Tea for Two

(top row l to r) French explorer and botanist, Andre Michaux brought tea to the Carolinas in the late 1700s; Judy Garland was born on National Ice Tea Day, June 10 in 1922; There she is in The Wizzard of OZ; There she is with Toto; And there she is on the set of a later movie having a refreshing…yep…iced tea. (middle row l to r) In a plastic cup, in a glass, with lemon, raspberry and other fruits iced tea can’t be beat. (bottom row c to r) Since 2000, Ice-T can’t be beat either in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; And more recently, Ice-T’s having lemonade in a light hearted GEICO commercial.


Moving mulch in the yard the other night (my favorite spring PIA (Pain In The @#$) Job, I worked up a good sweat, and headed for the house for something to cool me down. I filled a glass with cubes, and poured a big splash of fresh, sweet iced tea. Ahhhhhhh! Recently, I was lucky enough to play in a charity fundraising outing, guest of my attorney pal Ken, and yep, you guessed it, we both enjoyed a glass or two or three at the club during the 90+ degree heat. Like I often do, I paused to think (you know me!) about the genius who came up with this flavorful and refreshing “distortion temperature thermal processing solution”, and hit the internet to capture some info I thought you’d find interesting, topping it off with a few “classic” and “adult” recipes to try. Special thanks to Wikipedia, Bustle, and Mother Nature.

  1. – While tea has an impressive history stretching back 5,000 years, iced tea has a history stretching back only as far as the discovery of preserving ice – special thanks to Fredrick and William Tudor – early pioneers of capturing and shipping ice.
  2. The plant arrived in America in the late 1700s by the French explorer and botanist, Andre Michaux. Michaux brought many showy plants to South Carolina during this time to satisfy the tastes of wealthy Charleston planters.
  3. While popular lore has iced tea being discovered by accident in the early twentieth century, there are documents dating the use of iced tea in the seventeenth century. In 1795, South Carolina was the only colony in America producing tea plants and was also the only colony to produce the plant commercially.
  4. Once the plant arrived, accounts of iced versions of tea began to appear almost immediately in cookbooks of the day. Both English and American cookbooks show tea being iced to use in cold green tea punches. Heavily spiked with alcohol, these punches were popular and made with green tea, not black as iced tea is made today. One popular version was called Regent’s Punch, named after George IV, the English prince regent in the early nineteenth century.
  5. The first version of iced tea as we know it today, albeit made with green tea leaves, was printed in 1879. Housekeeping in Old Virginia published a recipe by Marion Cabell Tyree calling for green tea to be boiled then steeped throughout the day. Finally, “fill the goblets with ice, put two teaspoonful’s granulated sugar in each, and pour the tea over the ice and sugar.” Ms. Tyree also called for lemon in her drink.
  6. The oldest printed recipes for iced tea date back to the 1870s. Two of the earliest cookbooks with iced tea recipes are the Buckeye Cookbook by Estelle Woods Wilcox, first published in 1876, and Housekeeping in Old Virginia by Marion Cabell Tyree, first published in 1877.
  7. In 1884, the head of the Boston Cooking School, Mrs. D. A. (Mary) Lincoln, printed her recipe for presweetened iced tea calling for cold tea to be poured over cracked ice, lemon and two sugar cubes. Mrs. Lincoln’s recipe called for the black tea used today in iced tea as well as sugar proving sweet tea is not just a southern tradition.
  8. Many other accounts of iced tea exist prior to 1904 when many historians mistakenly believe iced tea was invented. While it has been shown that the beverage had existed for a century prior to the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Richard Blechynden is said to have realized that an iced version of his free hot tea would be more appealing on a summer day. It was, and with so many fair goers from around the country looking for cold drinks, the popularity of iced tea skyrocketed and the beverage became immediately well-known and eventually common throughout North America.
  9. Iced tea’s popularity in the United States led to an addition to standard cutlery sets: the iced tea spoon – a teaspoon with a long handle, suitable for stirring sugar into glasses.
  10. It is a common stereotype of the Southeastern United States that, due to the popularity of sweet iced tea in the region, unsweet iced tea is not available or is frowned upon; it is often the case, however, that the term “iced tea” is assumed by default to mean sweetened iced tea in that region.
  11. National Iced Tea Day is observed annually on June 10th – a day set aside to celebrate one of summer’s favorite drinks.  Whether it is sweetened or unsweetened, with or without lemon, it is loved by many and enjoyed by the glass full all summer long. Homemade and commercially manufactured iced tea can be found in many flavors including lemon, peach, raspberry, lime, passions fruit, strawberry, cherry and more.
  12. An alternative to carbonated soft drinks and quite popular in the United States, iced tea makes up about 85% of all tea consumed.
  13. Green tea has been suggested to be used for a variety of positive health benefits including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer, oral health, reduce blood pressure, weight control, antibacterial and antiviral activity, protection from solar ultraviolet light, anti-fibrotic properties, neuroprotective power. Personally, I still stick with black

Fun Recipies (special thanks to Jamie Ritter at Bustle)

Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail With Fresh Mint And Orange  
This infused sweet tea cocktail from Joy the Baker balances the woody flavor of bourbon with lighter, summery notes of citrus and mint.

