back porch dining


If you are from the south you were probably raised on sweet tea.

You know.

That perfect glass of iced cold goodness that quenches the thirst and fills the heart and makes the sun shine brighter.

In my search for the perfect glass of sweet tea with the perfect ratio of sugar to tea and ice, I came up with the answer to that age-old question.

Here’s how to make sweet tea taste better.

(and it’s totally not what you think). ¬†ūüôā

back porch living area

1.  Move to the country from the city.

2.  Spend hours driving down winding country roads.

3.  Sigh.

back porch basket

4.  Wish you could by a horse barn.

5. ¬†Realize you don’t the first thing about raising horses.

6.  Buy a farmhouse instead.

birds back porch

7.  Start renovating the farmhouse.

8.  Learn about vintage wood floors and plank siding and barn doors.

9.  Start shopping by the side of the road.

back porch chairs

10.  Finish renovating the farmhouse.

11.  Realize you are never really finished.

12. ¬†Decide you need a porch….

….with screens.

back porch flower

13.  Build a screened-in porch on the side of the house with french doors leading off the house in the living room and the kitchen.

14. ¬†Add a dining area with a table and chairs and indoor/outdoor rugs and an old pair of deacon’s chairs you bought at a vintage sale.

15.  Add a couch and chairs and a giant basket you found at a salvage yard.

sweet tea back porch

16.  Make a pitcher of sweet tea the way your mother-in-law makes it.

17.  Realize you are so blessed to know the best sweet tea maker in the world.

18.  Add mason jar glasses.

dining area back porch

19.  Pour a glass of sweet tea and tuck your feet under you on that back porch of that farmhouse at the end of the winding road in the middle of no where with the sun streaming in and the almost-summer breezes blowing through the trees.

20.  Stir.

21.  Sip.

22. ¬†Repeat. ūüôā

PS ¬†Here’s a recipe similar to what my mother-in-law uses: ¬† ¬†The key really is to wait until the tea reaches the “cold state.” ¬†I think that’s the secret. ūüôā
PPS ¬†I just wrote a fun article for on how to add architectural details to your home. ¬†You can check it out…here.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Debbie Debbie

    So, how does your mother in-law make sweet tea? I am a Texas gal misplaced in Utah, I need all the help I can get!

  2. Image for MAH MAH

    ABSOLUTELY! You are truly blessed, a farmhouse, sweet tea and a wonderful mother in law. Thank for mother in laws.

  3. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Where is the recipe???????????? What brand of tea? Begin with cold water or boiling water? What garnishes for the finished drink????????????????????????? Come on, put on your lipstick and give us this info!

  4. Image for Beverly Beverly

    I am just going to sit back and imagine I am there sharing a jar full of the best tasting sweet tea with you. Doesn't that breeze feel wonderful? Or, you could stop by and sit on my porch with me. I have some "pretty good" sweet tea - and I even have some mason jars. But, the bonus is that our rose garden is filled to overflowing with glorious, sweetly scented blooms. The scent is so sweet that the breezes floats it into our sunroom. Be sure to print a bucket so you can take some cut roses home with you.

  5. Image for Terri Terri

    I will let you in on a little secret..... My Mom was raised on a small farm in south Georgia.... waaaaay out in the country... YOU KNOW.... where fresh vegetables... and fresh peaches and blackberries taste better than anywhere else in the world!! ..... well My 91 year old Mom was always known for her cakes.... her fried chicken .... ( fried in an iron skillet of course) and her SWEET TEA!! lolololol.... I wonder if your MIL knew my Mom??? :) .... those country gals.... you gotta love em!!!! :) .. Thanks for sharing your own recipe though.... Lovin your farm life...

  6. Image for jenni jenni

    i'm not a tea drinker....i know, a travesty to you southern girls. but what i am in love with are those sweet carved wooden positive and negative...and i'm having bird lust. badly. can you reveal your secret? or are they sadly gone from some fly-by-night, hurry-up-and-get-them-before-they're-gone online decorating place? thank you for the post...i'm reading while i'm drinking my hot cup of herbal tea this morning. and i have screened porch lust as well. dang.

