HistoryThe invention of iced tea is generally believed to have occurred in America in 1904, although some evidence has been presented that it may have been drunk in the South well before that. Like many great inventions, iced tea was created completely by accident.
It was a sweltering day during the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, and Englishman Richard Blechynden's tea concession was not doing well. Thinking quickly, Mr. Blechynden added ice and created a beverage that has since become an American favorite.
Almost any tea you enjoy hot can be poured over ice for a refreshing change. Some teas, however, lend themselves to making a better glass of cold, clear, bright and flavorful ice tea. One of Holy Mountain's teas that is excellent for this purpose is Keemun (Qihong). There are also many tasty non-clouding specialty iced tea blends you can create yourself.
Clouding or "Creaming"Teas cloud (or "cream" -- the term used by experts) when the pH or chermical balance in the glass is upset. Sometimes it can be as simple as the type of tea. Some teas have a high acid content which will change the pH level in cool water. Assam teas from India are particularly susceptible. These teas are abundant in compounds called theoflavins and theorubigins, which combine with the calcium and/or magnesium in tap water to form salts that won't dissolve in cold water. As hot tea cools, the minerals in the water and the compounds in the tea clump, giving the tea a murky appearance. If your chilled glass of iced tea clouds, try slicing up some citrus fruit and adding it to your glass. Lemons, limes and oranges are high in acid and will help balance the pH level.
Brewed iced tea is more than 99 percent local water, so another major factor in clarity can be the quality of the water being used. High mineral content, chlorine and water hardness can easily affect both the clarity and taste of the brewed tea.
BrewingWhen using a standard coffee maker to make tea:
Use 1 ounce of tea to 64 ounces of water.
Run one cycle through the leaves.
Pour hot infused tea into 64 ounces of cold tap water.
Place blended tea into a dispenser.
Another option is to run two brewing cycles through the same leaves. Let cool before placing in a dispenser.
Storage and Serving TipsAdd ice when serving.
Do not store overnight. Brew tea fresh each day.
If making traditional ice tea (without a brewing machine), do not bring water to a full boil.
If clouding occurs immediately following brewing, lower brewing temperature of water.
Never use a coffee pot for tea. Any item previously used for brewing or storing coffee will contaminate tea.
ALWAYS WASH OUT YOUR BREWING AND SERVING EQUIPMENT DAILY. TEA SHOULD BE MADE FRESH DAILY.