My not so Sweet Tea Thing

I’m sure that you’ve all heard how we in the south like our sweet tea. Si, from Duck Dynasty, makes that abundantly clear. Right?

Well, today I’m excited to have guest blogger, Betty Boyd, to write about a sweet tea cultural funny that occurred when she first moved to Alabama. Welcome, Betty!

Meet Betty Boyd.
Meet Betty Boyd.

My not so Sweet Tea Thing
By: Betty Boyd
I moved for my job to the Huntsville area in 1994. I was single at the time, so I joined St. John’s Catholic Church’s single’s group. Since I am from the Northeast I was used to getting hot tea in any restaurant where I ate. Well this all changed on a Sunday evening in July of 1994.

After the 5:30 PM Mass was over, the single’s group decided to go to Pizza Hut for dinner. Well as the weather would have it, a giant downpour came upon us, and with no umbrellas we all got soaked. So naturally, the air-conditioning in the restaurant was at the iceberg setting. I had a sweater on but still was chilled to the bone.

The group all got seated, and we all placed our orders. Everybody else got their drinks, except me. The server asked me if I would like to change my order to ice tea, and I stated, “No I would really like hot tea.”
The server was somewhat annoyed.

To my dismay, the server came out with a big glass of tea.

I asked, “What is this?”

The server said, “This is hot tea.”

I then looked at the server and said, “I have never seen hot tea served liked this.” The server took the ice tea, put it in the microwave, and heated it up. I was aghast, and some of my colleagues thought that was really strange. I decided to taste it, and it was horrible even after I tried to add sugar to make it palatable.

My lesson was not to ask for hot tea at any restaurant, ever. Well, for the next year or so after this incident, I asked for a cup of hot water at other restaurants. The server would always look at me, perplexed, but comply. I brought my own tea bags, and then I could have a “so sweet tea” thing going on.

I have done this for a couple of years, and since then, whenever I go to a restaurant and ask for hot tea, the server does not look at me like I am from any other planet. So my “not so sweet tea thing,” is now “so sweet,” whether it is hot or cold.


A Pennsylvania native, Betty Boyd moved to the Tennessee Valley in 1994. She retired in early 2012 after 30 years of Government service. She has a consulting firm, Boyd Consulting Services, which offers writing and photography services. She writes in papers such as Valley Planet and Rocket City Pets. She is active in her church and volunteers for such organizations as Russell Hill Cancer Foundation. She is currently writing a book about Tennessee Valley personalities.

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