The first iced teas are said to have been made with Sri Lankan leaves during the World Fair in St. Louis, MO in 1904. Up until that time, America usually imported only green teas. In 1904. Sri Lankan tea growers sent a representative to show off their finest blends. Unfortunately the world’s fair was blazing hot and few people were interested in a steaming cup. Out of desperation, the salesman poured his hot brew over ice and instantly, a new American beverage was born.
Today we drink iced tea everywhere we go. If you want to make a great cup at home the following suggestions will help you succeed:
The easiest ways to create a traditional brew is to use hearty and full- bodied teas without any malty flavor. I recommend focusing on black teas and herbals as greens, oolongs and whites can be tricky.
Choose a high quality loose-leaf Ceylon, Nilgiri or Keemun for your traditional icy beverage.
Choose a high quality loose-leaf Rooibos if you want to stay caffeine free. There are many flavored Rooibos such as lemon, lavender or peach that will make a great glass of tea. Remember Rooibos is an herbal plant and does not contain any of the actual tea leaf.
Want to get creative? Try adding a shot of flavored syrup (like a raspberry) and then floating fresh blueberries and a raspberry in each glass.
If you prefer lemon, float a few lemon slices in your pitcher and then serve.
To easily brew iced tea at home, cold brewing is your very easiest option. Simply fill a pitcher with 2 quarts water. Fill a paper tea filter with 8 tsp of tea and chill overnight. In the morning you will have a great glass of refreshing iced tea.
Supplies for brewing your own iced tea are readily available online and in many grocery stores such as Whole Foods. Some important items to own are paper tea filters( also called a tea soc), loose tea which is sold by tea shops or companies like Harney, Rishi or Numi at many stores or are available for sale online.
If you plan to make iced tea often you might consider purchasing a iced tea pitcher from Bodum. These pitchers allow you to brew the loose tea in a section of the pitcher and then easily remove it to serve.
No matter which tea you choose you are sure to be a success if you get creative and drink with friends!