That June 10th is National Iced Tea Day?
The United States Tea Association has conducted a survey and found that 85 percent of tea consumed in our country is iced – a uniquely American habit compared with tea-drinking customs worldwide.
Like so many good things, iced tea was originally discovered by accident. During one miserably hot day at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, an enterprising Englishman named Richard Blechynden decided to liven up his flagging sales of hot tea by pouring the brewed beverage over ice. Once the refreshing beverage hit the parched palates of the local fair goers, the rest was history.
Availability of Ice…
Ice also helped popularize iced tea. Ice was being shipped from the northern states to southern states and the Caribbean at the beginning of the century. Since the colonial days, Northern consumers had had ready access to ice, which was harvested in local ponds in the winter and stored in ice houses through the summer. But despite this “frozen water”, ice remained an expensive luxury and any cold beverages were markers of status enjoyed mainly by wealthy city folks. Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, also helped keep iced tea drinking popular.