Iced Tea Guide

Turn your customers into iced tea enthusiasts: Preparation and useful tips.
Iced teas

Who said tea can only be enjoyed hot? Iced tea is a way to savor tea that is increasingly gaining followers, especially in the summer and in warmer countries around the world.

Selling teas for cold consumption will allow you to meet the demand for cold beverages while maintaining and increasing sales in the summer.

Many tea drinkers admit to never having tried iced tea. Often, this is due to a lack of knowledge. But this will no longer be a problem!

In this iced tea guide, you will learn everything you need to educate your customers about this way of enjoying their favorite drink.


Origin of Iced Tea

Like everything else, there is always a first time in life. And to know that moment, humans usually rely on documented records.

And there are two key moments involving a recipe and an international fair.

The first recorded data dates back to the late 19th century. Specifically, in the United States, a recipe for Sweet Iced Tea was published in a cookbook, which was served cold.

St. Louis

But the most cited moment as the origin of iced tea is the St. Louis World’s Fair, held in 1904. During this event, a merchant who was not selling his tea due to the high temperatures decided to add ice to refresh the visitors. Such was the success that he ended up selling out all the goods he had planned to sell during the fair in just a few hours.

Since then, iced tea has undergone constant evolution, adapting to preferences and culinary trends over the years.

What began as a simple refreshing drink has led to a wide range of variations, from the classic lemon iced tea to innovative recipes with exotic fruit flavors, aromatic herbs, and/or spices.

Tea shops and hospitality businesses have experimented with different preparation methods, such as cold brewing, which provides a smoother and less bitter flavor, capturing the pure essence of tea leaves.

Which Teas Are Best for Iced Tea?

The answer to this common question is… all of them! It’s a matter of taste, and whether it’s taken cold or hot will not be detrimental at all.

As a general rule, some flavors and blends are more optimized for cold consumption. Either because their flavor is more refreshing, or because they evoke classic summer flavors. But you can tell your customers they can choose whichever they like.

How to Prepare the Perfect Iced Tea?

The preparation of a perfect iced tea is an art that combines tradition with more modern “tea master” techniques.

There are two main methods for making iced tea: hot brewing and cooling; and cold brewing. Each brings its unique characteristics to the tea, influencing its taste, aroma, and color.

Take note because we’re going to explain how you should teach your customers to prepare a delicious iced tea.

Hot Brewing and Cooling

Hot brewing

This method involves preparing the tea following the traditional method: hot brewing. This allows for a quick and complete extraction of the aromas and properties of the leaves.

After brewing, the tea is quickly cooled by adding ice or allowing it to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

The key to this method is proportion: it is recommended to use a larger amount of tea due to the dilution that occurs when adding ice. For example, if you would normally use a teaspoon of tea per cup, for iced tea, use double.

This method offers precise control over the intensity of the tea. It is ideal for quickly preparing iced tea.

To avoid a too-bitter taste, do not exceed the recommended brewing time and use slightly cooler water than you would for hot tea, especially for green and white teas.

Cold Brewing

Cold brewing

Cold brewing, on the other hand, involves infusing the tea leaves in room-temperature water. This can be done using a bottle that is then placed in the refrigerator for between 4 and 10 hours.

This method extracts flavors more slowly and gently, resulting in an iced tea that is less bitter and lighter in color.

Its advantage lies in its taste, with a more subtle, smooth, and sweet profile. This technique is ideal for high-quality pure teas, as it highlights their more delicate notes.

Each tea is different, and calculating its intensity can be tricky. We advise you to start with a teaspoon of tea per cup and adjust the amount to more according to your preferences. Likewise, experiment with different brewing times to find the perfect balance of flavor.

General Tips for Making Cold Tea

Finally, we detail some aspects of achieving a first-rate iced tea: delicious and refreshing.

And the first piece of advice is to watch the quality of the water. If your city does not have quality tap water, it will be better to use bottled mineral water. The same goes for ice. Make sure the ice you use is made with quality water and does not transfer any flavor to the tea.

Although there is no written law, we recommend using the cold brewing technique with pure teas. While the hot brewing method is ideal for any type: blends and pure.

In the case of teas infused in cold water, you can add some slices of fruit: lemon, orange, lime, peach… it will give it a special touch.

Keep in mind that iced tea can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days, depending on the ingredients. We advise you not to wait too long to consume it since the small particles that remain in the water will continue to infuse, giving a more bitter taste.

If you add fresh elements like fruit, it is advisable to consume it within the first 24 hours.

If you have a physical tea shop, you may be able to hold mini iced tea workshops to teach your customers how to prepare it. Practice makes perfect! so we advise you to practice a lot and encourage your customers to do the same.


Alveus Blog Team

Editorial team formed by tea professionals from different countries. We are driven by our passion for tea and the dissemination of its culture.

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