Iced tea, please

Visiting the websites of other expatriates had made me consider what I missed about my former country. Before I left the US, I knew there were certain things that I would have to readjust to. For example, driving on the left side in cramped conditions. I also knew there would be fewer conveniences, such as 24-hour shops. There are a few around, but they are “few and far between”. But many of my expatriate colleagues mentioned food. Now, that is something that is different.

Some Americans think that there are more restaurants in the US. Maybe they’re right, but the variety of food is probably no different. I’m not even going to get into which side of the ocean provides more authentic, tasty ethnic foods. But there are definitely fewer drive-thrus over here. Oh, yes, you have McDonald’s but that’s the limit. The US is full of drive-thru restaurants. Very convenient.

But perhaps the one single food item that I miss and knew I would miss is iced tea. Yes, the all-American favourite drink in restaurants. Some Brits know about iced tea but there is not much interest in it. My father-in-law said he tried it and liked it, but you can’t really get iced tea over here. We thought we could try to introduce it to more people, but how? My favourite was Arizona’s Green Tea – I could really use some of that right now.

I bought green tea bags and have been brewing some with honey. Not bad, but not what I’m used to. I tried to chill it in the refrigerator, but still, it wasn’t the same. (Sigh). Well, it’s the best that I can do from that front. Anyone with any suggestions?

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10 Comments on “Iced tea, please

  • I make plain iced tea or some times add grape juice to it, but that may be a southern thing. Sometimes I see Lipton iced tea with lemon at the grocery store and I saw bottles of it at Costco. I’m like you, I loved Arizona Green Tea (with honey and ginseng). Some specialty stores carry it, but it’s like £4 for the personal size bottle!

  • I thought iced tea had become more acceptable there since I left twenty years ago. Doesn’t Starbucks offer it? May want to check that out. My Scottish ex-husband detested iced tea at first but now loves it.

  • I haven’t seen iced tea around, except something made by one of the soft drink makers over here and it did not taste anything like iced tea. Then, at Lidl’s we found a large juice bottle size of peach iced tea from some European maker. It tastes similar to the Lipton peach iced tea. But I’d rather have some green tea. I would not buy it at Starbucks (if they had it) because they’d charge too much.

    Yank’s last blog post.The English fog

  • Hi–I was reading your blog, as I’m preparing to meet some long-lost British cousins this summer, and I was curious about how the two cultures intertwine in today’s world.

    On the iced tea front, you may be interested in knowing the old Southern U.S. method of making this essential item. It predates the use of modern bottled tea–showing my age, I guess.

    Basically, you have to brew the tea (with bags, or loose leaves) at 4-6 times the standard strength of hot tea. In other words, 4 teabags per cup, or more. When the tea has finished brewing, you fill up a non-breakable pitcher (metal is usual) with ice, and pour the hot tea over the ice. Sweetening and flavoring is done by the individual when the tea is served.

    Water takes up more space when it is frozen than when it is liquid, so the melting ice leaves room for the added tea, and the cooling effect is instantaneous. You’ll have to experiment with the type and strength of tea you prefer, but it is easy, and was done this way for a long time before bottled tea was available.

  • Thanks. I grew up with the home-brew and the instant powder mix. I’ve tried to do the brewing myself but it’s not the same. Plus, ice is not available everywhere, and we’ll need to get icemakers for our freezer. I just brew a little and refrigerate it. We usually sweeten it before cooling because we all like it sweetened and it’s harder to sweeten when it’s cold.

  • I just found your blog on this. Not sure if they did at the time but Arizona sell their green tea by the crate – see arizona.uk.com!

  • Hey, you can get lipton Iced tea in various flavours from larger Sainsburys supermarkets. Im not sure about ASDA or Tesco, but its definately available in Sainsburys. Im I love iced tea too! It comes in 1.5 litre plastic bottles and its cheap.

  • Actually, you can buy big bottles of liptons in most supermarkets? If’ that’s the kind of thing you’re after. It’s not quite as available as it is in the rest of Europe but it IS out there.

  • Maybe you should just check ALL the main supermarkets, they ALL have it, in several forms, shapes and sizes. Knowing both places, I wouldn’t say there is more offer of food in the US, what there are are more brands of shit fast food. Drive thru and restaurant aren’t words that go together, only in America, and that is the issue, in europe people don’t consider a burger and fries restaurant food, and that goes for chicken tenders too. Don’t even try to compare the variety and quality of what is on offer in the UK with the US, it’s not even the same ball park. And yes, I agree, there aren’t close to as many drive thru colesterol clogging joints, but there aren’t drive thru ATMs either, in europe people can get out of their cars without fearing getting shot, mugged or raped. And they enjoy walking on sidewalks, something nearly inexistant in the US out of major cities, they are as rare as public transport, something Europeans take for granted and are well served by, in any country in europe I know, and I know quite a few.
    The main issue here is people that move abroad but aren’t willing to embrace the culture of the place they move to, and expect the locals to provide them with it, regardless of being a much older, much more established and ancient culture. It’s an old saying, when in Rome do as Romans do, who isn’t prepared to do so maybe should not consider getting out of Paris, Texas.

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