. Y'all make a good point ;>)'s not just the 'save a buck' mentality but also that regional differences are disappearing. Local restaurants and shops in favor of the big chains that every city in every state will soon be just the same.

    (That being said I wish I had an expresso stand on my corner here in Florida like I do in Oregon ;>) Coffee being the Pacific NW drink of choice like sweet tea is yours.

    And yes bless your cousins heart for enabling you to be fit to travel;>).

  7. Great post! I had no idea getting freshly brewed iced tea was becoming such a problem in the deep south! I'm not happy with my home state of Alabama for this glaring omission!


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