Tea Anyone? The Sweet History of Iced Tea

Every day, all across North Carolina, people sit down together and share their meals, their stories, their hopes, and their dreams over a frosty glass of good ol' Southern Iced Tea! Tea, the favorite drink of many cultures and the official drink of the American South, has many a story to tell. But how did the “house wine of the South,” Sweet Iced Tea, come to be?

The origins of that tall glass of sweet iced tea served up in all our favorite restaurants has a vast, ancient, and even mystical past. Humans have been drinking the stuff for over 4000 years! Erin begins the story of tea in her Irish grandmother’s house, where a cup of tea (served hot, sweet, and with a generous amount of milk) was a vital ingredient to every family gathering. She will illuminate the history of tea in America, starting with the hot tea brewed in the original 13 colonies (remember that famous Boston Tea Party?). Then she’ll tell the story of how tea in the South became iced tea, and how the convergence of prohibition and the common delivery of ice in the 1930's helped to make this new drink popular. While Erin brews up the ORIGINAL iced tea — a blend dating back to the Civil War — to share with the audience, she’ll talk about tea’s impact on North Carolina’s culture and about North Carolina’s “budding” tea nursery, located in Chapel Hill.

So raise a glass of your sweetest, and sip a millennia of stories. You’ll never look at your glass of iced tea the same way again.