Tea is one of the oldest drinks on earth, with a rich history dating back to ancient China and India. Its popularity surpasses that of thousands of drinks and has remained for centuries as one of the most loved drinks of all time. Its one downside is that it is 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. But teas not-so-different alternative method of consumption, iced tea is here to save the summer. Its straightforward brewing method makes it actually one of the tastiest drinks of the summer and is sure to cater to your tea-drinking palate.
Where Did Iced Tea Come From?
Iced tea is actually much younger than you might think. There are records of iced tea recipes back in the late 1800s, but it was first officially marketed only back in 1904 when an American merchant improvised during the world’s fair in the summer to cater to the uncomfortably warm weather. Ever since then, iced tea has only grown in popularity, with large commercial companies such as Lipton of Belgium and Tetley of England pouncing on its marketability and accessibility. Today, more than 75% of tea in the US is served and sold iced. Thousands upon thousands of variations of iced tea have taken the tea industry by storm, from the classic sweet tea of the South to the unique boba tea of Taiwan. Iced tea is one of the most impactful drinks in history, and it’s hard to go somewhere that *doesn’t* have iced tea available to you.
How Do You Brew Iced Tea?
If you do not have an iced tea maker, the process is just one extra step from how you brew hot tea. All you do is brew a pitcher of hot tea and then… put it in the fridge. That’s all iced tea is, hot tea that has been chilled. No need to brew at a different temperature, no need to steep it any differently than your usual method, all you have to do is serve it cold. There always seems to be a presupposition that iced tea is much more of a hassle to brew, but it really isn’t! In fact, in the long run, it’s much easier. All you need is some extra time or a night's sleep to have it fully chilled. If you brew a pitcher’s worth of tea and drink just a cup’s worth, then you don’t even need to brew anything the next day; all you have to do is 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 is dependent on the drinker’s preferences and tastes, but there are still some certain types of tea that fare better when iced. Fruit teas are a prime example of this fact. Fruit is naturally intended to be a refreshing thing to eat, which makes a crisp cold cup of any fruit tisane a perfectly balanced iced drink. Black tea is also fantastic when chilled and is the base of nearly every commercially sold bottled iced tea on the market including Snapple, Arizona, Pure Leaf, Lipton, Brisk, and so much more. Both of these tea types are great starts for anyone who’s looking for some refreshing tea for the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try other teas iced. Click here to check out some of our tea recommendations for iced tea.