Odessa, Texas 1988 - My friend Micah and I had just spent the morning catching horned lizards, digging holes, and kicking tumbleweeds. We were hot and thirsty and ready to go inside for a while to play Nintendo. The Legend of Zelda to be exact... We had made it all the way to Ganon but just couldn't figure out how to beat him. We knew it had something to do with the silver arrows, which we had, but we couldn't stay alive long enough to do the deed. Apparently there was a red ring hidden someplace that was supposed to make us strong enough but we never found it, and to this day I've still never beat that game.
But I digress...
Micah's mom, Shirley, was in their kitchen and his older brother was listening to Michael Jackson on his record player. We each drank a plastic cup full of tap water and then asked for some Kool-Aid. There was none to be had but Shirley asked if we'd like to help make some tea. Micah had little interest... but I was intrigued. My parents, who were from the "North" always drank coffee. I'd never made tea before so I volunteered to help. The first step was to boil water. This was achieved by filling a metal sauce pan from the tap, placing it on the stove, and then waiting until it reached a rolling boil. The next step was taking an orange plastic, half-gallon pitcher from the cupboard and adding two cups of white sugar and five or six tea bags. The water was poured in and left to steep for about 10 minutes. Shirley removed the bags and I mixed the tea with a large plastic spoon. We then poured our "tea" into tall plastic glasses full of ice and put the pitcher in the fridge. I took a sip and proclaimed: Tea is good!
After that, Micah and I each took a glass of "tea" and a bag of Chips Ahoy! (the exclamation point is apparently a vital part of the name) cookies and headed into the living room to play video games (for many hours).
(Now you know my earliest tea brewing memory. What's yours?)