Today is Iced Tea Day and there are many questions on who and when it was really invented.
English and American cookbooks shows us that green tea has been served cold at least since the early nineteenth century and of course, the good people of the South were serving iced tea in their homes long before the 1904 Worlds Fair. It was and still is called sweet tea, served cool not hot. Ice, when available, was used. Remember, ice was the premium in the early days before refrigeration, not tea.
So how is it that credit for it's invention is given to an Englishman? Well the story is that:
Prior to 1904, Americans mostly drank green tea from China, and an English Merchant by the name of Richard Blechynden was trying to introduce Americans to the new more expensive India and Ceylon black tea and was giving away free samples from his booth at the St. Louis World Fair. With a heat wave going on at the time, he was not having much luck. After a few days of frustration he added ice to the brew.
The story continues that this new cold black tea became the hit of the fair and it's popularity spread all over the United States. so much so that, by World War I, Americans were hooked and buying special tall glasses, long spoons, and lemon forks to serve their tea in style.
All this talk about iced tea has made me pretty thirsty - I think I'll go pour myself a tall glass now.
Have a nice evening.