What images come to your mind at the mention of the Fourth of July? For many folks it’s fireworks, picnics, and weenie roasts over bonfires. At least, that was the line-up when I was young. You take a coat hanger, unbend it, and shape it into a rough fork. Then, you jab the “fork” ends through a raw hotdog and hold that hotdog over the bonfire flames, watching it turn crispy and blackened. It’s a flavor not to be beat.
Iced tea seems a natural beverage for a Fourth of July picnic or weenie roast. Unless, of course, you’re like hubby and me and stick with hot tea. Tea goes well with most picnic type foods — roasted ears of corn, hotdogs and burgers grilled just right, watermelon, fresh salads, pies and cakes, and a great campfire or bonfire inspired treat called “s’mores.”
All of this talk of food and tea is meant to celebrate people saying, “Hey, we’re tired of answering to someone an ocean away.” We celebrated the first Independence Day in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. The Liberty Bell sounded four days later from the tower of Independence Hall; it summoned citizens to listen to Colonel John Nixon read the Declaration of Independence publicly for the first time.
Some teas and herbals to help you celebrate:
- Arctic Raspberry — A black tea from high elevation (over 5,500 feet) Ceylon estates is flavored with natural, distinctive-tasting arctic raspberry. Serve hot or cold.
- Orange Spice — Another black tea from high elevation Ceylon estates naturally flavored with tangy tasting Florida oranges and fresh cinnamon.
- Mercedes Apple Spice Herbal — Caffeine free, chock full of Vitamin C and others, and tasty to boot. What more could you ask for? [my review, Lainie Petersen’s review]
- Granny Green Apple — Natural fruity flavor of tart apple mixes with the green tea flavor to create a deliciously refreshing beverage you can enjoy any time.
- Peppermint Herbal — This peppermint is grown in Washington state, then sun dried and machine milled. It’s naturally caffeine free and is supposed to help with heartburn, stomach ache, and nausea. For the best brew, steep in boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
- Blue Eyes Herbal — Apple and peach with a hint of caramel results in a fruity, sweet, and almost candy-like flavor. It’s caffeine free and would taste wonderful over ice!
- Lemon Flavored Black Tea — This medium black tea with natural lemon flavor added is a great hot weather treat and is perfect served iced. For the best brew, steep in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 2-5 minutes.
- Buckingham Palace Garden Party — A lighter version of Earl Grey with Jasmine. It’s named for the tea party that the Queen in the UK holds each May. This tea is high-grown Dimbula Ceylon (from Hatton) black tea with oil of bergamot, jasmine from the Fujian Province, with some malty Assam (from the estate of Borengajuli), and some Kenyan (from Kambaa and Kagwe). Each cup is a mystery as the flavors come to the forefront of your tastebuds. [my review]
- Lady Londonderry — Black tea, dried orange, daisy white, and natural flavors combine to produce a malty floral flavor with hints of strawberry and lemon. It’s a winning deal, hot or cold.
- Blueberry Flavored Green Tea — Green Pekoe Gunpowder naturally flavored with blueberries, which rank the highest when compared to 40 other fruits for antioxidant activity. Blueberry sweetness makes them a wonderful additive to a delicate green tea! Terrific hot or iced. For the best brew, steep in water that is steaming for 1-4 minutes.
- Long Island Strawberry — Naturally flavored green tea. Get chilling with a refreshing taste!
- Cherrybana Herbal — Bold and bright with tart and tangy sour cherry notes and a delicious, mild, and sweet banana finish. Naturally caffeine free and makes a phenomenal iced beverage!
- Rooibos Herbal — Rooibos, an herb that contains no caffeine, comes from the Cedarberg region of South Africa. It is believed that Rooibos can have a soothing effect against headaches, digestive problems, and problems sleeping. For the best brew, steep in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 3-7 minutes.
- Sunshine Lemon Rooibos — Rooibos with a sparkling-like lemon flavoring that results in a fresh and lively character — terrific served hot and sensational served iced! [Lainie Petersen’s review]
- Florida Orange Rooibos — Caffeine-free rooibos combined with fresh orange flavoring creates a fresh and lively taste whether served hot or cold. [my review]
Lots to choose from!
Some other notable events that took place on the Fourth of July:
- 1954 UK Rationing Ends — Following the end of World War II, the supply of things like meats, butter, sugar, chocolate, and tea took awhile to get back to normal. (See Bill Lengeman’s article on this.)
- 1969 Atlanta International Pop Festival — Held at Atlanta International Raceway in Georgia, the festival featured some of the great names in music at the time such as Credence Clearwater Revival and Led Zeppelin. The event attracted 100,000 attendees despite temperatures nearing 100 degrees.
- 1984 Richard Petty Wins Again — Petty, the king of stock car racing, won his 200th career victory at the Firecracker 400 race in Daytona, Florida.
- 1999 Wimbledon Win by Pete Sampras —Sampras wins his sixth Men’s Wimbledon title in seven years and beats the previous record of Bjorn Borg.
Have a fabulous Fourth!
A Red, White, and Blue Teatime
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