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Summer in a Glass

“Hey Lady Baker, what iced teas are on tap today?”

Summer is short in this Atlantic province, but in late May I start getting requests at the Farmers’ Market for iced tea.

Canadians drink almost 9.7 billion cups of tea each year. That works out to 83 litres per person x 4 cups per litre x Canadian population 34,755,634 – less those who are 15 and younger (5,644,800). And that’s 30 litres (120 cups) more than in 2006 (Food available in Canada and Canada Population Estimate Statistics Canada.)

What we call iced tea was born at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri when Englishman Richard Blechynden added ice cubes to the hot tea he had been unsuccessfully promoting. The new cold refreshing brew was a huge hit in the sweltering southern heat.

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By mid June, even if it’s raining, the iced teas are ‘hot’ at my booth!! We have some wonderful concoctions for our ‘Summer-in-a-glass’ theme. Below are a couple of my favourites that I thought you might like to try making at home! Let me know what you think.

Iced Tea Brewing


Bring 4 cups water to a full boil for black teas and herbals but less than boiling for green teas.  Pour over 3 tbsp of tea leaves. Brew 10 minutes. Add sweetener at this point if desired. Strain over 4 cups ice cubes in a pitcher. Refrigerate.  Serve on ice, very nice! Top up with fresh squeezed lemonade and you’ve got it made! Here’s a hint- garnish with fresh mint!

My June and Early July Favourites


Rhubarb and Pin Lin Sparkler

Make the green tea brew as above using Pin Lin Gunpowder.  Do not add sweetener. Chop up local rhubarb. In a large pot, put the rhubarb (about 8 cups) and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until rhubarb is stewed (about 10 minutes). Strain until you have 4 cups of juice. To the juice, add 2 cups sugar and stir over heat until dissolved. Now you have 4 cups of green tea and 4 cups of beautiful sweetened red rhubarb juice. Mix the two together and when pouring each glass, ask your friend if he or she would like club soda added. Of course, there is always the option to make this an alcoholic beverage if desired! Either way, it is a very refreshing treat.

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Watermelon and Green Tea Sparkler

Make 4 cups of green tea. I suggest for this you use my Sencha green. Chill. Green teas are rich in antioxidants and along with the watermelon, are hydrating.  Pureé the watermelon to make 4 cups. Combine with the tea. Add 1 cup of white grape juice and 2 cups of grenadine syrup for a very different and exotic treat. If desired, top up with club soda.  This recipe originally appeared in the Charlottetown Guardian several years ago and was sourced from www.watermelon.org. For more information about the health benefits of watermelon visit Well-Being Secrets.

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian tea friends & to my American friends, may you have a fun-filled July 4th!

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