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Iced tea has been popular here in the United States since Richard Blechynden served it at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.  He was at the fair to promote Indian tea, but the extremely hot temperatures during the fair lessened its appeal.  He decided to try serving the tea cold and it was an enormous hit.

While cold tea and iced tea had been consumed in many places before the event, even showing up in the occasional women’s magazine or entertaining book, the World’s Fair made it far more popular.  Today, 80% of all tea consumed in the U.S. is in the form of iced tea.

To make fresh iced tea, there are a few different methods:

Hot Brew Method

  • Measure twice the amount of tea you would generally use per cup water for hot tea.  A good rule of thumb is to use 1 1/2 to 2 tsps of tea for every 6 to 8 ounces of water.
  • Add water of the same temp you would use to brew hot tea and steep for your usual amount of time.  (Use near boiling water for black teas.  Oolongs use water from 190 to 203 generally.  Greens and whites would use water that ranges from 160 to 190.)
  • When the tea has finished steeping, strain out the tea leaves so it doesn’t become bitter.
  • Sweeten lightly if you desire.
  • Pour into a glass over ice or refrigerate.


  • Measure out about 1 tsp of tea per 6 to 8 ounces of water.
  • Fill your container to the top with fresh, filtered cold water.
  • Place the container in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.

The cold brew method is a great way to make iced green tea. I find it a little less difficult to err with the cold brew method, so you are less likely to encounter that bitterness that can result from oversteeped green tea. Cold brew is also a great way to make oolongs.


World Tea Expo
June 13-17, 2016 Las Vegas, NV

Natural Product Expo East
Sept 22-24, 2016 Baltimore, MD

Natural Product Expo West
March 10-12, 2016 Anaheim, CA