Just for a moment.
It is quenching and refreshing an altogether delicious... at least when you're thirsty.
It is really all we need in the form of liquid; it is the most effective way to hydrate yourself, the most basic way to stay alive.... at yet we seem determined to better it!
Never satisfied, we make juice, and milk, and coffee and tea. We add carbonation and fermentation and flavourings galore. We carbonate, freeze it, spike it, sweeten it. We manipulate it in every way possible, and nowhere more so than with tea.
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 flavour of the leaf itself or an herbal substitute.
Your new beverage can then be sweetened, sterilized and packaged as bottled iced tea.
Of course, it doesn't really taste like tea. How could it? It's not bad, exactly, it's just....sterilized, without any of the pretty nuances or sparkling variety of making iced tea by hand.
But it's not really tea, you see. It's tea the way a crossing signal is music: mechanical, lifeless.
Try icing your own tea.
Try ANY of the multitude of recipes out there, or try the simplest method.
Play with your sparkling, nuanced new beverage, and revel in the liveliness only a hand-brewed iced tea can showcase!
And why not?
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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.
Comfort is a complex idea; it evokes childhood memories, a feeling of safely and warmth. Anyone who started drinking tea when they were young, or anyone who lives in a cold climate, knows the soothing warmth of a hot beverage.