Time to Celebrate “Tea Gone Cold”

I don’t know who comes up with these designations; however, tomorrow, June 10, is National Iced Tea Day in the U.S. and parts of Canada; therefore, I decided to celebrate by pulling out my brand new iced tea pitcher. For the past 30 years, I’ve pretty much used the same Princess house clear pitcher for my iced teas. But now I’ve gotten myself a fancy infuser model :-).   Spice Merchants in Laguna Beach carries a nice variety of iced tea infusers and tea pots.  I love it and it works well for hot tea too.  It’s a good size, holds 68 ounces of fluid, which makes plenty for a gathering.  When making iced tea, use double the amount of tea leaves as you would for a hot cup.  Once steeped, remove the leaves, let the strong tea cool, add equal parts pure, fresh water.  Chill. Add ice as you serve the tea.  This makes for the best iced tea.

For Life Brand Iced Tea Jug with a basket infuser that easily lifts out once tea has steeped.  Lid fits tight and it can be refrigerated...

For Life Brand Iced Tea Jug with a basket infuser that easily lifts out once tea has steeped. Lid fits tight and it can be refrigerated…

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In sunny So. Cal., iced tea in consumed in massive quantities.  In fact, over 90% of tea consumed in the United States is the iced variety.  It is said that iced tea was discovered at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair when on a very hot day, a tea merchant (Richard Blechynden), found that no one wanted his hot tea.  He borrowed ice from another vendor, poured his tea over it and there you have it, iced tea discovered.  While I believe this story to be true, and this certainly may have created the tipping point in exposing a broad population to the concept of iced tea, it seems that sweet iced tea existed in the American South long before 1904.   I read many civil war books and there’s definitely sweet iced tea being consumed and that was the middle 1800’s.  In any case, a freshly brewed jug of iced tea is my favorite thirst quencher…unsweetened for me.  Our Southern relatives call that “yankee style iced tea.”   If you are sweetening your tea, make a simple syrup by bring equal parts cane sugar and fresh water to a boil in  a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.  Cool it and you now have a sugar that is already dissolved as it hits your iced tea.

My absolute favorite iced tea away from home is Starbucks unsweetened black iced tea…shaken over ice.  It is just sooooo good.

Starbucks iced tea...shaken...delicious, unsweetened for me.

Starbucks iced tea…shaken…delicious, unsweetened for me.

Drink freshly prepared, whole-leaf steeped iced teas.  They are good for you.  And if you order iced tea in a restaurant and get something that tastes “off putting”…send it back.  It’s probably old.  Iced tea should be made fresh daily!

 

4 Comments

  1. Nice teapot. I know we’ve discussed this before but I still find it hard to imagine a situation in which I would want my tea iced rather than hot. It’s no doubt got a lot to do with living in a cold country, but even when I think back to the hottest places I’ve been in, where the temperature was well over 100 degrees, I still chose to drink hot tea. Maybe it’s just my upbringing and I’m stuck in a rut. Maybe I shouldn’t think of it as tea, but as some other sort of refreshing drink. I think I need a visit to Southern California to test this out properly. 🙂

  2. I thought of you as I wrote this…that you don’t have the same fervor for iced tea as American’s do…a few year’s ago, a friend of mine, married to an Englishman, was taking her mother-in-law to lunch and she exclaimed when they brought her a glass of iced tea…”well, I just can’t abide this “tea gone cold” …I’ve always loved the way she put it…guess it’s all what one is used to in their upbringing. You’ll have to visit So. California and check it out. I can expose you to some great “tea gone cold” 🙂 (am afraid you still won’t prefer it though)

  3. I’m with you about the Starbucks iced tea-it’s great! I found out that you have to be very specific about “no sugar” or they will just make you the sweetened version.

    • Yes…and they also just changed to the Teavana recipe…but it is still wonderful…and I was happy that they have the no sugar version too 🙂