Monday, February 12, 2024

Rant: I Want Iced Tea In The Winter!

"Iced tea is too pure and natural a creation not to have been invented as soon as tea, ice, and hot weather crossed paths.”
--John Egerton 

According to the Tea Association of the USA, the wholesale annual value of the U.S. tea industry is over $10 Billion and Americans annually consume over 3.6 Billion gallons of tea. Each day, over half the U.S. population drinks tea, though people in the South and Northeast consume the most. What may surprise you is that 85% of the tea consumed in America is iced! That statistic shows the huge popularity of iced tea, but I think numerous restaurants are ignorant of this simple fact.

Iced tea was invented in the U.S., likely sometime during the 1800s in the South. There's a legend that iced tea was created in 1904, during the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, by an Englishman Richard Blechynden. However, there's clear evidence iced tea existed before 1904, so Richard may be considered more the popularizer of iced tea rather than the actual inventor.

Year round, I drink fresh brewed, unsweetened iced tea nearly every day. It's refreshing, thirst-quenching and doesn't have the sugar content of sodas and other such drinks. In addition, it's cheap to make, roughly 3 cents a serving if made at home. I'm obviously far from alone in my love for iced tea so why aren't all restaurants paying attention to this popular beverage? 

My biggest issue is during the winter, when some restaurants stop serving iced tea, claiming it's only a seasonal beverage. That happened to me again over the weekend, and it irritated me. It's such a crock! Those same restaurants still served iced coffee, without claiming it's a seasonal beverage. They serve cold soda too. Some of those places may also serve frappes and other ice cream drinks in the middle of winter. It makes absolutely no sense that they also won't serve iced tea.  

Iced tea should be a year-round beverage, and with the vast amount of people who enjoy it, restaurants need to pay attention and keep it on their menus all the time.  Iced tea is cheap and easy to make so they have no excuse. Don't discriminate against iced tea when you clearly offer plenty of other cold beverages during the winter.

Who else enjoys iced tea during the winter? 

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