where did sweet tea originated

where did sweet tea originated

Where did Sweet Tea Originate?

Sweet tea is perhaps the most well known style of iced tea in the United States and is an essential part of Southern culture. But, where did the tradition of drinking sweet tea come from?

The History Of Sweet Tea

Sweet tea has its roots in the early 1600s when English colonists settled in the New World, bringing tea with them for the New World colonists to enjoy. Historians believe that the students of Yorktown Virginia created sweet tea in the 1840s as a way to counteract the tea’s naturally bitter taste.

They poured cane sugar — more readily available than the Chinese tea that was still the norm — into the boiling water to create the most iconic form of iced tea, the sweet tea we know and love today.

Soon, sweet tea was served regularly in the American south — particularly in Southern affairs and gatherings. Sweet tea continues to be popular in the south and has gained popularity throughout the rest of the country as well.

How to Make Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is relatively simple to make and requires a few common ingredients, including:

  • 4 cups of cold water
  • 2-4 standard sized teabags
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of sugar

To make the tea, first, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Then, add the teabags and turn off the heat. Let the teabags steep in the hot water, while stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes.

Next, add the sugar and stir until it is all dissolved. Finally, let the tea cool and pour it into a container. Put the tea in the refrigerator and let it chill. Enjoy your freshly made sweet tea!


Sweet tea is an essential part of Southern culture and is enjoyed by many throughout the United States. Its roots can be traced back to the early 1600s when the English colonists first brought tea to the New World. Sweet tea is relatively easy to make at home using a few simple ingredients. So, the next time you want to enjoy a refreshing glass of sweet tea, you can feel proud knowing you’re part of a lasting tradition.


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