15 June 2012

Iced Tea

Every day seems to be a National Something Day...Talk Like a Pirate Day, Pancake Day, Hairball Awareness Day...it goes on and on.  Some days seem to overlap, and I'm sure many are being created anew each year.  It's probably some big marketing ploy, but as long as there's no National Stab Someone on the Subway Day, I'm not going to complain about it.  I'm not going to observe it either, unless there's a coupon involved, or a coincidence. 

Last Sunday was apparently National Iced Tea Day, and I found myself experimenting with iced tea on Sunday...totally by happenstance.  It's something I've tried to perfect over the years, though I think in the long run iced tea is a matter of taste.

My first attempts that didn't involve mixing powder with water was well over a decade ago.  I remember using my old white 'brown betty' teapot - I still have that one, it's my first useful teapot purchase, but I rarely use it - to brew black tea extra strong, as per a recipe's requirements.  Then I boiled up some simple syrup, which later ended up being useful in making cocktails (the Mojito phase...), and then I combined the two liquids and refrigerated.  Later I poured the concoction over ice.  It was pretty good, though not exactly out of this world. 

Like all my tea drinking, with the exception of the occasional strong breakfast tea or chai I don't add sweetener.  To me, well made tea does not need to be sweetened, whether it's hot or cold.  And fruit teas really really don't need anything added to them.  Now I basically brew up slightly stronger tea in a pot, and pour over lots of ice in a tall glass (or thermos if I'm taking it to go,) and it's a lovely drink, especially in the summer.  If I serve others iced tea, I'll give them the option to sweeten, like I would with hot tea, but I prefer if they tasting before adding anything to it.  I won't express disapproval either way, since I still need iced coffee to be sweet (though not too sweet, and only natural sweeteners.  Ugh, I had a 'skinny' iced vanilla latte from Starbucks not long ago and well, like I just said, Ugh.) 

Back to Sunday, I had a small packet of Organic Saigon Chai from DAVIDsTEA.  On the label it encourages the user to 'try it iced, Viet-style, with sweetened condensed milk.'  Now, I've never been to Vietnam, don't know anyone close to me from Vietnam, and even if my Dad were still alive I don't think he'd have to many tea-drinking experiences, so I'm just going to have to take DAVIDs word for it.  Since chai is one of my sweetening exceptions, and I happened to have a can of sweetened condensed milk that cried out to be used, away I went.  This resulted in a delicious, refreshing glass of Sunday afternoon.

So where's the picture?  you may or may not be asking.  Well, I wasn't being lazy (not that lazy anyway), but I have to say it wasn't the most pleasing-looking beverage I've prepared.  It kind of looked like creamy rusty water.  Perhaps I hadn't made it strong enough.  So you'll have to take my word for it - it was good.

I decree every Sunday should be Iced Tea Day!...at least for the summer months.  Ice Cream Day, too. 

1 comment:

Rita said...

Never heard of Chai and condensed milk. I might have to try that! Thanks. :)