Most beverages, are, well, simply beverage. Pour some flavored, drinkable liquid in a glass-shaped cylinder, include ice or a straw, and bingo: You're hydrating.
But iced tea doesn't easily fit in the "most beverages" category. It's just about as ubiquitous as water in some parts of the country -- we're looking at you, deserts and hotter climes -- and as easy as peasy to change up, whether through the addition of sugar, fruit, crushed ice, or boba-type tapioca beads.
In those parts of the country that don't drink iced tea as if it comes from the tap, though, National Iced Tea Day, which is Tuesday, June 10, is right on time. Falling a handful of days before the official start of summer, the day serves as a reminder that keeping cool in warm weather isn't always about H2O-ing up.
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And it's sometimes about deals, too.
Teavana, which has an oodle of locations around Southern California, is giving away a free small Raspberry Limeade Tea -- it's new as of June 9 -- with any purchase on National Iced Tea Day.
Even if you don't score a free iced tea on June 10, it's still a treat that can be had for a couple of bucks, or less. We mentioned the whole "nearly sipped like water" habit of many tea-drinkers? Yep.
Find some of SoCal's star sips at...
Palms Thai: Thai iced tea is an event in itself. One almost wants to stop the conversation at the table while savoring it, the better to consider every creamy note. Palms Thai, on Hollywood, pours a perfect take, as does Milk on Beverly Boulevard.
Chado Tea Rooms: You're more likely to see customers ordering hot tea, by the pot, but given the variety of leafery sold at this long-standing SoCal tea house, you can get an expert glass of the cold stuff, too. Be prepared for a bracing beverage.
It's Boba Time: Ohhh, boba. Call it a queen among fun and involved drinks, and call it ever-popular. Also call the green version just as tasty as black; the orange passion is pretty summer-perfect, too. Look for the tea-laden fave in Koreatown, Buena Park, on Vermont...