June 10th is National Iced Tea Day. Here are some fun facts from Pure Leaf Tea.
Tea is the number-one-consumed beverage in the world, after water. While most of the world consumes iced tea, in the U.S., almost 80% of the tea consumed is iced.
1. Tea leaves and wine grapes share similarities.
Both tea leaves and grapes require certain environments and climatic conditions to thrive. Terroir (tur-WAH), the characteristics of a place (soil, water, altitude, latitude and climate) affect the taste of a final agricultural product and play a huge role in the growing of both tea leaves and grapes.
2. Tea regions create different flavor profiles.
Different environmental characteristics affect the flavors and aromas of tea. For example, in India, the low-altitude Assam region produces a black tea with a bold, malty flavor. In Indonesia, consistent temperatures and humidity make Java a perfect location to grow tea plants used for green tea.
3. Black tea, green tea and white tea come from the same plant.
A single plant, Camellia sinensis, provides all of the tea grown. For black and green tea, the difference lies in the oxidation of the leaf: green tea production stops the oxidation process to keep the leaves green. Quality teas like Pure Leaf process with the long leaf method, where the tea leaves are gently picked, rolled, dried, and blended to achieve a specific flavor.
4. Fruit and herbal teas are not real teas.
They do not come from the Camellia sinensis. They are properly called tisanes (tee-ZON) or infusions.
Fruit and herb teas (chamomile, peppermint, rooibos, etc.) have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Today, many people who drink them appreciate that they are 100% caffeine-free.
5. Iced Tea is quintessentially American.
No one can say at which point tea was first chilled with ice, but iced tea had its debut on the world stage at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition (today called the World’s Fair). On a very hot day, no one was trying the hot tea samples at one pavilion. Here’s the clever solution used to chill the tea.
1. Use real tea leaves.
Boil the water and steep the tea. Iced tea made from powder is to brewed tea, what instant coffee is to brewed coffee.
We’ve tried every iced tea concentrate—brewed liquid tea to mix with iced water—and have never found one we’d buy again. (Note: Anyone who adds lots of sugar may not notice the difference.)
2. Check the water temperature.
When brewing your iced tea, it’s important to monitor the temperature of the water. With black tea, the water should come to a full boil; but when brewing the more delicate green tea leaves, the water should be just under boiling.
3. Tailor your tea.
You can brew it a little longer or shorter to adjust the flavor. Note that if you add ice cubes to your iced tea (even drunk straight from the fridge), the tea should be brewed stronger to allow for dilution by the ice.
Here’s how to add fruit flavors to home-brewed iced tea.
PURE LEAF ICED TEA
Pure Leaf’s delicate tea leaves are kept long, then simply picked, rolled and expertly crafted with real fruit pieces, petals and herbs, allowing the natural tea essence to shine through. To ensure an exceptional and authentic taste experience, Pure Leaf offers single-source tea leaves from Rainforest Alliance Certified tea estates in India, Kenya, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Pure Leaf’s uniquely transparent packaging reveals the masterful tea blends and lets the quality of the ingredients speak for themselves.
There are currently 15 varieties:
We’re big fans of the Tea House Collection, elegant flavors in glass bottles.
For more information, visit PureLeaf.com.