The Basics of Iced Tea

Posted in Fava Tea

The warmer months of the year usually mean one thing in our world: Iced Tea! If you prefer to drink your tea this way, you aren’t alone – most of the tea consumed in the United States each year is iced! Let’s dive into what you need to know about this popular way to brew tea!

When did people start icing tea?

The long history of tea dates back thousands of years, but iced tea specifically took a bit longer to grain popularity. A wealth of both English and American cookbooks indicate tea served cold as early as the nineteenth century, often spiked with liquor, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that iced tea really took off with the development of refrigeration. As it turns out, since the creation of the icebox in 1803, iced tea has been made largely the same way ever since, using the concentrate method found below!

How do you make iced tea?

There are two primary methods of brewing the perfect cup of iced tea: the concentrate method and the cold brew method. For the concentrate method, brew a concentrate by using half the water (for a 16oz glass, brew 2 tsp of loose-leaf tea in 8oz of hot water) and then shake in a tumbler of ice after steeping! The cold brew method takes longer – place 1-2 tsp of loose-leaf tea per 8oz of water in cold water and let it brew in the fridge for 8-12 hours. You can read more detailed instructions in our Iced Tea Brewing Blog!

What about sweet tea?

Visited the Southeastern United States recently? It’s likely you’ll come home with a hankering for some good old fashioned sweet tea! The first recipe for iced tea was introduced to the world in 1879 by Marion Cabel Tyree, who used green tea instead of the traditional black we think of today, and its popularity exploded when it was served at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair! Brewing it is easy – just use the concentrate method listed above and add sugar before icing (the amount is up to you, based on your desired sweetness). Tea can be sweetened with any sweetener you like (granulated sugar, rock sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.) but we like ours with our very own Rock Sugar!

Can any tea be iced?

This is one of our most commonly asked questions here at Fava Tea, so much so that we wrote an entire post about it (check it out here), but the simple answer is YES! Any tea can be brewed hot or cold – it just depends on what flavors you prefer. In general though, our Summer Seasonal Collection is specifically designed for icing, as are some of our traditional black teas like Onyx Organic and Black Ice, both of which also make a delicious sweet tea base! We often comment that some taste better one way or the other, but truthfully you never know until you try, so get icing!

What about sun tea?

A common summer activity for many is sun tea! Because tea leaves brew in water of any temperature, an infusion can also be achieved by setting your brewing tea in the sun for a number of hours, dependent on how hot it is outside and how big your container is. In general, we still recommend using 1-2 tsp of loose-leaf tea per 8-ounces of water, and the typical time frame is about 2-3 hours, longer if you want it stronger! Once its done brewing, add a simple syrup or honey to sweeten and enjoy! It should be noted, however, that the temperatures at which sun tea brews can potentially facilitate the growth of bacteria, so be sure to clean your container well, use filtered water, brew with high-quality tea, and consume or refrigerate within 4 hours of setting it out to brew.

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