August 7, 2019 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

from Catherine Castle

Iced tea is summer’s classic drink. I thought it might be interesting to talk about the history of this popular drink before the summer slips away and also share my Nectarine Iced Tea recipe.

The history of tea reaches back to 2737 B.B. when, according to Chinese legend, Emperor Shen Nong accidently discovered tea when a leaf from a wild tea tree fell into a pot of water he was boiling in his garden. He enjoyed the flavor the leaf lent to the water so much that he began to brew it.

Iced tea, however, is much younger. The first recorded recipes in the U.S. for iced tea appeared in The Buckeye Cookbook in 1876 and in 1879 HouseKeeping in Old Virginia. The 1879 recipe, published by Marion Cabel Tyree, called for green tea to be boiled and steeped throughout the day. The liquid was then poured over ice and sugar and served with lemon.

The popularity of iced tea using black tea is believed to have started at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, where Richard Blechynden, the Commissioner of Tea for India and one of the fair’s directors, was exhibiting hot black tea. Because the temperatures were high, hot tea wasn’t selling. So, Blechynden brewed and chilled the tea, and thirsty fair visitors began buying. The trend caught on and by World War I iced tea appeared in the kitchens of Americans and in restaurants on a regular basis. Today, iced tea—black, green and herbal, in bottles, boxes and pitchers—is a staple on America’s menus.

Iced tea also appears on the tables in other countries, but many have a different take on the drink than Americans do. Here we have what most Southerners know as sweet tea, which is sugared, and regular iced tea—most common with Northerners, which is usually unsweetened. Tea drinkers have the option of adding a squeeze of lemon, or not.

In Brazil, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, mate tea, not the camellia sinensis tea associated with black tea, is the preferred drink for iced tea. Yerba mate dried leaves are boiled in water, then strained and served in cups.

Photo by Allie Smith Unsplash

Iced tea in Greece is usually flavored with peach or lemon. If you order peach tea, you’ll still get a lemon slice on the rim of the glass.

Ginger lemon, lemon and peach flavored teas are popular in India.

In Hong Kong tea is served with lemon slices that are crushed, releasing the volatile oils into the tea. There is also a milk tea version of iced tea made with green tea, flavored with jasmine blossoms and tapioca pearls. The tea is served warm and poured over ice, creating a creamy iced tea.

Taiwan has an interesting tea called Bubble Tea. This tea is usually a strong black tea, sweetened with sugar and condensed milk. It is served cold usually with tapioca pearls. Sometimes pudding, jelly, or chunks of fruit are put into it instead of tapioca pearls. Bubble tea can also be made with other types of tea.

Thailand iced tea is made from strongly brewed black tea, sweetened with sugar and condensed milk. Evaporated milk, coconut milk or whole milk are also used. The tea and milk are usually mixed together and then poured over the ice.

You might think that with tea time being a staple in the UK iced tea would be as popular there as in the rest of Europe. But not so. The popularity of iced tea in United Kingdom has only begun to rise since 2000.

Today, when you ask, “Would you like some iced tea?” Most people expect brewed black tea, with or without sugar and lemon. But plain old camellia sinensis isn’t the only option. With hundreds of flavored and herbal teas, the varieties of iced tea are only limited by one’s imagination.

At my house our favorite iced teas are decaffeinated Sun Tea, made by steeping tea bags in cold water using the heat of the sun to brew it, and hibiscus tea made from pouring boiling water over the dried flowers of the hibiscus plant. I’ve even begun putting my leftover morning tea, usually Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea or Irish tea with cream, into the refrigerator and drinking it cold later on in the day. I’m surprised at how tasty it is.

For your summer tea enjoyment, I’ve included a fruity iced tea recipe I developed. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Nectarine Iced Tea
4 peach flavored green tea bags
2 cups boiling water
1 ripe nectarine
2 fresh, sweet cherries with the stem, optional
Sugar or sweetener to taste

Place tea bags in a 2-cup heat-proof measuring cup. Pour boiling water into cup and steep tea bags according to directions.

Halve the nectarine and peel⅔ of the fruit. Reserving 2 peeled slices for garnish.

Slice the peeled nectarines into sections. Place ½ the sections into a bowl and crush the fruit to break down the flesh and release the juices.

Drop ¼ of the crushed nectarine into two 16-ounce glasses and stir well. Add ice and then remaining peeled nectarines.

Pour cooled tea over the ice and fruit in the glasses.

Garnish the glass edge with the unpeeled fruit and drop a fresh sweet cherry with the stem on into the top of the tea.

Add sugar or sweetener to taste. The riper the fruit the less sweetener you’ll need.

How about a peek at my latest sweet romance while you sip your refreshing tea?

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal. Allison, however, gets more than she bargains for. She gets a Groom for Mama.

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.

“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”

“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”

“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.

“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”

Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”

Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”

A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”

“And just how do you know?” she asked.

“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”
“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”

Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”

Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”

He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”

“I don’t want—”

“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”

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Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.

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