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Next to water, tea is said to be the most consumed beverage on earth. Americans are unique in that most of the tea we drink is over ice, especially now that summer is here. That’s why June is National Iced Tea Month. It’s thought that iced tea was invented in 1904 at an exposition in St. Louis. It was summer and the exhibit featuring hot tea was not drawing much attention. So, the innovative staff poured the hot tea over ice cubes — and an instant favorite was born.
Coming in from the cold and wind that now grip much of the nation, something warm to drink can be very welcome. Many will make themselves a cup of tea helping to celebrate National Hot Tea Month (January). Not only is tea relaxing, but studies have shown it to help ward off cardiovascular disease. Tea is the only beverage commonly served either hot or iced in any season. While drinking tea has been popular for thousands of years, Americans have made two important contributions — tea bags and iced tea — both in 1904. Recently, the U.S. has led in the development of ready-to-drink forms of tea in bottles and cans. On average, we each drink nearly 8½ gallons of tea each year — compared to 24 gallons of coffee, 22 gallons of beer and 51 gallons of soft drinks.
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