Many think that the first place iced tea was served to the public was at the 1904 World's Fair in St Louis. This is not true!
This is what happened! The Commissioner of Tea, Richard Blechynden, was the director of the East India Pavilion at the St. Louis
World's Fair in 1904.
He had samples of Hot Tea, but because of a unseasonably hot day people were going for the cold drinks. So he iced down the hot mixture, people loved it. In his own way Richard Blechynden made this beverage more popular.
Records show that in a 1839 cookbook entitled "The Kentucky Housewife" there is a recipe for a Tea Punch. Yes it was served iced.
Then in 1879 in a cookbook called "Housekeeping in Old Virginia" there is a recipe on how to make sweet tea, the oldest known.
Proof that people in the States were drinking Iced Tea before 1904!
Did you know that American people back in the 1800's and early 1900's drink more green tea?
In the 1900's these drink recipes became more commonplace in cookbooks. Green was the most popular to brew in the beginning.
Later black was the preferred choice. Here's why.
During WW II the supple of green tea was cut off from Chine and Japan to the U.S.. So they had to turn to another source.
That left British controlled India who then began supplying the Americans with Black Teas. After the WWII ended the American
people did not return to brewing their tea with green leaves.
Today is a different story. With the health benefits of Green Tea being discovered this brew is becoming popular again. Enjoyed
both Hot and Iced!
Interesting how events in history shape the way we eat and drink today.
Here is an little tidbit of interest.
When Prohibition came about, the popularity of iced tea soared. People had to find an alternative to alcohol, which became tea.
If you want to know more about the history of tea, check these books out.
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