Posted in Kafevend Blog
In a 2008 survey, America's fondness for iced tea was illuminated by the discovery that around 85% of all the tea drunk in America was iced tea- a significant majority, I'm sure you'll agree. But when did this obsession start?
Recipes popping up in America from the late 19th century show a rising popularity in using new fangled ice boxes to create and store 'refrigerator tea'. In fact, the current recipe for iced tea is not that far removed from those used around 130 years ago. Commonly held to be where iced tea was invented, the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904 was instead responsible for helping to spread knowledge of the drink across America and indeed the globe, given its large and diverse patronage. As the story goes, Richard Blechynden was concerned about how people attending the fair were not taking the tea he was giving out. Reasoning this was due to the hot weather, he made iced tea to hand out. It proved popular, and it is believed that people returning home spread word of this new fangled and tasty beverage.
Nowadays, iced tea is available as both a home made and a store bought bottled drink ( such as Lipton's iced tea), and is also available in different varieties- a major difference being whether it is sweetened or not, either with sugar or syrups ( which can be flavoured). A wedge of lemon is a common feature of iced tea served in bars and restaurants, though lime is also becoming a popular addition. Green tea was the most prominent tea in America before WW2, but after the war there was a shift to black tea, due to trade restrictions. Today however, as in many countries, green tea is making a resurgence given its positive connotations with health.