At the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, iced tea was the preferred drink among the attendees. Today, it accounts for 75 percent of the tea we drink in North America.
The first recipes appeared in the late 1700s, when green tea was the main ingredient in a popular iced tea punch spiked with alcohol. Today, black tea is the norm and it is typically served sweeter in the southern states.
Health Tip: In terms of retaining the health benefits of hot, brewed tea, Dr. Andrew Weil advises chilling iced tea in the refrigerator rather than adding ice as it makes the antioxidants less bioavailable.
Around the S&H testing table on a hot afternoon in late August, we found that iced tea promoted fond childhood memories as the quintessential summer cooler. Here’s what we thought of some modern-day teas.
Blue Buddha - Chamomile Lavender Herbal Tea
This tasty rooibos tea is a pretty blush color and has a soothing, smooth texture. For some, the lavender accent was too much. 10 grams of sugar.
Honest Tea - Just Black Tea (unsweetened)
With a darker, cloudy appearance, this option offered the most unadulterated black tea taste of the bunch.
Sweetleaf - The Original Sweet Tea
For very sweet tea lovers (19 grams), this is your pick for a simple tea. The hand-drawn grandma illustration on the label garnered our “best packaging” award.
Tazo - Organic Iced Green (with spearmint and lemongrass)
Too sweet (18 grams of sugar), but an excellent mint flavor. Comes with a complimentary tea leaf reading online.
Tazo - Berryblossom White
A favorite: very refreshing and light. Not too sweet (8 grams of sugar). The hint of blueberries is special. Free tea leaf reading online.
Teas’ Tea - Lemongrass Green Tea (unsweetened)
Another favorite: great lemon flavor. Crisp taste but with a slightly earthy fragrance. Our only beef was the plastic container.