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Iced Tea: Shaken, not stirred!

Submitted by on June 18, 2014 – 6:52 pm

e first official day of summer, is upon us. After an elongated, icy winter we welcome the long awaited lazy days of summer, at least until the humid air pours over us like a liquid heat.

But when that wave of hot summer air smothers you and makes you sluggish, it’s time to rethink the favoured hot brew and reflect on our 2014 winter, which imparted a feeling of iced, cold and downright chilled.
Several references speckled throughout various historical documents or cookbooks dating back to the 1870s, indicate that tea was not exclusively served as a hot beverage, but also served iced or chilled. However, many accolades of iced tea are awarded to a Mr. Richard Blenchynden.

Blenchynden was a tea merchant and plantation owner who is often credited with the invention of iced tea, when in actuality he merely began the commercialization of the refreshing brew. Mr. Blenchynden was attending the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri as a tea merchant to promote his tea.
A particularly hot summer brought forth an unbearable heat wave that settled over the fair.

The heat contributed to an unsuccessful attempt of attracting patrons to his delicious hot beverage. However, it was the same sweltering southern heat that inspired Mr. Blechynden to add ice cubes to the steeped tea.

This created much interest in the chilled, refreshing drink and the crowds loved the ‘new’ brew.
Since this fortuitous innovation, iced tea continues to grow in popularity even today, with a plethora of bottled versions using white, green, oolong and black tea and numerous home creations to brew up. It is also shaking up the world of mixology and gaining popularity at the bar, as marTEAni’s and other tea inspired cocktails are being offered as alcoholic beverages.

The US of A loves their iced tea, in the southern states you will see it offered mainly as a sweetened tea, with the majority of other states serving it as an iced black tea, with sweetener optional. When visiting our neighbours to the south and you order tea, you will be served iced tea any month of the year, you will need to specify if you wish to be served “hot” or “iced” tea. This favoured beverage has become one of the most popular beverages in the world and each continent offers some version of such. Iced tea has shown great growth and diversity in a relatively short history.

Brewing iced tea is simple and the results, oh so refreshing. Try this cold brew method for a tasty treat:
– Pour water into jug filling half way, fill remaining half with ice
– Add tea and place in refrigerator overnight, or for up to 8 to 10 hours to allow a slow brew
– After suggested brew time remove tea and discard

Enjoy your refreshing brew.

Wanda McCumber is the owner of Enchanted Tea Creations, a gift and tea shop nestled in a treescape on Highway 15. She has a thirst for tea and tea knowledge, which is evident when you chat it up with her, for she studies the topic continuously. In fact, Wanda is a Certified Tea Sommelier. As a long time tea enthusiast, she began selling tea in 2003 and is passionate to gain and share knowledge on the world of tea.

Kingston Frontenacs

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