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National Iced Tea Month-June

Source Giphy: Nascar

A Brief History of Iced Tea In the United States

Green Tea: Source: Pexels

Early tea in the US was green due to the tea imported from Japan and China. Iced tea became popular because of the ice trade that developed. Cold green tea punch became a sign of luxury and became more accessible to the middle-class families.

A non-alcoholic green iced tea recipe first appeared in 1876 in the Buckeye Cookbook. A recipe for sweet tea a popular Southern beverage appeared 1879 in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia.

During World War II trade with Japan and China was halted. American began to drink black tea imported from India. At the World's Fair in 1904 iced tea became popular due to the East India Pavillion. They served hot tea and decided to increase sales by chilling the hot tea.

Dried Black Tea Source: Wikipedia

They chilled the hot tea by putting in through a series of lead pipes immersed in ice. It created a refreshing iced tea beverage at the World Fair in St. Louis Missouri. Iced tea reached about 20 million at the World's Fair that year. The manufacturing of tea bags made brewing tea in large batches easy.

As time went on a growing interest in different types of tea lead to tea drinks made with black, green, white, oolong, and other specialty teas. Tea now is made with a number of flavors and notes leading to a variety of ice tea beverages and recipes.

Tips For Making Iced Tea and Celebrating Iced Tea Month

  • Use tea bags and boil water and soak tea bags for 3-5 minutes and remove

  • Add fruit juices to you tea lemon, lime, orange, cranberry, pomegranate, and other.

  • Leave out the sugar

  • Add herbs like basil, lemon verbena, and mint to the iced tea mix

  • Try cold brewing which is soaking tea leaves or tea bags in cold water for 6-12 hours

  • Hot water releases more caffeine and tannins when brewing.

  • Add strawberries, blueberries or raspberries to the iced tea for flavor

  • Go to a coffee house or cafe and try a new iced tea drink

  • Make some different types of iced tea recipes at home using tea bags or tea leaves.

Pitcher of Iced Tea: Source Flicker Ann Hare Valentine

Lemon Lime Iced Tea

This recipe does not use sugar but if you must have it try to use less than you usually do. You will need a plastic pitcher or glass to make a batch, a kettle to boil water to steep the tea bags in and measuring cups. A large ceramic bowl or metal saucepan may be the best way to steep the teabags for the tea.

8 cups of hot water

8 black tea bags

1/4 cup lime juice fresh or concentrate

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or concentrate


Boil the water on top of the stove in a medium sized saucepan. When it boils put in the tea bags and turn off the burner and let it steep for 3- 5 minutes. For darker tea leave tea bags in longer. Remove the tea bags and let it cool. Pour the tea into a plastic or glass pitcher. Add the lemon and lime juice. Mix well. Add sugar if desired. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Add ice if desired.

Orange Pineapple Iced Tea

You will need a medium sized saucepan, measuring cups, knife, cutting board, and pitcher.

8 cups of cold filtered or bottled water

8 organic or regular black tea bags

Juice of one or two oranges

1/4 cup chopped fresh or canned pineapple

Sugar if desired


In a medium saucepan measure 8 cups of cold water. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Turn off burner and add 8 tea bags. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and let it cool.

Meanwhile cut one or two oranges in half. Chop pineapple about 1/4 cup or more. Pour cooled tea mixture into a plastic or glass pitcher. Squeeze juice into tea mixture and mix well. Add chopped pineapple and chill in the refrigerator a few hours before serving. When serving have sugar on the side and ice for those that want to add it.


Steeped In History: The Rise of Tea In America: by Kae Lani Palmisano, Kitchen Aide

Food Timeline Lynne Olver Virginia Tech University Libraries and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Source: Public Domain Pictures

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