Iced Tea - A Refreshing Treat
Being from the southeast United States, I grew up drinking iced tea. This delicious and versatile beverage is a staple in my part of the country. Tea has come a long way in my lifetime. I still make it at home the old-fashioned way that my mother taught me. I simply boiling a big pot of water and steeping tea bags in it until it is a rich shade of amber.
Homemade Iced Tea
I prefer homemade tea without any type of sweetener, so I just dump ice in the pot, pour the cooled concoction into a pitcher and let it cool. Southerners who prefer sweetened tea will tell you that the only way to make proper iced tea is to add sugar to the tea while it is still boiling. True connoisseurs of "sweet tea" (as we call it in the south) never add sugar to tea that has already been cooled, because it doesn't dissolve properly.
In southern restaurants, when you order iced tea, it is expected that you specify "sweet" or "un-sweet." I thought this was the norm everywhere, but learned several years ago when I had a job that required me to travel frequently that this is a truly southern habit. When I ordered "un-sweet" tea at a restaurant located inside of one of the hotels adjacent to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, the waitress posed the following question: "Honey, where do you live that people would just put sugar in tea?"
Flavored Iced Tea
Even though I like plain unsweetened homemade tea, I love many of the bottled flavored teas available today. They are a great alternative to carbonated beverages, and I'm happy to see that they are becoming widely available in supermarkets, convenience stores, and vending machines. Even Coca Cola is offering premium bottled tea with its Gold Peak brand.
My Favorites Bottled Teas Include:
- Sweet Leaf Tea - This terrific line of bottled tea products uses 100% pure cane sugar in it's sugar-sweetened teas, and uses Splenda in its sugar free products. Their raspberry flavored tea is divine.
- Pom Wonderful - This line of healthy and delicious line of antioxidant rich teas combines the rich flavor of pomegranate with tea for a unique treat.
- SoBe Green Tea - This tasty beverage is a refreshing treat on a warm day, and is a great way to enjoy the much publicized health benefits of green tea on a regular basis.
- Fuze Diet Green Tea - I do try to stay away from high-calorie beverages, so I was happy to discover the Fuze Healthy Infusions line of bottled teas and other beverages. They taste great and are becoming increasingly available in convenience stores in my corner of the world.
If you know of another great iced tea, let me and the other Hubbers know about it. Share your favorites in the comments section!