We are in Iced tea season! Whether you like it straight up or sugar sweet, a twist of lemon or a dollop of honey, you may enjoy drinking in a few facts about what might be summer’s coolest beverage!
While tea has been sipped hot here in America since Colonial days, nonalcoholic tea wasn’t widely consumed on ice until the turn of the 19th century, when entrepreneurs in the northern United States started shipping ice down South and to the Caribbean.
As Americans began to take a leading role in the 19th-century global ice trade, the greater availability of ice made iced tea more common.
Tea was, however, used as an ingredient in alcoholic punches as far back as the early 1700s, and appears in historic punch recipes like Regent’s Punch, which dates to 1815 and includes green tea and the South Asian liquor arrack as well as citrus juice, sugar, champagne, brandy and rum.
The origins of early nonalcoholic iced tea recipes can be traced to 1876. A few years after that, sweet tea began to take hold in the South.
Iced tea’s popularity took off in the early 1900s, after visitors to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis embraced it.
Prohibition and the increasing availability of home refrigeration (with freezers) in the 1920s and ‘30s — not to mention the greater affordability of tea itself — sealed the deal: Iced tea was here to stay.
Today, iced tea accounts for 84 percent of all the tea consumed in the United States, citing statistics from the Tea Association of the U.S.A In other words, iced tea is hot!
This Strawberry Lemonade Sun Tea Recipe is the perfect summertime beverage. A naturally fruit flavored tea with no added sugar!
- 24 ounces Filtered Water
- 2 Tablespoons Truvia - optional, or preferred sweetener
- 1 Family Size Iced Tea Bag, or 3 regular tea bags
- 1 Lemon - sliced
- 5-6 Large Strawberries, tops removed and cut in half
- Combine water and sweetener in large glass container. Stir.
- Add the lemon, strawberries and tea bag.
- Seal container and place in direct sunlight for 1-2 hours.
- Serve tea over ice.
**I prefer to let tea and fruit infuse even more in the refrigerator overnight**
You can make iced tea by brewing tea traditionally and then adding ice or allowing it to cool, or you can make sun tea. You can use any type of true tea – or herb tea. You can toss in citrus, fruits, herbs or spices when you steep it for additional flavor. Go crazy! Mix things up; add lemon, mint and ginger to black tea; peaches and lime to white tea; raspberries and orange slices go beautifully with Earl Gray. Have a tea free-for-all, have fun and reap the many benefits along the way.
After water, tea is the most frequently consumed beverage in the world. Which make sense; tea goes hand in hand with images of Asia, the United Kingdom, India, Russia. But how about here in the old United States of America? It might not seem like we have a booming tea culture, but the fact is that on any given day, more than half of the American population drinks tea. But here’s the twist: 85 percent of that tea is served on the rocks.
While heavily sweetened iced tea can’t really be considered a health food, iced tea in general is a super salubrious quaff. Regardless of the temperature it is served at, tea is chock full of good things. There has been much research done, and compelling conclusions that tea can reduce the risk of heart disease, and possibly even help prevent a number of others. In warmer weather, having your tea iced is a great way to reap the benefits all year.
From soothing stress to providing minerals, iced tea provides more than just a refreshing boost. Whether black, green, white or oolong, all of which come from the same plant, just processed differently, all teas do the body good. Here are a few of the ways in which they do so:
Hydration is good. The Harvard School of Public Health lists tea as a great source of hydration. Despite the common myth that caffeine dehydrates the body, there is ample evidence that such is not the case.
2. Boosts your antioxidants
Everything is all about the antioxidants these days, we can’t seem to escape the heaping of accolades on these plant compounds that fight cell-damaging free radicals in the body. But if they really prove to be as beneficial as science seems to think they are, then we should be scarfing them down as frequently as possible. And on that note, by some accounts, tea has about eight to 10 times the polyphenol antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.
3. Offers a superior swap for sugary soda
A 12 oz can of regular cola contains 39 grams of total sugar, which is about 9 1/2 teaspoons of sugar and 140 calories. 12 oz of unsweetened iced tea has 0 teaspoons of sugar and 2 calories.
4. May help your teeth
Some research has shown that drinking tea may help prevent tooth loss; tea changes the pH in your mouth, which may prevent cavities. At the very least, it appears not to harm tooth enamel like some beverages do.
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5. Fights Cancer
The Tea Association of the USA explains that more than 3,000 published research studies exist that evaluate the role tea and tea compounds, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may play in cancers of various sites. The effects apply to a number of different cancers and are linked to varying degrees of significant success.
6. Provides a source of manganese
OK so maybe you don’t go around wondering how you can get more manganese in your diet, but hey, it can’t hurt. An 8-ounce glass of brewed black iced tea provides 520 micrograms of manganese, which is 35 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 23 percent for men. According to SF Gate, manganese promotes healthy wound healing, helps maintain the strength of your bones and supports your metabolism.
7. Calms the nerves
A British study found that people who drank tea were able to de-stress more quickly than those who didn’t. As well, during the study the tea drinkers – who drank black tea four times a day for six weeks – had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood after a stressful event, compared with a control group who drank a placebo.
8. Helps your heart
"There's a lot of literature out there on tea and heart health," says Anna Ardine, clinical nutrition manager at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "This is a health effect for which there is the strongest evidence."
In fact, reports Today.com, a comprehensive review study found a nearly 20 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack and a 35 percent reduced risk of stroke among those who drank one to three cups of green tea daily. “Those who drank four or more cups of green tea daily had a 32 percent reduction in the risk of having a heart attack and lower levels of LDL cholesterol.”