Tradition of Iced Tea Newsletter

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The idea of drinking iced tea originated at the St. Louis World Trade Fair in 1904. At that time most of the tea drunk in the U.S. was green tea from China and, in order to popularize black Indian teas, a group of Indian tea producers organized a special tea pavilion under the direction of Englishman, Richard Blechynden and staffed by Indians who offered cups of hot tea. Temperatures soared during the fair soared and unlike the British, who recognize hot tea's thirst-quenching qualities on very hot days, the Americans ignored the brew and went in search of cold drinks. In a desperate effort to sell his product, Blechynden packed ice cubes into glasses and poured the tea over. As word got around, customers started lining up to buy the cooling beverage. It was, along with the Egyptian fan dancer, the hit of the fair! By 1992, the U.S. was consuming between 1.6 and 1.8 billion glasses of iced tea per year. More than 80% of all tea consumed in the U.S., is served over ice and almost 80 percent of American households drink iced tea. As for the British - they still prefer their tea hot!



Place one-ounce loose-leaf tea (1/4 of four ounce bag of tea) black, green or rooibos chai tea in a gallon pitcher or jar. Fill the jar about one-quarter full of near boiling water. Let steep for five minutes. Fill with cold water and chill. Serve over ice cubes with lemon and honey, if desired. View our tea selection for teas that go well with our coffee cakes. We recommend Ceylon-Black tea, Ceylon - Green Tea and Mandela Masala (Rooibos Chai) for making iced tea.

ICED MINT TEA - Serves Four

  • 4 springs fresh mint
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 oranges and 4 lemons
  • 4 cups freshly brewed strong Ceylon black tea
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger root shredded
  • 2 cups cold water
  • Sugar to taste

Crush the mint and put it into a glass jug. Pour in the fruit juices and the strained tea. Add the ginger, sugar to taste and the cold water. Strain and chill for at least one hour, then serve with plenty of ice and garnish with mint leaves and a slice of orange.


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The History of Tea,
Pettigrew, Jane. The Tea Companion, New York, MacMillan, 1997.