Steeping into summer – the history of iced tea

Iced tea may seem like a new thing, the latest fad for summer, but did you know iced tea has been around for over 100 years? At Nerada we started sharing our iced tea recipes in our Tea Time newsletter way back in 1993 and we’ve pioneered our own range of iced teas over the years, which we stopped selling due to the high sugar content.

So in an era of health consciousness, it may surprise you that you don’t need the gimmicky options that are not as healthy as they may appear at face value. You can simply brew, chill and pour your favourite Nerada Organic Infusions as an alternative drink for summer.

We take a look at some of the history behind this icy brew and offer some suggestions of how you can enjoy your favourite teas in the warmer weather.

History of Iced Tea

Iced tea began to appear in America during the 1860s, where it remains hugely popular to this day, especially in the southern states. Restaurants and diners around the country often offer bottomless glasses of iced tea in dispensers, one filled with sweetened iced tea, the other with unsweetened.

The oldest printed recipes date back to 1870s when iced tea consumption became quite widespread, featuring on hotel menus and selling by the glass at railroad stations.

Its popularity surged in 1904 after tea merchant and tea plantation owner Richard Blechynden served it at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. The more colourful version of events goes like this, Richard was struggling to convince corseted ladies in their long skirts and gentlemen in their three-piece suits and ties to partake in a cup of steaming hot tea in the intense heat that St. Louis was experiencing. Needless to say, sales were worse than sluggish. In desperation, he took a glass filled with ice and poured the steeped tea into it. Perspiring fair-goers welcomed this cool refreshment and, voila, iced tea was an instant success. Richard sold all his tea that day, and the popularity of iced tea spread across America.

Iced tea is still the beverage of choice for many in America. So much so that it has led to an iced tea spoon being added to the standard cutlery set. It is a teaspoon with a long handle, suitable for stirring sugar into tall glasses.

Summertime Sipping

Here at Nerada, we love brewing up a batch of delicious iced tea using our favourite Organic Infusion, then chilling it down in the fridge and serving it over ice.  It’s as simple as brew, chill and pour! No added sugar or flavours added – it’s the perfect summertime thirst quencher and provides all the health benefits that a hot brew contains. Why not keep a jug of iced tea in the fridge to enjoy throughout the day when it is hot?

You can, of course, become a little more elaborate for summertime functions. Simply follow one of our recipes if you want to make it a touch more special to serve at a bbq with a group of friends and family. Try our Lemon & Ginger Iced Tea, Camomile & Pineapple Iced Tea and Peppermint & Apple Iced Tea. Why not try a summer version of high tea with one of these iced brews as the drink of choice?

Making iced tea couldn’t be easier, healthier or tastier. It’s as simple as making up your favourite Nerada tea or organic infusion and serving it over ice – the perfect drink for the summertime.