It’s summertime, and a good time to take a lighter approach to tea drinking. Iced tea is always a favorite and very versatile to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you prefer yours with sugar, cucumber slices, coconut milk, lemon, cinnamon sticks, mango sorbet, or even a splash of rum, you're sure to find an iced tea to refresh you in the heat of summer.
Did you know that tea has between 800% and 1,000% more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables? And it doesn't matter whether you choose green, black, or oolong — all three come from the same plant and contain equal amounts of good stuff.
Although tea has been consumed forever it seems, cold tea appeared in the early nineteenth century when cold green tea punches spiked with booze gained popularity. The opening of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair saw exceedingly hot weather. Tea plantation owner and merchant Richard Blechynden, who was a vendor at the fair, took advantage of the situation by selling chilled tea drinks (instead of hot tea) as a much-needed alternative. The rest was history for a large portion of the United States.
Sweet tea, a staple in a Southerners' diet for a century or more continues to be enjoyed without fuss or fanfare! Taking time to enjoy a tall, iced glass of Southern sweet tea hospitality will transport y’all to a happy place! It's no surprise that In 2003, Georgia State Representative John Noel introduced a House Bill proposing that all Georgia restaurants that serve tea be required to serve sweet tea. It was done apparently as an April Fool’s Day joke. Noel is said to have acknowledged that the bill was an attempt to bring humor to the Legislature but wouldn't mind if it became law.
There you have it, annually on June 10, we fill our glasses with iced tea (sweetened, unsweetened, or spiked) and celebrate National Iced Tea Day, Cheers!
Basic Iced Tea Recipe:
• (use more tea than you would normally use to counteract the ice; about twice as much, depending on your taste. Fruit tea also works well iced, as does mint.)
• Tall glasses
• Fresh lemon or mint
• Brew the tea between three and five minutes. *
• Fill a pitcher two thirds full of ice.
• The moment the tea is brewed, pour it over the ice (use a strainer for brewed loose leaf tea)
By pouring the tea straight onto the ice the sudden cooling preserves the flavor of the tea and prevents the cloudiness that often develops in black tea as it is cooled.
Garnish with mint or lemon.
*Make green iced tea in the same way, but make sure not to over brew the green tea as it quickly becomes bitter.