Every culture likes their iced teas prepared a little differently. Iced tea popularity parallels with the arrival of the refrigerator in each country. For example in China it only became popular in the late 1980’s because of an introduction of a more open market. Cooled tea was already popular throughout ancient times but refrigerated tea was only available to those with political connections.
Tea prices actually dropped* due to iced tea’s popularity. Other countries started growing more tea. The demand created competition with China which was the main source of tea during that time.
Japan has one of the most important cold tea markets in the world (mostly unsweetened) and it’s readily available on street corners and vending machines.
Thailand has their own version of iced teas and it’s commonly known as Thai Tea. With a base of black tea, they add sugar and sweetened condensed milk.
South Korea uses green tea and mugicha, roasted barley, as their staple for chilled teas.
In the U.S., ice tea makes up about 85% of all tea consumed. 80% is black tea and 16% green tea.
Most countries and cultures use bagged tea like Lipton or Nestle for iced tea due to price and availability.
The cookbook with the first printed recipe for chilled tea dates back to the 1840’s from Kentucky. The trend exploded in 1904 when Richard Blechynden served Indian black iced tea due to hot temperatures at the World Fair in St. Louis.
In the south, everyone assumes tea is sweetened. As a joke, Georgia introduced a 2003 bill stating all Georgian restaurants that serve tea needed to serve sweet tea.
At Lake Missoula Tea Company, we make chilled tea. Chilled tea is made hot and then chilled in the refrigerator. The cold brings out the various flavors and is refreshing on a hot day.
*sourced from npr.com
written by Lauren Donat