There’s a month for everything and June is no exception! Did you know that June is National Iced Tea Month? As the temperature begins to heat up, it’s a perfect time to brew a pitcher of refreshing iced tea. Oh, and I don’t want to forget to mention that National Iced Tea Day is June 10th! Mark your calendar and enjoy a glass of freshly brewed iced tea to celebrate.
The history of iced tea
According to panamecoffee.com, iced tea gained popularity in the United States in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair, which took place in the summer. Due to that summer’s high temperatures, a tea seller named Richard Blechynden found it difficult to attract customers to the booth where he was serving hot tea. So, he decided to add ice to the tea. It was an immediate success, and iced tea was born!
Let’s get brewing
What are the ways to brew iced tea? I found the following methods from thespruceeats.com.
The hot brewing method is the preferred way to make iced tea. It produces a bold iced tea, takes a few minutes to brew, and is ready to drink within the hour. With this method, the trick is to brew a strong tea base with a small portion of hot water, let it cool a bit, then dilute it to taste with cold water.
Cold brew iced tea is also called refrigerator tea. It’s a hands-off brewing method and very easy, but it does take longer since you will need to cover and refrigerate it for several hours. In terms of taste, cold brew is softer than hot brewed tea because heat releases more of the tea’s natural tannins.
Sun tea is made in the same way as cold brew iced tea, but the jar is set outside to brew using the light and heat of the sun’s rays. There are some cautions associated with this method, so be sure to research it thoroughly before trying it.
So many flavors
There are lot of flavors you can add to iced tea for a more interesting spin on the beverage. Here are a few flavored iced tea ideas from tasteofhome.com (recipes can be found on their site):
Pineapple Iced Tea
Cherry Limeade Sweet Tea
Hibiscus Iced Tea
Honey-Citrus Iced Tea
Iced Honeydew Mint Tea
Lemonade Iced Tea
Raspberry Iced Tea
World’s record for the largest iced tea
The Guinness Book of World Records for the largest iced tea was achieved by the Town of Summerville, South Carolina, on June 10, 2016 (National Iced Tea Day!). The iced tea measured 2,524 gallons!
The sweet tea was brewed using 210 pounds of loose leaf tea and 1,700 pounds of sugar. Organizers initially used 300 pounds of ice to chill the tea, however this failed to reduce the tea to the required 45 degrees. Several hundred pounds of additional ice were needed to meet the guideline requirements.
Cheers to summer!