Having spent the weekend maneuvering through tea plantations in Munnar, the drive brought back memories of conversations over tea here. There was the post on the complete tea experience – from planting a seed to hand plucking the tender green “silver tips” of the tea, to hand roasting and finally enjoying the “fruits” of one’s labor in distant Thailand. The one on the history of tea, too. And here is the account of how America popularized iced tea (we are betting on it being one of your go-to drinks), courtesy NPR’s The Salt:
You’d be forgiven for not knowing this, but Wednesday was National Iced Tea Day. And while it’s only an unofficial food holiday, it makes sense that Americans would set aside a day to celebrate this favorite summertime sip: We popularized it. Tea itself, of course, has been consumed in America since Colonial times. (Remember the Boston Tea Party?) But before you could drink iced tea, you needed ice — and that was a rare summer luxury until the early 1800s. New Englanders could cut large chunks of ice from frozen ponds and lakes in winter, then insulate it with sawdust so that it could last into the warmer months. But in the hot South, snow and ice didn’t exactly abound.
Then, around the turn of the 19th century, ice entrepreneurs from Northern U.S. states started shipping ice down to Southern states and the Caribbean. Americans would come to dominate the 19th century global ice trade. And there’s good reason to believe plenty of that ice was being used to serve tea on the rocks. Early recipes had more in common with the booze-laden Long Island iced tea* than the stuff Lipton sells. Indeed, Americans were drinking iced tea in the form of alcohol-drenched punches at least as far back as the Colonial era.
Read the whole article here.