Iced Tea Around the World
Iced tea is a form of brewed tea that is served chilled or with ice, served in many different countries in many different flavors and mixes. It was first introduced in the early 1800s in the Western
world. Some Western countries famous for iced tea consumption are the US, Canada, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the UK, while the more recently introduced Eastern countries include China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand and Turkey, where the definition of "iced tea" can vary from region to region. Iced teas have just as many varieties as hot teas and are just as tasty and refreshing. This beverage can be found in bottles and cans as well as by the glass the world over.
The beverage first appeared in 1884 listed as “Russian Tea,” but it was made popular at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis due to the warm climate and spread from there. Many Western recipes involve black or red tea mixed with other flavors like peach, lemon, mango, cranberry,
lime or honey. Some specific recipes include Boston Iced Tea, which is mixed with cranberry juice, and sweet tea, which is strongly brewed and mixed with sugar while hot. The usual options for the preparation of iced tea in the United States are lemon, lime, sugar, mint, and ice cubes.
Most Eastern iced teas tend to be served without flavoring or sugar such as oolong and jasmine teas from China. Other green teas such as sencha, genmaicha and mugicha from Japan also do without the aid of additional flavor and instead rely on the local food to suit the tea served. Some countries carry more of a Western influence in taste, however, such as Thai iced tea, which is heavily flavored and sweetened, using very strong black tea mixed with thick cream, syrup or sugar and several other spices. Chai tea is another Eastern tea that can be served cold. It has a pungent taste and also usually includes cream and sugar. But thankfully, it is not necessary to travel the globe in order to sample these teas because most of them are available at local grocery stores, specialty restaurants, and farmers markets.