Spiked Iced Soy Chai Tea
Add this spicy iced tea from The Kitchn to the menu, and we will be the first to RSVP to your porch party.

Tipsy Lemonade and Peach Iced Tea
This beautiful tincture from The Comfort of Cooking combines fruit juice and adult mixer for a flavor profile that’s all grown-up.

Just Good Old Fashion Iced Tea
In a large pot, combine six black tea bags tied together, and strips of lemon and orange zest, and boiling water. Let steep 8 minutes. Remove tea bags and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Add sugar to taste and serve over ice with lemon and orange slices if desired.

Classic Arnold Palmer
Named after the famed golfer, mix equal parts of lemonade and iced tea in a big glass filled with ice. Then, throw on the shades, kick back and enjoy the summer.

If you have a favorite recipe, send my way and I’ll share it with the group, and send you a collector’s addition KHT “chillin” summer t-shirt.



Hot Enough for Ya?

tibetan terrier and fan

As we enjoy the sticky, sunny weeks of summer, we’re all now confronted with the sun, heat, storms and humidity of August. All across the country, weather experts have been sending daily warning by projecting the “heat index” in anticipation of hot & humid weather. Major cities like NY, Boston, and Washington DC have been experiencing amazingly hot days. So, being the “Chief Heat Expert” here at KHT, I thought I’d dig in and learn more about the history and details behind the fabled heat index and pass it along for you to enjoy. Special thanks to the National Weather Service.

What is the Heat Index?
The Heat Index (HI) or humiture or humidex is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity, in shaded areas, as an attempt to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature, as how hot it would feel if the humidity were some other value in the shade. The result is also known as the “felt air temperature” or “apparent temperature”. We often say – “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” – but for the heat index, it’s actually both. The heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature.

How does it affect humans?
When the body gets too hot, it begins to perspire or sweat to cool itself off. If the perspiration is not able to evaporate, the body cannot regulate its temperature – evaporation is our natural cooling process. When perspiration is evaporated off the body it effectively reduces the body’s temperature. When the atmospheric moisture content (relative humidity) is high, the rate of perspiration from the body decreases – in other words, during humid conditions, the body feels warmer and the opposite occurs during the relative humidity decreases.

Who invented the Heat Index?
The heat index was developed in 1978 by George Winterling as the “humiture” and was adopted by the USA’s National Weather Service a year later. It is derived from work carried out by Robert G. Steadman. Much like the wind chill index, the heat index contains assumptions about the human body mass and height, clothing, amount of physical activity, thickness of blood, sunlight and ultraviolet radiation exposure, and the wind speed. Significant deviations from these will result in heat index values which do not accurately reflect the perceived temperature.

Why is this not much of an issue out west?
In arid conditions, the body actually feels cooler – as there is a direct relationship between the air temperature and relative humidity and the heat index. Hotter days can be more bearable in dry, low humidity settings.

Is there a cart or mathematical formula available to make projections?

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To determine the heat index using the chart above, you need to find the air temperature and the relative humidity in your area. For example, if the air temperature is 100 F and the relative humidity is 55%, the heat index will be 124 F.

But I’m an engineer – can’t you just let me figure it out on my own?
If you prefer to enter numbers manually instead of reading a chart, and are mathematically inclined, here is an equation that gives a very close approximation to the heat index.
The formula below approximates the heat index in degrees Fahrenheit, to within ±1.3 °F. It is the result of a multivariate fit (temperature equal to or greater than 80 °F and relative humidity equal to or greater than 40%) to a model of the human body. This equation reproduces the above NOAA National Weather Service table (except the values at 90 °F & 45%/70% relative humidity vary unrounded by less than -1/+1, respectively).

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What are the effects of the heat index?

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Note: Exposure to full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to 8 °C (14 °F)

What’s the difference between being in the sun and in the shade?

Because the humidity index is based on temperatures in the shade, while people often move across sunny areas, then the heat index can give a much lower temperature than actual conditions of typical outdoor activities. Also, for people exercising or active, at the time, then the heat index could give a temperature lower than the felt conditions. For example, with a temperature in the shade of only 82 °F (28 °C) at 60% relative humidity, then the heat index would seem 84 °F (29 °C), but movement across sunny areas of 102 °F (39 °C), would give a heat index of over 137 °F (58 °C), as more indicative of the oppressive and sweltering heat. Plus, when actively working, or not wearing a hat in sunny areas, then the feels-like conditions would seem even hotter. Hence, the heat index could seem unrealistically low, unless resting inactive (idle) in heavily shaded areas.

What’s the best cooling off fluid to drink?
Aside from good old cold water, lemonade or iced tea, here are a few “fun” drinks we found fishing on the internet – most you’ve probably never heard. Load up the ice in your glass, splash it in and enjoy!

  1. Vita Coco Lemonade Coconut Water
    Rich in vitamin C, this all-natural blend of coconut water and lemon juice contains the same amount of potassium as a banana and is a healthier alternative to the sugar-sweetened lemonade. Suitable for vegans, vegetarians and coeliacs.
  2. Mr Fitzpatrick’s Rhubarb & Rosehip
    This English rhubarb and rosehip tipple is perfect with some iced sparkling water. The fruity cordial is also rich in calcium and high in dietary fibre.
  3. Mello Raw Fresh Watermelon Juice
    Keep hydrated with Mello’s raw drink made with fresh watermelon and pomegranate juice. Free from anything artificial, the cold-pressed juice is a great way to replenish after a workout.
  4. Qcumber Sparkling Water
    A refreshing mix of natural cucumber water and sparkling spring water. Quench your thirst by drinking straight from a chilled bottle or use it as a mixer for a tasty summer cocktail.
  5. Luscombe St Clements
    Luscombe have blended spring water with the finest Sicilian orange juice and lemon juice to create this lightly sparkling drink. Pour into an ice-filled glass to cool down in the heat.
  6. Hampstead Tea London Oolong Tea with Peach
    A great choice choice for those who are winding down after a long day in the sun. The organic brew is made with all-natural ingredients and is full of antioxidants.



Boy It’s Hot!

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With the mercury reaching uncomfortable highs these next few weeks, your “heating and cooling experts” at Kowalski Heat Treating have some handy tips – things we’ve learned along with tips from our friends at Real Simple magazine. As kids, the heat never really bothered us – we used to just turn on the sprinkler, blast each other with the hose or jump in the pool. There was nothing better than making a great big whirlpool with my brothers and sisters!   But, now that we’re a bit older, somewhat wiser, and not as carefree, here are some good tips to try as you work to beat back the heat.

Wick while you work. To keep yourself cooler when computing, plug a Kensington FlyFan ($10, amazon.com) into a USB port on your machine. The fan’s flexible neck lets you direct the breeze to your sweaty brow.

Cool Your Neck, Wrists and Behind Your Knees. Using a cool washcloth, or one stored in the fridge, gently place a cool cloth in these areas. It will help cool you down much quicker.

Take A Cold Shower. Obvious, but not many people do this. Cool down and then put on loose fitting, light weight clothing.

 Try a Desert Trick. When the air outside is dry and cooler than the air inside, usually at night and in the early morning, hang a damp sheet in an open window. “That’s what we do here in Death Valley,” says Dale Housley, a ranger at Death Valley National Park. Incoming breezes are cooled by the evaporating water.

Cool Smoothies, Lemonade and Ice Water. Make yourself a fresh smoothie from frozen fruit, ice and juice. Or better yet, try an ice cold glass of water or lemonade. Pack it full of ice cubes, and drink it slowly.

Avoid Direct Sun and Exercise Carefully. Wear a light colored hat, (this is especially important to those of us who are follicley challenged!) stay in the shade, and take it easy. If you must exercise, or do yardwork, take breaks often, and hydrate with cool water. Your body will love the liquids and turn on its sweat machine. Give yourself time to recover before heading back out.

Block the Sun. Closing curtains and blinds (ideally with sun-deflecting white on the window side) can reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Make a Makeshift Air Conditioner. If it’s hot but not humid, place a shallow bowl of ice in front of a fan and enjoy the breeze. As the ice melts, then evaporates, it will cool you off.

Give your A/C Some TLC. Clean or replace the filter in room and central air conditioners about once a month during the summer. If you have central air-conditioning, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system’s efficiency by as much as 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Seal any cracks between a window unit and the frame with caulking or a sealant strip.

Close the Damper. While running any kind of air conditioner, shut your fireplace damper. An open one “pulls hot air into your house instead of sucking it out,” says Tommy Spoto, a master chimney sweep at Chimney Chap, in Copiague, New York. “This is called flow reversal.”

Close Everything Else, too. Whether the air conditioner is on or off, keep windows and doors shut if the temperature outside is more than 77 degrees Fahrenheit (most people start to sweat at 78). Whenever the outside air is hotter than the inside air, opening a window invites heat to creep in.

Spritz Yourself. Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator, and when the going gets hot, give yourself a good squirt. “It’s all about thermal regulation,” says John Lehnhardt, an elephant expert at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. “As the water evaporates, it cools you.” While elephants wet their ears first by blasting water from their trunks, humans should begin with their wrists to quickly cool down the blood flowing through their veins.

Fan Strategically. If the day’s heat is trapped inside your home, try a little ventilation at night or when the temperature drops below 77. A window fan can help; the trick is to face the blades outside to suck warm air out of the house and pull cooler air in. “Kind of surprising,” says Bill Nye, the Science Guy, a scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor. “Having a fan blowing in is a good idea―but it’s not as effective as one that’s blowing out.”

Let Your Computer Take a Nap. Set it to go into low-power “sleep” mode if you are away from it for more than 10 minutes and it will give off less heat. When you’re finished for the day, shut the machine down completely. Despite what some IT guy may have told you years ago, properly shutting down and restarting modern-day computers won’t put undue strain on the hardware. And forget about working with a computer on your lap―it’s too darn hot. That’s why they changed the name from laptop to notebook.

For a full list, visit realsimple.com