History Of Iced Tea

Lynn Maidment


You know me I'm all about a cold cup of iced tea in the summer.  Don't get me wrong I love my hot tea too!  But on those hot summer days lazing around in the yard or doing gardening.  A tall glass of  delicious iced tea is the only thing that can beat the heat on a hot summers day.  It's perfect with any kind of tea, herb or fruit.  I just love all the beautiful colours it reminds me of the wonderful colours in nature.  So up-lifting.

History of iced tea began in the United State around 1795.

Tea actually grows in the southern part of the USA.  It all began in South Carolina in 1795.  It is believed the first tea plants came to the USA with french explorer Andre Michaux along with other plants like gardenias and azaleas for the wealthy Charleston growers.

During the 1800's English and American recipe books started listing iced tea made from green tea which liquor was added.  This is one of my favourite ways to have a cocktail in summer.  Love adding vodka and ice.  Refrigeration also began during this time with ice houses and ice boxes.

This is what a typical sweet tea recipe looked like.  This one is from the cookbook Housekeeping In Old Virginia, by Marion Cabell Tyree, published in 1879:

“Ice Tea. – After scalding the teapot, put into it one quart of boiling water and two teaspoonfuls green tea.  If wanted for supper, do this at breakfast.  At dinner time, strain, without stirring, through a tea strainer into a pitcher.  Let it stand till tea time and pour into decanters, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the pitcher.  Fill the goblets with ice, put two teaspoonfuls granulated sugar in each, and pour the tea over the ice and sugar.  A squeeze of lemon will make this delicious and healthful, as it will correct the astringent tendency.”

During the 1900's iced tea was common in most cook books.  During this time instead of using green tea black tea was used from India and Africa as it was less expensive.  

We don't have to put the kettle to make a delicious cold iced tea.  Cold steep your tea over night in the refrigerator.  Or make sun tea place out in the sun for a few hours to steep.

Recipe Cold Steeped Tea

-Place one teaspoon of tea in a jug for every eight ounces of water (Our favourite tea is Blueberry Pea flower Fruit,  has such a beautiful blue liquor)

Put in refrigerator overnight and enjoy the next day with ice, fruit or make into a delicious cocktail by adding white wine or vodka.  Enjoy and happy sipping!



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