AKS: Born and raised, I am Texan through and through! Sweet tea is basically a food group in Southern cuisine... Most especially in the summertime! This morning we had a "end of the semester" party with snacks graciously provided by the managers of Santa Chiara, Sharon and Garnet! We had delicious croissants and sweet tea! We learned about tea last week in class and I would like to share some things about the origin and production of one of the South's favorite beverages. Tea originated in China and grows in tropic and subtropical regions of the world in countries like India and Sri Lanka. Harvesting tea is extensive and strenuous because all tea must be picked by hand. The best tea products come from very young leaves, so harvesters must keep their plants pruned, and look for new buds every day. A new flush on a tea plant can develop every seven to ten days! Women usually harvest the tea leaves because it takes a keen eye and delicate touch to pick the right leaves. There are several different proccesses that produce different types of tea, but all tea starts as fresh tea leaves from the evergreen plant. Black tea, which is made by fermentation, is the tea used in sweet tea. The healthiest type of tea, green tea, does not go through the fermentation process. I felt like there was a little taste of Texas today while we were celebrating the end of finals!