June is National Iced Tea Month

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Ice tea with lemon, lime and mint

Iced Tea is a quintessential summer drink. That is why we take special pride in celebrating National Iced Tea Month this June.  The beverage team at TREE Restaurant gets creative with the infusions they present each day.  Of course our standard (and guest revered) Sport Tea is also served throughout the day.  June offers a special iced tea each day of the month with unique fruit and herb infusions.  The options are endless and it quenches like no other.

Iced Tea is also quintessentially American.  While it first made appearances in the 1860’s, it made its first cookbook appearances in the 1870’s.  The recipes and offerings became widespread in the 1870’s with hotels starting to serve the staple summer drink as well as a drink of choice served at railroad stations.  It also made a debut at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904 which really boosted its popularity.

What other beverage do you know that has its own cutlery dedicated to it for proper stirring?  The United States makes up about 85% of all iced tea consumed.  But the United States is not the only place that loves its iced tea.  Countries around the world have their own favorite ways of brewing up this super summertime drink.

In Brazil, a favorite beach side beverage is mate or  chá mate as Brazilians know it. The chilled drink is usually iced and sweetened and often flavored with lime juice. This is a little different than the Argentinian and Uruguayan mate that is usually served hot and not sweet.  Source from: Brazilian tea culture

Starting in the 80’s, iced tea began to gain popularity in both urban and rural areas of China.  Many varieties of tea (black, green, oolong, and herbal) are packaged and available in stores.  Families also are known to make their own iced tea in the summer months.  More traditionally, Yin herbs are used (cooling herbs) such as chrysanthemum, kuding, and more.  These herbs have been popular since ancient times and have great healing qualities in addition to naturally cooling the body.

Some might be familiar with Taiwanese bubble tea which is usually a strong black tea, sweetened with sugar and condensed milk.  The tea is typically served cold with tapioca pearls but also comes in other varieties such as fruit-flavored with jelly or chunks of fruit instead of tapioca pearls.

Similar to bubble tea, Thai iced tea or cha yen in Thailand is a drink made from strongly brewed black tea but without the Tapioca Pearls. It is sweetened with sugar and condensed milk and served chilled. Milk such as evaporated milk, coconut milk or whole milk is then poured over the tea in a tall glass to give it a creamy taste and texture.   Source from:  Thai tea

Many countries around the world have ancient traditions relating to tea and how it is consumed within their culture.  In Turkey, Iced Tea wasn’t introduced until the 2000’s with the introduction of Liption and Nestea because the traditional tea culture was so strong.  Interestingly, Coca Cola replaced Nestea with Fuze Beverage but in Turkey the word füze means “missile” in Turkish which was quite a sensitive topic and not an appetizing drink name. A national tea brand in Turkey named Caykur is now very popular with its Iced Tea named “Didi.”

Source from: Wikipedia