By Bruce Richardson
What might be extra refreshing on a scorching summer time day than an icy-cold glass of tea? That’s why June was chosen because the official month to rejoice America’s longtime love affair with the beverage. Our nation’s ardour for chilly tea, one thing our British mates don’t perceive, may be traced again almost two centuries.
One of essentially the most reported iced-tea tales got here from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair when Richard Blechynden, director of the East India pavilion, turned pissed off as he tried to supply samples of scorching tea beneath the simmering Missouri solar. In an try to spice up consumption, he circulated and chilled the tea by a sequence of lead pipes immersed in ice. The ensuing cool, refreshing beverage was successful with fairgoers, and the iced drink turned common all through the United States.
This story could also be true, however it’s not the primary recorded incidence of tea being served with ice within the United States. In my native state of Kentucky, cold-tea recipes started showing previous to the Civil War in cookbooks similar to The Kentucky Housewife. Our 1842 house had a stone icehouse, the place winter ice, gathered from a close-by river, was saved till the recent days of July and August. The precious ice was shaved and used to make ice cream or put in a glass for iced tea or an occasional mint julep.
Be positive to all the time name it iced tea fairly than ice tea. Tea with ice in it’s an iced beverage. In the South, the phrase iced is commonly eradicated, and in lots of diners and eating places, it’s merely often called “sweet tea.”
Sweet tea dates again to the late 19th century when the next recipe was revealed in Housekeeping in Old Virginia.
After scalding the teapot, put into it one quart of boiling water and two teaspoonfuls inexperienced tea. If needed for supper, do that at breakfast. At time for supper, pressure, with out stirring, by a tea strainer right into a pitcher. Let it stand until tea time and pour into decanters, leaving the sediment within the backside of the pitcher. Fill the goblets with ice, put two teaspoonfuls granulated sugar in every, and pour the tea over the ice and sugar. A squeeze of lemon will make this scrumptious and healthful, as it’ll right the astringent tendency.
Because 19th-century normal shops stocked largely inexperienced tea from China or Japan, many early recipes referred to as for inexperienced tea. But, after World War II, when inexperienced tea was scarce, black tea from India turned the premise for this common brew. That is now not the case.
It might shock modern tea drinkers to study that almost all of at present’s business iced-tea mixes and tea baggage include largely mechanically harvested black teas from Argentina. More than 40 % of the tea imported into the United States annually originates in that South American nation’s lengthy flat fields of tea bushes.
Although some teas are manufactured particularly to be served as iced tea, nearly any tea may be loved chilly as nicely. You may even save your breakfast tea and serve it over ice for lunch. Whether it’s black, green, oolong, or white, consuming iced tea is cooler than ever.
Here are some TeaTime iced tea favorites: