Let’s Talk “Iced Tea”

It’s tea time and it’s almost summertime…which means…it’s iced tea time.  I still love my hot black tea with milk in the morning, even during heat waves in the summer.  Often I have just one cup from my morning pot, head off to an exercise class, then consume the remaining tea “iced” later in the day.

American’s are in LOVE with iced tea.  Over 80% of the tea consumed in America is iced.  There are some really good ones out there or you can prepare a great one of your own.

If having iced tea on the run (ordering out),  believe it or not, my favorite is Starbuck’s black iced tea…it is their Awake Tea by Tazo (Tazo is owned by Starbucks, fyi).  They pour it back and forth over ice, then into your cup…it is fresh, brisk, and “watery cold” every time.  It’s my idea of a fabulous tea product.

A few days ago, my daughter called to tell me just how much she loved her Jasmine Downey Pearls “iced” – this is one of my favorites too, has that subtle fragrance of jasmine that lifts you up with every sip.

One of my favorite urban tea houses, Tranquil Tea Lounge, serves impeccable iced tea.  The tea maker steeps fresh, whole leafed tea of your choosing in an infuser, then delivers it to the table like this.

For our Memorial Day Holiday, we had the family over for a barbecue.  My niece, S.,  baked up spectacular desserts…beautifully themed to the season.  These paired well with my Kenilworth Ceylon iced tea…

Can’t resist showing you these luscious looking desserts – fresh from the oven –   These washed down well with iced tea.

What tea is best for making iced tea?  Any good quality tea can be iced.  I am pleasantly surprised by how some teas which are just “so so” to my liking served hot, turn out to be delicious and fragrant cold.  Black currant tea is one that comes to mind.  I enjoy it hot, but love it cold.  Peet’s Teas has  a fruity black currant which ices well.  A high quality Ceylon black tea, such as the one from Kenilworth tea plantations, makes a superior iced tea.  Harney & Son’s, Adagio, and Mighty Leaf are a few purveyors who stock Kenilworth Ceylon.  It’s smooth and crisp tasting.  Also, Jasmine pearls ice beautifully.  I usually add the ice just prior to serving.  There is nothing more refreshing than adding a sprig of fresh mint to your iced tea too.

Experiment a bit, try icing some varieties you’ve not done before.  Enjoy!

Kenilworth Ceylon makes a wonderful iced tea!

Kenilworth Ceylon makes a wonderful iced tea!

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  1. A true Memorial Day celebration would not be complete without refreshing iced tea. Loved the addition of mint too. When I think back to how I used to dislike iced tea…to now… Wow what a difference. The deserts tasted as good as they were beautiful.

    • Yes, mint adds such a refreshing scent.

  2. I’ve never iced tea in my life! It really hasn’t caught on in the UK, perhaps because we don’t have enough hot weather. I’m astonished that over 95% of tea drunk in America is iced. The only time I’ve been aware of iced tea has been when I’ve been working with other nationalities offshore and there have been bottles of Lipton’s iced tea available, but I don’t recall ever having seen a Brit drinking it. How do you make it, do you brew it like a normal tea and then wait till it goes cold and stick ice in it? I have everything to learn about this subject! Your desserts look amazing, by the way, and I think my favourite is the one you made, it looks so moist and delicious!

    • Enjoyed reading your comments here. Iced tea is one of the most common beverages in America. It is said to have been “discovered” in America at the 1904 Worlds Fair …it was a hot day in St. Louis, Missouri (USA) and an Englishman was selling tea….no one wanted his hot tea on this extremely hot day so he dumped some ice in it and the drink took off. Don’t know if that story is true as folks in our American South have been drinking a cold sweet tea long before 1904. I will post a couple recipes for you later this week. It is one of the most refreshing drinks in hot weather. It has no calories unless you add things like sugar, fruit – a more recent popular version of iced tea is called the “Arnold Palmer”…it is half tea and half lemonade. Thanks for the cake comment…that cake was moist.

  3. I think you may have had some help in the making of the Apple Cake.

    • Yes I had the best “apple peeler” in the world…thank you!

  4. I’m looking forward to your recipes Linda, thanks! I hadn’t heard that story about how iced tea came about, and even if it wasn’t strictly speaking the invention of the drink, it’s still an interesting tale.