Cold teas are more popularly known as iced tea in most places. They are served with ice and could be or could not be sweetened. Iced teas are also well-known packaged drinks. They can be combined with flavored syrup such as peach, lemon, lime, raspberry, cherry or passion fruit. Although most teas obtain their flavor from real tea leaves, other beverages obtained from herbs and sometimes served cols are still called as iced tea.
Unsweetened iced tea is sometimes done by steeping tea leaves for a particularly long period at a low temperature such as under the sun for an hour. This is sometimes called as ‘sun tea’. Sometimes, they are left steeping on the refrigerator overnight.
In the US, cold teas compose around 85% of all tea consumed and are very well-known as a substitute to carbonated soft drinks, particularly in the warmer southern states. It is very common in convenience stores, grocery stores, vending machines and restaurants. It can be made fresh on the premises and also available in cans and bottles or at soda fountains. Most restaurants usually ask the customer of their choice – unsweetened or sweetened.
Iced tea is conventionally served with garnishing such as lemon and is frequently placed on the glass’ rim. In the southwestern part of the United States or even in restaurants with a southwestern theme, lime is also very well-known. It is very common for establishments to place slices of both lime and lemon for their customer to take for themselves.
Since there are various types of eateries in the US and also due to cultural and climatic differences, there are plenty of varieties of cold teas. Some of the most outstanding varieties include the following:
- In several coffee houses, exotic varieties of teas are served cold. Some of these tea types include Earl Grey or Jasmine tea.
- In soul food, Southern cuisine style and barbecue establishments, general eateries usually serve black tea cold. So far, this is the most typical form of freshly brewed cold tea. Herbal and fruit flavoured iced tea are also rather common.
- Thai cold tea is commonly served in Thai restaurants.
- Cold Chai tea or spiced Indian tea is also available in some stores and restaurants. Although it is not traditionally served cold, in the United States chai is typically served iced, pre-sweetened in bottles and served with honey to sweeten.
- Cold hojicha, jasmine and genmaicha teas are available from a number of Asian cuisine or Chinese cuisine restaurants but are very uncommon. It is more popular to find these varieties hot.