It’s blue? Yes indeed: This herbal iced tea is made from a blue flower. It can be enjoyed straight or in a latte, as shown. Here’s the recipe (photo © Oh How Civilized).
 If you have blooming tea balls, you can make ice tea with them. Brew them as usual, and chill (photo © Joy Buy).
 Do you sweeten your iced tea? If you’re a maple syrup lover, consider substuting it for sugar, honey, etc. (photo © Runamok Maple Syrup).
 One of our favorite herbal iced teas is made with hibiscus flowers. Another is made with fresh sage leaves: Just pour boiling water over the leaves and let steep (photo © Republic Of Tea).
 Fruit-flavored teas are very popular and available in tea bags, like this strawberry iced tea from Shangri-La. They’re great iced, but you can also muddle fresh fruit and add it to regular iced tea (photo © Shangri-La Teas).
 After we had this peach-jalapeño iced tea created by Canard Catering, we created a version at home. As your tea steeps, add peach and jalapeño slices. Frozen peaches are fine (photo © Canard).
It’s the first full day of summer, and June is National Iced Tea Month (June 10th is National Iced Tea Day). Those two facts easily led us to today’s topic: iced tea.
It took a while for humankind to get to enjoy a chilled glass of tea.
In modern times, we have ice on demand from our refrigerator-freezers.
But in the millennia before the invention of the mechanical ice box, only the wealthy had a cool drink.
In ancient times through the 19th century, people of means could afford to have ice cut from lakes and rivers in the winter, or brought down from the mountaintops in warmer countries. The ice was stored in special ice houses for summer use.
The oldest known ice house, built by a king in Persia, dates to about 1700 B.C.E. Most other people dug ice pits, lined with straw and sawdust as insulation.
In northern climates, others could keep food cold with ice and snow, similarly saved during the winter months or brought down from mountaintops. Packed tightly, it might keep until the hot weather.
Technology advanced. For those who could afford it, insulated metal “ice boxes” were available in the 1880s, with blocks of ice delivered by the “ice man.”
The home electric refrigerator didn’t arrive until 1930—also for those with money.
Thanks to engineers and affordable refrigeration, we now have all the refrigerator and freezer power we you need to can enjoy iced tea any day of the year.
HOW PEOPLE IN THE PAST HAD ICE IN THE SUMMER
Here’s the history of iced tea.
ICED TEA TIPS
We’ve had delicious bottled teas from companies that brew great tea—like Harney & Sons, Honest Tea, Inko’s, Republic Of Tea and Tea’s Tea.
But personally, we’re conscientious about doing our part to spare the environment.
So we reserve these bottled iced tea treats for on-the-road options—i.e., when we’re out of the house and out of liquid refreshment.
But just about anything we can buy in a bottle can be brewed at home, saving not just the environment but lots of moolah.
Make iced tea in the microwave. We’ve devised a way to quickly brew iced tea in the microwave.
Add 4 bags/teaspoons of tea to a quart of water, microwave for 5 minutes and remove the bags.
Let the tea cool on the counter. Pour it into recycled plastic bottles before putting it in the fridge.
You’re ready to grab and go, or grab and stay).
It will unfreeze bit by bit over the hours, giving you cool sips along your way.
You can do this with water, too, of course.
If you’re very hot, a frozen bottle will also give you some relief: Hold it or touch it to your face, like an ice pack.
Another tip: Freeze the bottle. If you’ll be outside in the heat, freeze a bottle of iced tea.
ICED TEA RECIPES FOR ANY TEA TYPE
And now: Here are some of our favorite iced tea recipes and tips for brewing and serving.
The photos were selected to illustrate additional ways you can prepare iced tea.
Note that most iced tea recipes can be made with any tea: black, green, herbal, white.
Blooming Iced Tea
Cold Infused Tea
Homemade Peach Iced Tea
Iced Tea Cocktail
Iced Tea Cubes Don’t Dilute Your Iced Tea
Iced Tea Float With Sorbet
Iced Tea Party
Iced Tea With Fruit
Lavender Iced Tea
Lemon- & Lime-Infused Iced Tea
Red, White & Blue Iced Tea
Sparkling Iced Tea
Spiced Iced Tea
Strawberry-Thyme Ice Cubes
Watermelon Iced Tea
Reduced Calorie Thai Iced Tea
Thai Iced Tea With Sweetened Condensed Milk
BLACK ICED TEA RECIPES
Green Iced Tea & Types Of Green Tea
Spicy Cucumber Green Iced Tea
GREEN ICED TEA RECIPES
Blue Or Purple Iced Tea
Iced Hibiscus Tea
HERBAL ICED TEA RECIPES
Iced Tea History & Trivia
Long Island Iced Tea contains no tea; but it’s the color of iced tea. Here’s the recipe.
The Afternoon Tea Party
An Electric Kettle For Easy Iced Tea
The Different Types Of Tea
Essential Tea Facts
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea
How To Avoid Cloudy Iced Tea
The History Of Iced Tea
The History Of Iced Tea
How To Brew The Perfect Cup Of Tea
How To Dissolve Sugar In Cold Drinks
Making, Serving & Drinking Tea
The History Of Tea
Simple Syrup Recipe For Iced Tea
THE TEA EXPERIENCE