How to Brew Sweet Tea

It seems simple enough—make tea, add sugar—but brewing a high-class glass of Southern champagne is “all about time, temperature, and quality,” according to Clayton Christopher, the founder of Austin-based Sweet Leaf Tea Company. He should know: In just over ten years, he’s gone from making batches of the stuff at home in 25-gallon crawfish pots to landing a $15.6 million investment by Nestlé Waters. All iced-tea recipes start with two core elements—tea and water—but the secret to making true ambrosia lies in the fine-tuning.

Rising in the East

From sketch to chic, from drugs to lattes, from racism to understanding, East Austin has emerged as a unique blend of old and new, vibrant in its diversity. On paper, East Austin’s story has been told before—a low-income neighborhood finds itself discovered by a new crowd, faces higher property values, and suddenly becomes hip.

Offering Fine Advice Since 2007

Q: Last Saturday, when we had finished loading the groceries into our truck, my husband, Tim, went to return the cart when he noticed that someone had left a twelve-pack of Coors Light in his buggy. My husband, being the honest man he is, took the beer back into the Super Target. He said the clerks seemed shocked at his honesty but that he felt that if he had kept the beer it would be considered stealing.

Life Coach

After winning ten Lone Star Conference titles, numerous Hall of Fame honors, and five Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year awards, the long-time coach of the former Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) Javelinas is enjoying his retirement in South Texas.

Susie Q., Mystery Shopper

Susie Q. (not her real name) has been reviewing hotels, restaurants, and retailers anonymously for about six years. She works for several market research companies, such as Sinclair Customer Metrics, to whom she reports her findings after posing as an everyday customer and testing out products and services. She has lived in San Antonio for more than 25 years.

How to Pack a Cooler Tube

Some things never change, like the irrepressible desire to float a Hill Country river on a 100-degree day—with, most naturally, a cooler of beer. And while the basic art of loading one’s booze boat also remains the same (use a separate inner tube with a bottom, pump it with extra air for a snug fit around the cooler), what is new are a few rules.

The French Way

People always give me funny looks when I say I take French. I’m from Texas after all—shouldn’t I know Spanish? And while I’ve picked up enough Spanish not to embarrass myself with a Mexican menu, it’s always nice to find Lance Armstrong is not Texas’s only tie to France.

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