Iced Tea

June is national iced tea month and how appropriate since American consumers have had a long love affair with the chilled brew, more than 100 years. There was even talk of making "tea" America's national drink during the time of prohibition. This distinctly American beverage has remained popular despite years of debate on proper brewing, quality and the perception that making a premium loose tea takes too much time and expertise, an idea that still holds true today.

In the early days American housewives brewed and mixed tea with various fruits, juices and syrups and "Tea Punch" was the drink to serve. But before long the idea of taking the time to prepare the leaves, once considered the mark of excellence for hostesses, fell from favor. Women began thinking that the lengthy process should be left to the Edwardian era when their counterparts had much more time.

As iced tea became commercialized the tea bag came onto the scene. After its initial inadvertent discovery the bag was made in a variety of shapes and sizes with different materials, similar to the new tea bags on the market today. While it was clear that bags brewed less than perfect tea it quickly became popular, replacing quality for convenience.

Increasingly obvious to the US Tea Association and American consumers, consistency and quality were lacking, still a prevailing issue. And what an issue, in 1938 Good Housekeeping even apologized for not addressing proper tea brewing and followed up with a two page instruction sheet. Having tested the various methods extensively they concluded that cold brewing delivered distinctively better tasting tea and eliminated clouding completely.

Since iced teas beginnings, to the introduction of instant tea in 1948 to today's RTD's or Ready to Drink teas, the quest for the perfect glass of iced tea has eluded Americans and with no good reason. All tea green or black, and herbs can be brewed and then served cold. The benefits remain intact and the taste is far superior when the tea is freshly brewed.

Click here for the Simple Steps for Brewing Iced Tea.

Think you don't have the time for brewing fresh tea leaves, think again. Freshly brewed tea delivers more antioxidant punch and health benefits then pre made, instant or even bagged teas.

This simple process is going to be rewarded with great taste and total refreshment during the hot summer months ahead or anytime throughout the year.
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Beth Johnston, a tea importer and noted tea expert, publishes an informative monthly newsletter on tea, tea history, health and lifestyle enhancements. To learn more about the world of tea, join her free newsletter at http://www.TeasEtc.com/Newsletter.asp or visit http://www.TeasEtc.com.

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