A seasoned tea drinker can easily tell you about the origins of the traditional cup of tea. British influence has seen black blends like English Breakfast and Earl Grey become commonplace in every cafe, restaurant and home in Australia. But what about the origins of the iced alternative? In our latest article, we explore the history of fresh, often fruity iced tea.
A Love Affair with Iced Tea
While iced tea entered mainstream America in the early 1900s, its origins date right back to the early 1800s, where it was commonly enjoyed in Russia. During summer, iced beverages were often sold in the streets, and the Russians decided that iced tea would provide a sweeter alternative to beer and wine. In every instance of its consumption, iced tea was mixed with plenty of alcohol. Champagne, brandy and rum were combined with green tea to produce a fairly toxic beverage; one that was a far cry from the light, alcohol-free alternative enjoyed today.
The most significant moment in iced tea’s history and the event that marked its entry into the mainstream market happened by chance. It was a hot day in America in 1904 when fair goers at the World’s Fair in St. Louis ignored hot beverages in favour of a cooler alternative. One stallholder capitalised on the opportunity and decided to serve his tea with ice. From then on, non-alcoholic iced tea entered cookbooks and cafes alike, growing in popularity in America and all over the world. The beverage was traditionally served with green tea and sugar, however black tea became increasingly popular over time.
Unsurprisingly, the increased popularity of iced tea coincided with the introduction of the household fridge, or ice box as it was commonly known in the 1800s. This provided a more sophisticated alternative to iced tea’s rustic origins, where tea was served with broken chunks of iced sourced from ponds and lakes. The popularity of iced tea also coincided with a decrease in the cost of tea; a welcome change for both tea lovers and suppliers.
The extensive range of tea available has resulted in many variations of the iced tea. The classic Long Island Iced Tea has quickly been pushed aside in favour of healthier alternatives. Today, iced tea is enjoyed all throughout the year. It’s even used as an ingredient in smoothies, milkshakes and ice cream. No Australian summer gathering is complete without a fruit laden jug of the beautiful blend. So, how do you perfect this essential summer treat?
At The Tea Centre, our Fruit Infusions make a delicious, healthy iced tea. These versatile, caffeine-free blends are perfect for children and adults to drink any time of the day. Our Fruit Infusions are also packed with vitamins and antioxidants to keep you healthy in the warmer months. What’s not to love?
To make the perfect iced tea, you first need to choose a flavour for your mood.
Our delicious range includes:
Once you have your infusion of choice, you’re ready to brew. We suggest using one of the following iced tea jugs to ensure you perfect the preparation. The tea needs to cool in the fridge overnight, so if you’re entertaining we suggest brewing the tea the night before.
Serve your Fruit Infusion with plenty of fresh fruit. This not only adds intensity to the flavour, it also makes your jug of tea the perfect centrepiece for a food laden table. Use the ingredients list on the back of the pack to help you choose which fruit will work best with your chosen infusion.
Drink and enjoy!