The other day two acquaintances of mine were discussing how revolting it is that Americans drink their tea cold. Both of these ladies are from other parts of the world, they both have very friendly dispositions, and between the two of them they speak seven languages (English is their only commonality). Also they apparently detest tea served cold.
So after reassuring each other that tea should only be served hot (coffee too,) and recounting some gastronomical sufferings they experienced trying to swallow down cold tea to make some American friend of theirs happy, they turned to me and asked:
“Jenn, you drink cold tea?”
Yes, I told them. I drink it all summer long.
Now I want to pause here so you can imagine two perfectly horrified expressions pointed right at me.
What followed was numerous, loud exclamations of surprise and dismay but I can’t tell you what they said becasue it was in a mix of Spanish, French, Arabic, and possibly Berber. None of which convinced me to give up drinking cold tea in the summer time.
I call it sun tea, because I brew mine in the sun. All summer long I have a collection of re-purposed jars out on my porch soaking up sun and brewing me some tea.
Now I’m not alone in my appreciation of tea served cold of course. Its a thing is Texas, in the entire American south. Southerners drink it all year long (for me its strictly a summer thing) and if you have spent any time in the south then you already know we are mighty particular about our tea. In Texas it comes sweetened and unsweetened and if you are serving tea you better be clear about what you are handing out. Those unsweetend tea drinkers get onrey when you give them sugary tea. But if you find yourself in Georgia, its all sweet. Sweet tea practically runs in their veins. Yep across the American south sun/iced/cold tea is a way of life and we are currently drinking enough of it to float naval battleships.
So let’s have some sun tea shall we?
You’ll need a glass of ice.
Then pour that sun-warm tea in and listen to those cubes crack! Makes your mouth water doesn’t it?
You know what else will be watering? Your glass. Its hot outside (the temperature on this little porch is 99 deg F) and that glass of tea will be sweating in approximately 7 seconds. You need a cozie, a thick cotton crochet cozie, so you can drink cold tea while keeping your hands nice and dry.
The Don’t Sweat It summer glass cozie
What you need: Some worsted weight cotton yarn and a US H (5mm) hook.
The cozie is made with a simple stitch that works up to be stretchy. Stretchy is a good thing in a cozie. You’ll want this to fit more than one glass after all.
This pattern uses US crochet stitch conventions. Here is a handy US-to-UK stitch name conversion chart courtesy of Simply Crochet magazine.
To begin, chain… any number you like. This pattern will work with any number for a base chain so make yours as tall as your glass. I chained 15.
Set up row: beginning in the 2nd chain from the hook, slip stitch in each chain (for me that was 14 slip stitches)
Row 1: Chain 1, *Chain 1, single crochet in next stitch* repeat to end
Row 2: Chain 1, *single crochet in next chain-1 space* repeat to end (and don’t forget that one on the very end of the row)
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until your piece will stretch around your glass. Leave a nice long tail to sew up with.
Sew the final row to the starting base chain edge.
Pop your glass of sun tea right in!
Sit on your porch and enjoy your cold tea like a real southern American… without getting your hands wet. Serve sweet or unsweet, with lemon, lime, or blueberries.
Well, the blueberries are a bit nontraditional but last weekend my grocery store had blueberries on sale for 97 cents a pint. I bought four pints. I couldn’t help myself. Now I have to eat all these blueberries before they go bad.
I know. My life is hard.
Enjoy your summer cozie and if cold tea makes you feel queasy (btw, how many languages do you speak?) then you can always put something else in that glass. Beer maybe. I hear some people drink that in the summer time.