Chill out with gourmet iced tea… American style!

Iced Tea Latte

Why steep your own iced tea?

Americans consume far too many calories. And at least a fifth of these calories come from things we drink, according to a March 2006 report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, by Barry M. Popkin, PhD, professor of nutrition, head of nutrition epidemiology, and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Obesity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The worst offenders: sugar-sweetened soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks, and sugary tea and coffee drinks.

Given Americans’ love affair with iced and chilled beverages, it’s no surprise that iced tea was invented here, at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. A group of tea producers from India had set up a fancy booth to promote their black teas. The sweltering summer heat and humidity prompted them to serve the tea over ice, just to get people to try it. In the 100 years since then, consumption of iced tea in the US has grown to

over 40 billion cups per year, and it accounts for 80% of the tea consumed in the US today.

A report in this month’s BBC news quotes Public health nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton, and colleagues at Kings College London, stating that “Drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits – Tea’s healthier than water”. Their work, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dispels the common belief that tea dehydrates. Teas offer antioxidant properties as well, and you always have the option of selecting the caffeine-free herbals as well. Many of them boast plenty of natural flavor and are quite hydrating, making these a great iced-beverage option.

Tea in its freshest form renders incredible flavor, unmatched health benefits, the best value per serving, and is eco-friendly.

Gourmet iced tea steeped from loose leaf tea is aromatic and flavorful enough to satisfy most palates without adding any sweeteners. And it’s so easy to make great tasting iced teas, using either hot brew or cold brew methods.

Hot brewing is steeping your iced tea the same way you would a pot meant to be served hot. But if you’re not interested in steeping your tea traditionally, “cold brewing” a pitcher of iced tea is also an option… attractive on a hot summer afternoon. The process would be the same as hot steeping, except that the tea leaves are placed into cold water and left to steep overnight.

At The Tea Spot, we’re doing our bit to encourage healthier iced tea drinking habits by putting our gourmet iced tea maker, the Steep and Chill, as well as our staff’s favorite teas on ice, on sale at 20% for this hot summer week, through Sunday, August 7th… so you can drink up and feel good about it!

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