We anxiously await the month of June around here. Why, you ask? Well, not only do we experience the return of warmth and sunshine (a welcome change from the cloudy, moody weather of a PNW spring), but it also happens to be National Iced Tea Month! We begin preparing months in advance for 30 glorious days of celebrating! Come 06/01, our favorite seasonal blends are back on the menu, the tea shop’s shelves are stocked with a fresh shipment of specialty iced teaware, and all that’s left to do is revel in this distinctly American tradition.
Funny enough, many people often overlook tea once the days get longer and temperatures rise—especially odd considering the majority of tea drunk in the United States is, in fact, iced.
Approximately 75-80% of tea consumed in the U.S.A last year alone was iced—that's more than 3 billion gallons of brewed deliciousness!
So why the craze with all-things-iced-tea? It all comes down to history, or his(tea)ory, if you will indulge us!
With prohibition in full-swing, a hankering for more exciting non-alcoholic options soared in the 20’s. By the 30’s, refrigerators were in more American homes than ever before, and with it the convenience of ice. As the 40’s arrived, advertisements (much like the vintage one that hangs in our breakroom) were commonplace and touted iced tea as “the all-feature summer drink!” In particular, black teas were praised for being “especially suited to the American taste” and boasted benefits of “really satisfying thirst” and how “tea peps you up!”
While perusing the July 1940 Good Housekeeping ad that adorns our walls, we couldn’t help but notice that it ends with a simple call-to-action: “For economy and full enjoyment, buy quality tea.” Their recommendations don’t stop there; good teas, it says are produced in Ceylon, India, and Java-Sumatra—or, historically British-supplied black varieties. This makes sense as WWII and international relationships with green tea producing regions like Japan, loomed with uncertainty.
As a result, perhaps, this is why black teas remain a top choice for iced options today. This season we’d like to change that! If you’re in the neighborhood, drop in and try some of our preferred offerings for coldbrew and iced pour-overs. We're happy to help set you up with everything you need to make your very own refreshing libations at home, including teaware that makes brewing a cinch. Or, for those of you reading from afar, check out our
Iced Tea collection to discover your new favorite summer beverage. Either way, join us in raising a cold, invigorating glass of iced tea—and beat the heat this June!
For further reading on fascinating iced-tea history, check out this NPR article.
Contributed by Tyler Peterson & Veronica Messinger