Iced Tea: It all began between a peanut vendor and an overstuffed prize counter at the St. Louis World Fair in 1904, where an English tea plantation owner named Richard Blechynden set up a booth to sell hot tea to thirsty fair-goers. The balmy summer weather, clearly no atmosphere for hot tea, inspired the following occurrence: Blechynden poured the tea over ice and served it chilled—an immediate hit.
Although early working hours can send us running to the coffee machine, tea should also gain the attention it deserves, both for its antioxidant-rich health benefits and diversity of flavors (we love teas with sweet undertones like hibiscus, earthy green blends, and spicy cups of Chai and English Breakfast). With July approaching, we’ve finally reached the time of year to enjoy tall glasses of iced tea outside in the sun instead of cozied up under thick winter blankets. The summer solstice is edging closer, so whether you enjoy your tea brewed hot or cold, spiced with cinnamon or sweetened with honey, summer is the perfect time to remember one of America’s favorite coolers.
Since store-brand iced teas can contain excess amounts of refined sugar and preservatives, we like to make our iced tea from scratch! It’s surprisingly quick and easy. Here is one of our favorite iced tea recipes to help you and your family enjoy the hot weather:
Homemade Iced Chai:
(Makes 3-4 glasses of iced tea)
4 bags of Chai tea blend (any brand)
1 ½ tablespoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
milk (any kind: skim, whole, almond milk, soy milk, ect.)
1. Fill a medium-sized pot ¾ with water and set to boil
2. Once boiling, turn heat to low and place 4 tea bags into water
3. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, honey (if you’re vegan or have a honey allergy, maple syrup also works well), and vanilla extract
6. Keep over very low heat for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat and allow to cool completely with teabags still in the pot. (Do not place in the fridge—you want the tea to continue to steep).
7. Once cooled, pour tea into a large pitcher to store in the fridge for later, or pour the tea over a glass of ice cubes and add milk if desired.