For the grateful person, there are millions of things to be thankful for every day. Fortunately the authorities that be (though we aren’t sure exactly who they are) have sorted out all the many things that have blessed our lives so that we may take note of them one at a time. They are organized by date, and there are many that have passed recently that you may not have been aware of.
For example, did you celebrate National Star Wars Day at the beginning of this month? Or, how about National Poetry Day on April 28th? Then, who could’ve possibly forgotten National Pancake Day on February 23rd? One of our favorites, and yours too, I hope, is coming up soon—and this holiday is so grand that it warrants a whole month of celebration. That’s right, June is National Iced Tea Month! Get your tall glasses and frosty cubes ready, because we will be pouring over this all month long!
Why celebrate iced tea, you ask? For the same reasons we celebrate Star Wars and Pancakes – they are just plain good. So it is with iced tea, and particularly during the month of June, when the chilled glass sweats almost as much as we do. Nothing better accompanies the summer heat; the cool, crisp liquid brings our body temperatures down and the slap of caffeine helps us the muster the energy to master our summer chores.
There are varied ways to make and enjoy the drink, and most people stand bitterly behind their methods as they would their religious or political views. If you’re from the South, you probably wouldn’t think about making tea without an equal part sugar. If the stirring spoon doesn’t stand up for at least two seconds, keep adding to the batch! If you’ve lived in Arizona for some time, you’re likely partial to vats of iced tea brewed in the sun all morning long. You probably also use about ten large teabags per jar of water. I forgive you for the teabags. That said, we can move on.
For the month of June, let’s celebrate by stepping outside of the box and dissolving the walls that divide us tea-lovers. It’s easier to be creative with iced tea than you might expect, and more importantly, it’s fun. And with a whole month to experiment, you can find innumerable ways to enjoy one of America’s favorite drinks. Let me get you started with a few ideas:
The whole point is enjoyment, which is why we drink iced tea in the first place, and why it is worth celebrating. So, have a bit of fun. Get your lawn chair out, grab your iPad or your favorite magazine, push a pair of sunglasses onto your nose and pour yourself a cold one; it doesn’t really matter how it’s prepared. Chill out, with Maya Tea!
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The first time I tried chai was in the kitchen of my parent’s house, and served by my younger sister. “You have to taste this—” she insisted, pushing a mug across the countertop to me. She refused to elaborate on its contents. The flavors, she said, would speak for themselves.
The quality of water affects the taste of your tea; this is beyond dispute. The relative quantities of mineral salts, oxygen and trace elements determine the relative "liveliness" or "flatness" of a particular cup. To that simple substance we add the basic flavor of the leaf itself or an herbal substitute.