I don’t know when my father took to carrying a thermos of iced tea with him, but I do know that the “tea jug” was his constant companion throughout my childhood. Every outing – to the park, to the countryside, to drop by his office, to the carwash – started out the same. As I climbed into the passenger’s seat of the car and my father into the driver’s seat, he would hand the thermos to me. “Here, hold the tea jug,” he would say.
My father was born and raised in Kansas with a typical Kansan love of iced tea. Given Kansas’ position between the southern and the northern states, people are divided on their position regarding sugar in their iced tea. Some prefer sweet, some unsweet. My father’s iced tea was always unsweetened black tea, oftentimes Earl Grey, sometimes with a bit of lemon. I woke up every morning to the clinking sound of ice cubes as he prepared it.
The tea jug came in handy. On a hot day or after a long outing, I would inevitably start to feel thirsty, and the tea jug was always there for me with cool and refreshing iced tea. It was there to quench our thirst on long drives, and it was there to keep us hydrated when he took me running and when he taught me how to play soccer.
A few years ago, I went to visit my parents, and my father was teaching a fitness class for the elderly. I sat in on the class, and when it was done, the tea jug emerged along with a few disposable cups. “Great workout! Now, who wants some tea?” he said. As several members of the class started to line up, I thought, “It’s just like old times.”
Wishing you many happy tea memories of your own,
Co-Founder of Lota Tea
Yes, this brings back great memories, Tara. Love ya, Papa.