June 03, 2010

Iced Tea


My mother made the tea. My stepfather made the tea. I made the tea. We were always making tea.


Eight Lipton tea bags (the gold standard) set to steep in a pan of hot water for an undetermined amount of time. A check here or there. The burner turned to off. The water, now a deep burnt orangey brown. Just right. The bags withdrawn and discarded. The pan of hot tea poured into the tupperware pitcher with the orange lid. Subsequently two more pans of ice cold water from the spigot (sounds like spicket—much like how ornery sounds like onree below the Mason Dixon). One heaping cup Domino Pure Cane Sugar and a whirlpool of wooden spoon stirring. Ready.

Mason jars filled with ice and topped off with a fresh pour. It never lasted long in the pitcher or in the glass. Once a day or every other day we brewed. We brewed for years.


Saturday before Memorial day, I feel like making iced tea. Earl Gray will have to do. Contemplation and follow through was a very quiet affair. No banging or whirring, dicing or scrubbing. Just the tick tick tick fwash of the gas burner and the silence of tea bags floating.

Lemon. Rinsed, sliced and waiting.

Wine carafe. Rinsed and waiting.

Me in kitchen chair. Waiting.

The bags withdrawn and discarded. The pan of hot tea poured into the wine carafe. Plop plop plop of halved lemon slices. Plop plop plop of ice cubes. Subsequent pour of ice cold water from the spigot (we call it the faucet these days).

A tall glass filled with ice and topped off with a fresh pour.

"It's weak." I said.

It's not Lipton. I thought.

"No sugar?" Roberto asked.

"No sugar." I said.

Roberto took a sip. "Lemony."

It's no Johnny Depp. I thought.


Johnny Depp equals one part home brewed iced tea and one part Country Time lemonade poured over a tall glass of ice and enjoyed by one very shy and awkward teenage girl who's very existence was propelled forward by episodes of 21 Jump Street in the late 80's. You'd better be ready to, be ready to jump...


  1. 21 Jump Street was so bad it was good. Thanks for that stroll down memory lane!

  2. ...You should get an award for the most awesome posts! I love the style, the delivery, the photos - everything! :o)

    ...Maybe you have received an award already, no?

    ...Thanks for doin' whatcha do and blessings too... :o)


  3. ...How 'bout that? I doubled up on the blessings... ;o)

  4. I could go for a glass of iced tea. I'm gonna also take a Johnny Depp to go please ;)

  5. Beautiful photos!

    It's funny: I drink tea all of the time, usually several 20 oz. cups (thanks to my trusty Wawa travel mug), and yet I cannot stomach Lipton tea at all anymore--it's too strong. I need a fruity flavor so I don't need sugar, so I'm usually buying tins of snobby teas to keep at work.

    Have you ever tried hibiscus flower "tea?" It's tart and delicious and it's oh-so-pretty.

  6. 21 Jump Street! Oh wow, there's a blast from the past. :-) That made me grin. :-) Gorgeous tea. I need to make some when I get home. :-)

  7. A beautifully written post. I was with you every step of the way and yes, I love tea, especially iced tea in summer. Summer has finally come to Berlin and I need to make this.

  8. gorgeous photos! i love this post :)

    xo Alison

  9. A Johnny Depp, love that! Can you believe I've never seen 21 Jump Street? Such a disgrace. I should find at least one episode.

  10. Beautiful photos! I love the Johnny Depp reference too. I can't wait for the Portland sun to come out and demand I make this tea right away!

  11. 21 jump street! Ha! I haven't heard anything about that in years! Beautiful photos; they make me want to make iced tea! And a Johnny Depp sounds gorgeous too!x

  12. I can't believe that, living in the Land of Sweet Tea, I hadn't heard of the Johnny Depp before! Love it.

    These days, I'm with Elizabeth--really have been enjoying hibiscus tea.

  13. Ummm, how have I never heard of combining iced tea and lemonade until now?!? Brilliant! I have a feeling I’m going to be enjoying a lot of that over the summer. Does it have an official name? Or should I just refer to the combo as Johnny Depp? ;-)

  14. You have the most amazing way of making the simplest things sound and look amazing. It's just tea! But your pictures are so inspiring that I must go browse my tea cabinet right now! And I love that you call it Johnny Depp (although I have always called ice tea/lemonade an Arnold Palmer, but I have no idea who Arnold Palmer is)

  15. I have never seen tea pictures so beautifully composed. :-)

  16. down here we call the half and half (half lemonade half iced-tea) Arnold Palmers...
    heading to the cucina right now to brew some. it's hot, I mean the weather!!! because about the tea...when you ask for tea down south it ALWAYS assumed that it's cold. If you want hot, you need to ask for hot tea. :)


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