As the days heat up, we begin to think about colder beverages. I talked with, Cyndy, my iced tea expert, who drinks the chilling brew 12 months of the year.
To slake her thirst, she makes a big container of tea each day. So I inquired about the formula. Here’s how she makes it.
Boil 4 cups of water and toss in two family-size tea bags. Let it sit for 4 minutes. Add 4 more cups of cold tap water. Viola! You have 8 cups of tea. Put tea in a large container or Mason jars in refrigerator. Add ice, lemon, sugar, or mint before serving.
Who “Invented” Iced Tea?
There’s long been a dispute over where iced tea had its beginning. Here in St. Louis we like to think it was at the 1904 World’s Fair along with the ice cream cone, cotton candy, hot dog, hamburger, peanut butter, and the club sandwich. Most of those items were around before that. But they were popularized on the mile-long Pike, considered to be the world’s first food court. There are printed reference indicating iced tea goes back to the 1860s.
Iced or Hot, the Benefits are Many
Today tea purveyors bring us an array of choices from around the world. I keep my cabinet stocked with herbal, fruit, green, black, oolong, and white teas. Like Uncle Wiggley, the elderly rabbit from my childhood books, who drank chamomile for his “rheumatism,” I’ve found the aromatic brew can have a therapeutic effect. Or, at least, it soothes the innards when such is needed.
Tea is also said to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve brain function, and even help with weight loss. Whatever the health benefits of a cup of tea, the brew offers a delightful break from the day. Imbibing gives you a chance to close your eyes, to relax, and let harmony caress your body and spirit.
The Pause That Refreshes
So when I travel, I often take a tea break. In London, I enjoy browsing sniffy tea shops, such as Fortnum & Mason or Twining. If you want a taste of history, you can buy the teas once blended for the royal family or other ardent tea drinkers of the past. Or concoct your own blend.
Over the years, I’ve “teed” at Harrods and the London Ritz. But I far preferred the staidness of the tea room at Brown’s, the city’s oldest hotel. In such staid, English tea rooms, I seize a moment for reverie. Ahh! Could that be Dame Judi Dench sitting at the corner table? Or, perhaps, Hyacinth Bucket, (Keeping Up Appearances), swigging from her “Royal Doulton teacup with the hand-painted periwinkles.”
Tea, hot or cold, activates the imagination.
“You can’t buy happiness, but you can brew tea, and that’s kinda the same thing.”