Iced Tea | Summer's Favorite Drink

Have you ever stopped to think of iced tea as a creative innovation? It's such a common drink that it didn't occur to me that icing tea was at one point impossible. Tea is one of the oldest drinks on earth, with a rich history dating back to ancient China and India. Its popularity surpasses thousands of drinks and has remained for centuries as one of the most loved drinks of all time. The one downside is that it's almost exclusively brewed with hot water, which puts a damper on its deliciousness in the summer months. Sometimes it's just too toasty outside for a hot drink.  

The evolution of human innovation has led to the creation of one of the most popular drinks worldwide. I'm not referring to monumental feats like landing a man on the moon, splitting the atom, or scaling Mt. Everest. I'm talking about the beloved classic: iced tea.

Where Did Iced Tea Come From?  

When considering the history of iced tea, it's important to note that it could only be produced after the invention of refrigeration, as well as the availability of ice. Therefore, it can be considered a relatively recent invention, coming after the development of the refrigerator.  

There are records of iced tea in cookbooks and recipe booklets dating back to the early 1900s. However, it gained popularity and began its commercial surge in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair. Richard Blechynden initially offered hot tea, but due to the warm weather, there was little interest. He then decided to serve it chilled, and to his surprise, this new drink started to gain popularity. While this wasn't the first time iced tea was served, it marked a pivotal turning point in the commercialization of iced tea. Since then, iced tea has continued to grow in popularity, with large commercial companies such as Lipton of Belgium and Tetley of England taking advantage of its marketability and accessibility. Today, more than 75% of tea in the U.S. is served and sold cold. Iced tea has inspired thousands of variations that have taken the tea industry by storm, from the classic sweet tea of the South to the unique boba tea of Taiwan. Iced tea has made a significant impact on the beverage industry, and it's hard to find a menu without iced tea offered in some form.  

How Do You Brew Iced Tea?

     Shop Capresso Iced Tea Maker

Making iced tea is quite simple. Following our recommended Brewing Guide, you brew your tea with hot water and refrigerate it overnight. Once it has chilled, you can add as much or as little ice as you like. That's all there is to it; you just chill your hot tea. There's no need to brew at a different temperature or steep it any differently than your usual method. All you do is serve it cold. Some people may think that brewing iced tea is more complicated, but it really isn't! Actually, it's much easier in the long run. You just need some extra time or a night's sleep to have it fully chilled. If you brew a pitcher's worth of tea and only drink a cup's worth, you don't even need to brew anything the next day; you can simply pour a cup from yesterday's brew. It's as simple as that! 

What Teas are Best Iced?

Like any food or drink, how "good" a tea tastes depends on your preferences and tastes, but there are teas that fare better when iced. Fruit teas are a great example. Fruit is naturally refreshing to eat, making a crisp cold cup of any fruit tisane a perfectly balanced iced drink. But if you're not a fan of fruit teas, or you're more of a tea purist, black, green, or white loose-leaf teas are perfect for iced tea. You can even enjoy fancy matcha iced. When you live in an area as we do here in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area, iced drinks are a must, especially on blazing hot summer days. Maybe that's why there's a bottled iced tea called Arizona. But that's not the only kind you can find bottled and sold. There's Snapple, Pure Leaf, Lipton, Brisk, and many more. But often, you don't always know what's in those bottled teas, and often they are filled with sugar and sweeteners. We recommend using our teas at Hackberry and chilling overnight so you can enjoy a fresh cup of iced tea at your leisure. You may look at our website and not know where to start. I'll share some recommendations for every type of tea we sell if you need help deciding.  

Here are my recommendations for iced tea for each type of tea we sell at Hackberry Tea. 

Black Tea 

English Breakfast is classic black tea from Sri Lanka. If you like traditional black iced tea, this is a perfect tea. 

If you like fruit flavor to in your iced tea, I recommend Raspberry Black or Mango Black to start.  

White Tea 

Silver Needle is one of our most premium teas. It’s savory, aromatic and is among some of the most sought after tea.  

Blueberry White is a mildly tart and refreshing. White tea is brewed at lower temperatures so be sure to follow brewing guide. 

Green Tea 

Jasmine Love is a traditional green tea with floral flavor notes. 

Citrus Mojito is delicious if you’d like to add some fruit flavor to your green tea. 

Fruit and Herbal Tea 

It’s difficult to narrow down the selection of our fruit and herbal teas. You really can’t go wrong with any of them.  

Here’s a list to get you started.  

Hibiscus Purple Papaya 

Watermelon Refresher 

Strawberry Fields 

Calm Mango Beach 

Fun Recipes for Iced Tea  

Here are some videos on how to make some interesting drinks with iced tea. If you’re hosting a party or just looking for some variety, check these out. 

Arnold Palmer Mocktails 

Fresh Blueberry Iced Tea  

Cold Foam Iced Tea  

Iced Tea Sherbet Float 

Shaken Tea Refreshers 

Elevate Your Baking with Tea
Combat Allergies Naturally with Tea