It has been hot here lately, especially for June, which in the past has been really rainy! So rather than worry about the lawn going brown and all the plant flopping that’s happening, (I will water the poor garden as soon as it cools a bit), I decided to try to make home-made iced tea from real tea leaves. I have to admit before I would drink the powdered stuff but we all know it’s not real tea and most likely not that healthy. For my experiment I selected a nice mild green jasmine infused with tiny rosebuds and petals. When I brewed this tea hot I found it to be way too weak so wanted to try it cold. I brewed the tea hot in the pot then put the pot in the fridge, nothing too technical! About 2 hours later I poured a glass over ice and to my surprise the flavour was stronger cold and very refreshing!
Here in Canada when you order a glass of iced tea in a restaurant it will be served sweetened. As a child travelling in the USA with my parents I asked for a glass of iced tea and it came as cold, unsweetened black tea. I remember how surprised I was that it wasn’t sweet. I find it funny that the Southern USA is rather far away yet in Canada we prefer Sweet Tea just like they have in the south! Iced tea is an American invention that happened as a fluke at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. it was a hot summer and when there wasn’t much interest in his hot tea samples, tea plantation owner Richard Blechynden served the tea over ice and it was an immediate success!
As an adult I have developed a taste for unsweetened tea so now adding sugar to iced tea is something that I would not do unless a guest asked me to sweeten it or it came sweetened already. Later, I will offer my husband a glass of my home-made iced tea and I guarantee he will want to add sugar after all he is a Canadian!
June is National Iced Tea Month, visit Tea Time Magazine at www.teatimemagazine.com