  7. Image for Kim Radcliffe Kim Radcliffe

    I was Sooooo hoping for a recipe! Thought I missed it somehow at the end of the post. Even us Minnesota girls love sweet tea (or iced tea as we call it)! Help us out!

  8. Image for Becky Becky

    Sounds wonderful. Everybody should have a porch. Ours is used sometimes more than the living room. I'm not from the south but we drank sweet tea with lemon growing up all the time. Nothing better than a glass of tea on the porch in the summer except maybe a dish of homemade ice cream! Enjoy your beautiful porch.

  9. Image for Patty Patty

    Boy I hesitate to type this but I want all of the above except I like my iced tea unsweetened. Will I still be allowed to move down south?

    1. Image for Debbie Klausing Debbie Klausing

      I'm with you! Although I was raised on sweet tea, my Mother-in-law made it unsweetened. So, I developed a taste for it straight up, no sugar, lots of ice.

    1. Image for Thistle Thistle

      ZoeAnn, Here's a recipe similar to what my mother-in-law uses: The key really is to wait until the tea reaches the "cold state." Thanks! karianne

  10. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    Love you, your porch, and sweet tea! But mine is awful!! Before I could cheat and go through drive thru and buy Sonic, Captain Ds or Grandys tea. Now that am back home not an option. Company coming! Can you Please share tips!

  11. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    My mother would make such sweet tea, that whenever the cousins would come stay with us (like for a week)in the summer, they would return home and say "Make tea like Aunt Pat!" It would infuriate their mothers because it would mean they would have to pour the sugar to it!!!

    1. Image for Thistle Thistle

      Gayle, Oh! I'm really sorry! I didn't mean to be misleading! Here's a recipe similar to what my mother-in-law uses: The key really is to wait until the tea reaches the "cold state." Again, I apologize! Thanks! karianne

  12. Image for Diane Diane

    Awww, screened porch right off the kitchen and great room filled with quiet birdsongs and soft breezes with a table for sharing, a couch for visiting and a chaise for napping. I'm right with you girlfriend - hoisting my glass of sweet tea to you, from my porch to yours.

  13. Image for Sherry Fisher Sherry Fisher

    I was raised in the south....of California, and we did not drink tea. But I live in Ohio now and we do...and I need that recipe. Hope your wonderful mother-in-love won't mind you sharing it with the world!

  14. Image for Bobbie Bobbie

    Sounds fabulous! I would add just one more - invite someone you love or someone that makes you laugh and someone that know you are a rock star. :-)

  15. Image for Debbie Yarbrough Debbie Yarbrough

    My recipe for sweet ever, according to my family and friends: 8 regular sized (NOT family sized) Tetley tea bags 2 cups sugar Bring a pot of water to boil, put tea bags into water (with tags hanging over the side), turn off the stove. Let it steep until cool (room temp). Put two cups of sugar into a gallon container and pour cooled tea water over the sugar. Add more water to the container until you have a gallon. Stir well and refrigerate.

  16. Image for Renea Renea

    Try adding one bag of Earl Grey in place of one regular Lipton. You won't be sorry! My sweet tea upped it's game when I starting doing that. Can't make it fast enough for family gatherings.

  17. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    I start with cold water in a large sauce pan, about 4 cups, bring to a full boil (when the bubbles begin to break), then remove from the heat and add 3 heaping measuring tablespoons of LOOSE LEAF Lipton tea. Cover the pan and let it steep for about 30 min to an hour. Using a tea strainer, pour the water over ice cubes. I make mine in a one gallon jug and keep in the refrigerator. We don't add sugar, but rather let anyone who needs it sweeten their own.

  18. Image for lynnp lynnp

    I too am a southern girl who loves tea more than any other food or drink...and a screened porch to keep the bugs from eating me alive, sweet thing that I am, y'all...!,

  19. Image for Sandy Sandy

    All you need is a jar of instant tea, some lemon juice or a few mint leaves (try orange mint) and a few Splenda packets and combine. Add ice and sigh, this is really the best!!!

  20. Image for Debbie Klausing Debbie Klausing

    My resident tea/coffee expert says you should steep tea for 3 - 5 minutes for best results. Too long can make it taste bitter.

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