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Posts tagged 'Summer'

Iced Tea: How it All Began (History of Iced Tea)

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 2 years ago 16292 Views No comments

There's no doubt that one of the most refreshing summertime treats is a tall, cold glass of iced tea. Powders and instant mixes can move aside – we prefer the fresh, cold-brewed kind, filled with natural flavor and nourishment.

Today, iced tea in all its varieties is an American staple. It's ubiquitous, everywhere from the supermarket to your local coffee shop, and it's even a standard alternative at lemonade stands. By some accounts, iced tea accounts for about 85% of tea consumption in the U.S. But as hot tea has ancient origins, the story of iced tea's birth is lesser known.

So, where did this satisfying warm-weather beverage come from?

Tea had been grown in America by colonists since the 1600s starting in South Carolina and spreading across the South. The first known published iced tea recipes in the U.S. appeared in The Buckeye Cookbook in 1876 and Housekeeping in Old Virginia in 1877. Even earlier, in 1839, a recipe for a mixed beverage that included alcohol, called tea punch, was circulated. Over the next couple of decades, the popularity of the drink started to explode. At this time, most recipes called for the tea to be brewed hot and chilled later on. Early instructions called for lemon, sugar, and ice to be added to black tea. Although sweet tea is attributed to southern traditions, early accounts of it trace back as far north as Boston (although it probably grew favor in the south thanks to the sweltering heat).

The drink truly took off, however, at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, where Richard Blechynden, the Commissioner of Tea for India and one of the fair's directors, was exhibiting hot black tea. Temperatures were unbearably high and fair visitors were thirsty; hot tea wasn't going to sell, so Blechynden had to improvise. He brewed and chilled the tea, and voilà – it was an instant hit! Restaurants immediately began to jump on the trend, which turned out to be more than just a short-term fix, and by World War I, households were catching on. Until today, iced tea – from bottle to box to pitcher – remains a significant part of the American beverage roster. Today, we see all kinds of variations, from Sparkling Green Iced Tea Lemonade to Thai Iced Tea.


At Heavenly Tea Leaves, we can't get enough of the endless iced tea possibilities, from fruity to earthy to spicy. In order to satisfy all of our iced tea cravings, we turn to our Iced Tea Sampler for the best of all worlds! Choose from Apple Green, Ginger Peach, Blueberry Delight (herbal), and Lemon Black – each with its own distinct characteristics, but all designed for optimal taste when served cold. In order to cold brew tea, simply place the loose tea in tea bags or in an infuser pitcher. Fill with water (one cup of water per teaspoon of tea) and leave to brew in the fridge for 6 to 12 hours. Strain the tea if necessary and pour over ice at serving time to avoid dilution.

How To Make Iced Tea (Using Loose Leaf Tea)

By Jasmine Dilmanian (In-House Writer) 3 years ago 27556 Views No comments

How should you handle your tea-making during the blistering heat of summer? And what types of tea will put the biggest smile on your face?

At the peak of summer, our cravings are unique. We delight in sweet, fruity flavors and cold, refreshing beverages to help us beat the heat. When navigating Heavenly Tea Leaves' vast selection, you might be left scratching your head, wondering what will quench your seasonal thirst the best. Fear no more!

Let's start with the basics: how to cold brew tea.

While most teas can be consumed hot or cold, certain varieties will have a stronger impact on ice (think raspberry or lemon). Avoid spicy or smoky ones for this method; you're better off enjoying these more exotic blends hot.

To cold brew your tea, add 1 tsp. of tea to every 6-8 ounces of water in your favorite iced tea maker or pitcher. Let it brew for at least four hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Discard or strain the tea leaves. Keep the pitcher refrigerated, and if desired, you can add ice in when serving.

For those of you who like your iced tea with a fuller flavor, we have an option for you too! Brew your tea as you normally would (with hot water) and refrigerate it until its cold enough for you! Add iced if you like it really cold!

Now that we have the method down, we can talk flavor. Just like our clothing in these torrid months, it's important to keep our tea flavors light. Our Açai Berry White blend is the ideal blend of fruitiness (thanks to notes of mango and berries) with a floral touch (hibiscus!). White teas are a good choice because of their milder, more delicate balance. Another white tea that customers frequently tell us is a favorite for iced tea is Ginger Peach White - a mild, sweet blend of white tea with a peachy punch and a kick of ginger.

Green teas are also a great choice, as they are versatile in terms of temperature and have quite a range – some are nuttier, some are leafier.

For our staff picks, head over to our Iced Tea section. You'll notice many herbal tisanes in this section. That is because herbs, spices, fruits, flowers, and botanicals make for delicious, refreshing, naturally-caffeine free iced teas.


What about add-ins?

Like a scoop of ice cream missing its sprinkles, sometimes our teas (especially when they're iced) call for some fun add-in ingredients.

To complement a citrus or berry tea, chop up some fresh mint; this will cut the sweet notes with the herb's cooling effect.

On the other hand, a simpler black or green tea might benefit from some diced fruits. Try in-season peaches, juicy oranges, sugary melon, or tangy berries to liven up a cold-brewed pitcher. Besides adding flavor, this technique also adds volume to the beverage without diluting the flavor – a key for entertaining thirsty guests.


We've come up with an Iced Tea Lemonade recipe that's very delicious. Its super refreshing too. Oh, and did we forget to mention its delicious?

Step 1: Add 1 tsp. of Green or Black to 6-8 oz. of boiling water

Step 2: For Green Tea, boil your water to 170 degrees and steep your tea for 1-3 minutes. For Black Tea, boil your water to 208 degrees and steep your tea for 2-4 minutes.

Step 3: Squeeze in 1/2-1 lemon for every 6-8 ounces of water.

Step 4: Add sweetener (we prefer organic raw honey) to hot water

Step 5: Refrigerate until the tea is cool

Step 6: Add ice and enjoy!


Fun fact: Did you know that drinking hot tea in hot weather can actually help cool you down? This is because the hot tea makes you sweat, and when your sweat evaporates, your skin chills. But fair warning, this won't work in humid weather; your sweat won't evaporate the same way!

Happy summer – drink on!