Iced Tea & Iced Coffee Newsletter

We must admit, our summer newsletters rank among our favorites! We can talk about coffee and tea traditions for long, lazy summer afternoons and lingering summer evenings - shoulders relax a bit just thinking about such days. This year we once again discuss the history of Iced Tea - a bit more complicated than we first thought. We also list our findings thus far on the history of Iced Coffee. We found some simple and delicious iced tea recipes and some sure-fire iced coffee instructions and international iced coffee recipes. We currently feature our new Tea Time Teapots collection and especially wish to point out the Bee House Ceramic Teapot - the perfect teapot for making iced tea and a good-looking addition to any summer tea party. As always, please remember to use you newsletter coupon to save even more on all CoffeeCakes.com purchases.


DID YOU KNOW? - ICED TEA and ICED COFFEE

Iced tea, as we discussed in our Tradition of Iced Tea Newsletter, was first served at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Rich Blechynden, an Indian tea merchant, tried to sell hot tea on an especially hot day. Fair goers ignored the tea and went in search of cold drinks. In desperation Blechynden poured his hot tea over ice, creating a cool drink that was instantly popular and changed the way Americans drink tea - or so the story goes. It seems, however, that Americans may have tasted iced tea some fourteen years BEFORE Blechynden ever set foot at the St. Louis World's Fair. An 1890 issue of the Nevada Noticer newspaper reported the following concerning provisions at the Missouri State Reunion of Ex-Confederate Veterans:

There were 4,800 pounds of bread, 11,705 pounds of beef, 407 pounds of ham, 21 sheep, 600 pounds of sugar, 6 bushels of beans, 60 gallons of pickles, and a wagonload of potatoes. It was all washed down with 2,220 gallons of coffee and 880 gallons of iced tea.
Some picnic!

The history of iced coffee is equally interesting. According to Better Homes and Gardens - Australia, iced coffee was first concocted in 17th century Vienna when the Viennese found themselves with a surplus of coffee beans left by the Turkish army, which had unsuccessfully besieged the city. The original iced coffee may also have been a French invention called mazagran, made from cold coffee and seltzer water. In the 1930s granizado de cafe (recipe below) was all the rage and drinking a granizado in cafes and casinos, in the parks and alongside bandstands was regarded as slightly risqué. If mixed with lemon the drink was called mazagran. The Viennese coffee shop, Julius Meinl, continues to feature a 19th century mazagran recipe calling for sweetened coffee cooled with ice cubes and spiked with maraschino and rum. Iced coffee is extremely popular today and recipes abound. We will continue our research into the background of this summer time favorite and in the meantime hope you enjoy the following recipes.


RECIPES - ICED TEA

If making Iced Tea in the Bee House Ceramic Teapot place 2 tablespoons of loose-leaf gourmet tea into the infuser. Fill the teapot with hot water just off the boil. Steep ten minutes for the Mandela Masala Rooibos Chai Tea, five minutes for black teas and three minutes for the Ceyon - Green tea then remove the infuser basket. To serve immediately pour the hot tea over ice. To serve later fill the teapot with ice cubes to begin the chilling process and place the teapot in the refrigerator. The Bee House Ceramic Teapot fits into the door of many refrigerators very nicely. Serve the chilled tea over ice cubes with lemon, sugar or honey if desired.

If you wish to decaffeinate iced tea try the following. Use an infuser teapot such as the Bee House Ceramic Teapot. Boil enough water to fill the teapot twice. Place dry loose-leaf tea in the infuser and pour boiling water over it. Let it seep for a few seconds - up to a minute. The tea will begin to infuse and the caffeine will leave the tea leaves, since caffeine is water soluble. Remove the infuser and dump the first batch of hot water. Replace the infuser, pour the boiling water over the tea a second time and allow to steep an additional four minutes.


RECIPES - ICED COFFEE

Iced Coffee (American)

Brew a rich, medium blend coffee, such as Bosque Lya coffee from El Salvador, in a French Press. The French Press will yield a rich brew with fine sediment that carries more body than coffee made through a drip filter. Brew the coffee at double strength - we recommend using four tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. Pour the brewed coffee over ice as soon as it is ready. When cooling the coffee, the cubes partially melt, diluting the coffee to a proper strength. It is best to use freshly brewed coffee rather then refrigerating hot, regular strength coffee as coffee that is cooled to room temperature looses freshness and flavor.

Iced Coffee (Australia)

Brew strong black coffee (as above), add sugar to taste, chill and serve in a tall glass with milk or topped with Chantilly cream.

Granizado de Café (Spain)

Brew strong black coffee (as above). Add sugar to taste while the coffee is still hot. Add lemon zest if desired. Allow to cool and then pour into a freezing tray and place in the freezer. Allow the coffee to freeze but not into a solid block. Mash and beat with a large fork and then pour into chilled glasses.


SOURCES

O'Connor, Sharon. Afternoon Tea Serenade. (Emeryville, CA, Menus and Music Productions, 1997). Austinson, Katherine, "Chill Out With Iced Coffee". " How to Make Iced Coffee", Learn About Iced Coffee" Green Mountain Coffee. Mazagran. Congacoffee.com Mazagran. Julius Meinl.


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