Getting together with family and friends over the Labor Day weekend? Instead of bringing the host or hostess a gift of wine or beer, bring iced tea! Everyone can drink iced tea and the cost of iced tea will not empty your wallet. Iced Tea is so refreshing when the temperature nears 100 degrees.
Don’t bring just any iced tea. Bring a ‘ready to drink’ iced tea (you do not even have to make it yourself!) that won awards this year at the North American Tea Championship. http://www.teachampionship.com/index.php/champions/2012-iced-tea-champions.
3 iced tea questions to keep in mind:
- The same caffeine rules apply to iced tea as to hot tea. Black, oolong, green and white tea has caffeine, an herbal tea will not. Be mindful of who will be at the gathering when making your selection as well as how late in the day it will be held.
- Then there is the sweetened tea vs. unsweetened tea decision to make. Which should you bring? If you are bringing one kind of iced tea, you may want to bring an unsweetened selection, and then bring simple syrup for those who would like to sweeten their tea. Torani (http://www.torani.com/makes a simple syrup as well as an agave syrup. Granulated sweeteners do not always fully dissolve in cold tea.You might just opt for bringing two kinds of iced tea – one sweetened and one not.
- Flavored tea vs. unflavored tea. Will the tea you bring be enjoyed with a meal? Will it become a ‘mixer’? Will young people be drinking your iced tea selection? Will the group be mostly male or female? Answer these questions and you will have a better idea how to proceed. Again, I recommend bringing two tea selections – one flavored and one not. At the risk of receiving disparaging comments, I recommend flavored teas (colorful blends, too) where children and young people will be present as well as for groups of mostly women. Unflavored teas are best to use as ‘mixers’ unless there is already a recipe in mind.
Tea cocktails are very popular, for your next get together you may want to check these out! Start by following Chris Cason, tea sommelier and co-founder of Tavalon Tea in New York City. http://tavalon.com/t-events.aspx or http://www.facebook.com/teasommelier.