The History of Iced Tea

Worlds Fair 1904

Did you know that iced teas are uniquely American phenomena? In fact, 80% of Americans prefer drinking their tea this way – and for good reason.

Interestingly, iced tea is said to have been invented by Richard Belchynden at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Belchynden, a tea plantation owner, was intent on sharing his product with the thousands of fair onlookers. Although free samples were and still are a sure fire way of enticing fair goers to booths, the scorching heat of that summer had other ideas. Needless to say, the masses were quite parched under that summer’s unforgiving heat, and unfortunately (well at least for Belchynden), providing hot and steaming free beverages probably didn’t quite produce the results he was looking for. After numerous unsuccessful attempts at trying to give away his tea, Belchynden decided it was time for a different marketing tactic. Not wanting to let his product go unnoticed, Belchynden decided to add blocks of ice to his rich brown brew and the rest is history!

hot-teaGreat story, right? Well, we all like to hear or read about gastronome stories where serendipity is involved, but to be Iced Teafair – (no pun intended :)), iced tea had been acknowledged by other publications as early as the 1870s.

Iced tea has certainly come a long way since the days of those poor perspiring patrons who, as I could only imagine, must have been overheating in their ornate Victorian style dresses and garments. In fact, today many people are doing far more with ice and tea than simply just adding sugar, a slice of lemon and mint.

You’re not still prancing around in your bourgeois dress and your 1900s style flamboyant robes (hopefully), so why act like it? Leave the boring old tea with ice cubes in the past, and try something new and exciting today!

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One thought on “The History of Iced Tea

  1. Pingback: Tea Themes on Our Blog | Tea Blog

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