As iced tea season looms on the horizon, visitors to these pages have already run across a few articles that take a look at various facets of this warm weather favorite. Of course, the best part of the iced tea experience is drinking mass quantities of it — particularly when you take into consideration the huge number of flavor options available.
For many iced tea lovers, the tried and true black tea — maybe with a bit of sugar and lemon — is the beginning and end of the road. And while black undoubtedly makes a great drink, when it comes to iced tea options, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. By many experts’ reckoning, there are five other types of tea besides black – green, white, oolong (one of my own personal iced tea favorites lately), yellow and puerh. Any one of these will do quite nicely as an iced tea.
What kind of iced tea did our forefathers (and foremothers?) drink? Check out this Tea Punch recipe (scroll to paragraph eight) from the 1839 cookbook, The Kentucky Housewife, by Mrs. Lettice Bryanon. Of course, 2.5 cups of sugar per pint and a half of tea might be a bit much for some people’s taste, but it makes for an interesting historical perspective on iced tea even so. While the recipe does not specify what type of tea to use, it’s quite possible that it was made with green tea, which was as common, if not more so in the United States during this era than black tea.
If you’re ready to write the book on iced tea, you’re a little late to the party. But you might get some good ideas from the people who already have. Fred Thompson gives us a 96-page volume with the apt title, Iced Tea. Mary Lou Heiss, who most recently co-authored The Tea Entuhsiast’s Handbook and The Story of Tea, has also penned Green Tea: 50 Hot Drinks, Cool Quenchers, and Sweet and Savory Treats.
Don’t forget to check out William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks!