Assertion: Earliest "ice-tea" is 1842

Victor aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 16 20:02:18 UTC 2009

There seems to be a remarkable similarity between the 1842 and 1852
texts--in fact, close enough to pass for plagiarism today. Of course, it
is also possible that both are just paraphrasing the same text.

I was initially apprehensive about both of these, as there seems to be
no clear history for iced tea in Russian cookbooks. However, the 1857
citations from Saturday Evening Post clinch the deal for me, as they
clearly identify the brewing method which, in fact, is remarkably
similar to common Russian way of drinking tea--steeping loose-leaf tea
to very strong, dark amber color, then diluting it with hot water. It
usually retains the strong, bitter quality and is flavored with
substantial amount of sugar and either lemon or milk. All of this
resembles the SEP description very closely. It would be quite
interesting to find if the two SEP pieces contributed to the almost
immediate popularity of iced tea in the South.


Joel S. Berson wrote:
> Thanks, Ben.  Barry's page is certainly exhaustive.
> But Barry doesn't have the 1842 cite from St. Petersburg (Johann
> Georg Kohl, _Russia and the Russians, in 1842_, vol. 1, p. 42), which
> I have found is also at least at:
> from May 5, 2009 (although this does not identify the book or page).
> I will assert -- for debate and to provoke others to additional
> search -- that Kohl's is the earliest quotation for "ice-tea" (as a
> beverage) in English.
> Joel
> At 7/16/2009 02:20 PM, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>> There's Barry Popik's page, which has cites back to 1852.

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