History of iced tea


Posted on Oct 22, 2022      38


Although tea has been familiar to humanity for more than a thousand years, iced tea has been consumed for only a hundred years. Some cookbooks published in England and the United States in the early nineteenth century contain recipes for iced green tea, diluted, in certain proportions, with liqueur or rum.

One such recipe reads:

Tea Punch. Prepare a pint and a half (0.7 liter) of strong tea, strain it, and stir it with half a cup of granulated sugar. Add half a glass of fresh cream, and then, gradually stirring, pour in a bottle of Bordeaux or champagne. After stirring thoroughly, put it on medium heat and bring it to the boiling point. The drink should be cooled before drinking and served only cold.

Since the twentieth century, green tea has been extensively used in preparing iced teas, which improved the overall flavor of the beverage, unlike its black counterpart.

The drink grew in popularity after its introduction to the public in 1904 at the World’s Fair in St Louis, under the patronage of Richard Blechynden, who is credited with creating the first recipe for iced tea in the United States. At that event, green tea with iced tea and sugar was handed out to attendees absolutely free.

Iced tea. Continuation of the story

The birthplace of iced tea is the United States. Today, of the total consumption of tea drinks, the proportion of iced tea accounts for about 90%, in contrast to England, where people prefer to drink tea only in its popular form.

After the famous St. Louis exhibition, the industrial production of iced teas gained momentum in America. Especially for “iced” tea drinking, they produced dishes that resembled wine glasses. Tea glasses were made of transparent glass on a long stem, and the glass was accompanied by a narrow long spoon or straw, also made of glass.

In America, iced tea is more commonly referred to as sweet tea, thanks to the residents of the southern states, who stirred 4-5 teaspoons of granulated sugar into one glass. This habit gradually spread throughout the country and gave the drink its second name.

One of the most famous varieties of iced tea in America is the Arnold Palmer, which is a mixture of infusion tea leaves, sugar, ice and freshly squeezed lemon juice, which gives the drink a refreshing taste with a pronounced sourness.

The spread of iced tea around the world

Today, iced tea comes in a wide variety of varieties, abounding in a wide range of flavors. It is often blended with various spirits, further increasing its popularity on all continents. American iced tea producers export the product all over the world, turning it into billions of dollars in revenue because of the mass production of the beverage.

Different peoples prepare and consume iced teas in different ways. In Brazil, the iced version of mate tea is very popular. In Canada, iced drinks are made as dry powder, which just need to be diluted with hot water and cooled.

Although in China they prefer hot, freshly brewed tea, during the hot season the residents of China prefer an iced tea prepared according to a certain recipe: a large glass is filled to the top with ice, a tablespoon of fruit syrup is added, hot tea is poured to the brim and served with several lemon slices.

The Japanese prepare a drink reminiscent of tea yogurt by diluting fruit yogurts, often peach yogurts, with hot, thick green tea.

In Indonesia, iced tea is known as “Es Manis”, which is served with first courses. It is consumed with food while chewing. In South Korea, the basis for iced tea is an infusion of corn or barley. In Taiwan, iced tea is consumed with the addition of condensed milk.


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