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Best ICED tea in Los Angeles...

ok, this is a toughie. i drink about 15 glasses of iced tea a day, and i can comfortably say that it's hard to get a truly great glass of iced tea. some thoughts:

- Starbucks Iced Tea is horrible. Tastes like something burnt.
- Cafe Montana (in Santa Monica) makes an excellent iced tea.
- Most Thai places have surprisingly good non-Thai iced teas.

Can you help me?

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    1. Well, are you purchasing iced tea for home brewing and consumption or do you make it in a machine at work, or do you actually go out and purchase that many iced teas from a retail store?

      I'm sure we can come up with something great for you!

      And what kind of iced tea do you like? Good unsweetened traditional black, or really sweet, Southern style iced tea?

      1. I've always liked the iced tea at Luna Park -- just good strong tea, none of that sissy passion fruit stuff.

        1. Is the non-Thai iced tea you are talking about still made with Thai tea (ie - same tea, but without the sweetened milk component)? If so, the Thai markets in town - Bangluck, Silom, etc. - carry the loose tea to make it at home. I have had several different kinds of packages, but all of the teas stain things orange (Tupperware, mugs, etc.) if left too long. Still, tasty stuff and it really doesn't need the sweetness in a Thai Iced Tea.

            1. Okay, I might get some flack for this, but I think the best Iced Tea in So Cal is at Jack in the Box. They fresh brew liptons and always use lots of ice. With the turn-over it's always fresh. I go there just for the tea, and like you I drink a lot of it throughout the day.

              2 Replies
              1. re: davinagr

                Davinagr -- in the true Chow spirit -- NO FLACK for you! Each of us has our own favorites, and this sounds like a "find!"

                1. re: liu

                  Actually, I think I can do one better. I think the iced tea at Panda Express ain't too shabby.

              2. I also drink a lot of iced tea, especially in this weather, and have never been served a decent glass in LA. yes, i'm a born and raised south carolinian iced tea snob, but it seems all the options are flavored ("sissy" as chowpatty noted), unsweetened (not for me thank you) overly sweetened (like M&Ms and other "southern" places) or bottled - Tazo, art of tea, republic of tea, none of which are palatable to me.

                So I can't recommend a place to buy iced tea, but what I have found that is fantastic is to go to the african red tea house on fairfax http://www.africanredtea.com/rooibost...
                and buy a bunch of rooibos and honeybush and make the tea at home. Rooibos makes an amazing iced tea (add honey while boiling). I've experimented with all sorts of combos of rooibos w/ jasmines, oolongs, whole chamomile flowers, earl grey (it's really great iced, just not so great to add milk to) and other stiff black teas. An incredible versatile and tasty iced tea foundation is that rooibos herb.

                (the only thing it doesn't blend well with is lapsang souchong, which is probably obvious, but it was worth trying. lapsang does however make one superfunky iced tea on its own! great to follow with a rauchbier!)

                1. I drink about 2 quarts of homemade iced tea in 24 hours using 7 green tea bags and 1 or 2 jasmine tea bags to 2 quarts of boiling water. Steep 8-9 minutes, remove bags, let cool.

                  Will try Aloha Boba as suggested by nougat and I also pick up iced tea (with lemon) at McDonald's (Sr price 43 cents) - usually fresh. Will try JITB suggested by davinagr. Can't tolerate sweetened tea, must be straight.

                  1. Mr. Mouther....Rooibos makes a great iced tea and is great for you! It's not technically tea, since it doesn't come from the Camelia Sinensis but rather the African Red Bush, but the medicinal properties are HUGE and the variety of flavors available with Rooibos are virtually unlimited.
                    Good call.

                    I'm from GA, so I can understand you when you mention your SC roots....I remember the days when pounds and pounds of sugar were added to sun tea and then it would just sit on the back deck for days.....yum.....

                    1. One place NOT to get iced tea is The Ivy. I learned this the hard way. Actually, I think it was a rather good glass of tea (I believe there was mint in it) but if I recall correctly it was $7.50 for a glass. $7.50! I'm not a regaulr at the Ivy (I've been twice in 3 years) but I thought that was pretty insane. How much are they making off of a glass?

                      But I drink iced tea all the time, and most real service restaurants offer decently good tea. I actually like the Starbucks (Tazo) Passion Fruit tea. My roommate (an ex-barista) just bought some and we made it at home and it really is good. It's almost addicting, and it's very fruity, but it's refreshing.

                      Just a tip, but if you haven't tried your iced tea with fresh mint, I highly recommend it. If you make a pitcher at home, toss a clump of mint in there.

                      1. one place with a sick awesome southern-style sweet tea is the kitchen on 43rd in leimert park. goes great with one of the finest fried chickens in town.

                        1. I like the selection at Damon and Pythias, specifically their Iced Green Tea that is sweetened.

                          1. Try the mango or passionfruit flavored iced tea at Coral Tree Cafe in Brentwood on San Vicente. Its amazing!