Summer is picnic season. But your picnic doesn’t have to be lacking in tea – either hot or cold. Including tea as part of your Summer picnics is not only pretty simple to do but is also rather essential to a truly proper picnic.

Plastic pitchers come in a lot of styles. The lidded ones are your best picnic option. (ETS image)

Plastic pitchers come in a lot of styles. The lidded ones are your best picnic option. (ETS image)

Hot Tea at a Picnic

The Yard Picnic can be the easiest location to arrange for having tea served. Hot tea is a simple matter of an electric kettle and a long extension cord to an external outlet on your house. (Or, if you prefer a stovetop kettle like I do, you can get a hot plate and have it outside plugged in to that outlet and set the kettle full of water on it to heat.)

If your picnic is taking place further from home and/or any electrical outlets, you have two alternatives: 1) a thermos full of hot water so you can steep the tea at the picnic (just be sure you’re going to be steeping a tea that doesn’t need boiling hot water – a green or white or even a lighter oolong), or 2) a thermos full of the hot tea already steeped. (I attended a Scottish Games event years ago where a woman from Britain had a thermos of steeped, hot tea with her, all prepped with milk and sugar. She was gracious enough to share some with me.)

Iced Tea at a Picnic

Iced tea (or cold tea that’s been chilled overnight) can be made in advance and put into an unbreakable container such as a plastic pitcher (thank goodness for light weight, unbreakable plastics!). The lidded kind are obviously best. For iced tea, steep it up hot and double strength (use the same amount of tea but half as much water – for example, 6 cups of water and 12 teaspoons of tea or 12 teabags). Then, fill the plastic pitcher with ice and pour in the hot tea (straining out the loose tea, of course, or removing the teabags, if that’s what you used).

If you want the tea sweetened, use teabags instead of loose tea, remove them when the tea is fully steeped, and add the sugar or other sweetener to the hot liquid. Store the tea in the refrigerator until it’s time to pack up to go to the picnic and put it in a cooler for transport.

Enjoy your tea, hot or cold, at that picnic and have a fabulous time.

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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