They say invention is generally born out of necessity. Such is true of many of the innovations in tea. Most of these contributions grew out of a need to make tea more convenient. What most folks don’t know is that many of these innovations came not from the big tea-producing countries (as one many expect), but from America. For the next couple days, we’ll explore some examples America’s biggest contribution to tea – convenience!
Meet me in St. Louis
By the early 1900’s, America stabilized her government, strengthened her economy, and expanded her borders and interests. The United States was now ready for the world to see her development at the 1904 World’s Fair. Trade exhibitors from around the world brought their products to St. Louis. One such merchant was Richard Blechynden, a tea plantation owner. Originally, he had planned to give away free samples of his tea (hot tea) to attendees. But when a heat wave hit, no one was interested. Parched from the temperature, visitors would pass his booth in search of a cooler refreshment. To save his investment of time and travel, he dumped a load of ice into the brewed tea… and thus popularized “iced” tea. Today, nearly 90% of all tea consumed in the US is in the form of iced tea.
More American tea originals coming tomorrow…