Ok this may sound retarded but here I go. I am a huge tea drinker (around 4 or 5 BIG glasses a day), I have settled for the hum drum lipton. Here's the question I love the Black currant iced tea at Corner Bakery. I would love to find something similar to brew at home
Twining's makes a Black Currant tea...comes in tea bags....Several years ago I enjoyed the iced tea at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston & asked what it was....Twining's Black Currant was the answer. I can buy it in my supermarket...
I have used many teas, but I learned that how you brew it can be just as or more important that what tea that you use. brewing teas how and then chilling will tend to extract the bitter compounds that many people find offensive. I use the sun-tea method in the summer, but you can duplicate the same method in the winter with a 1 gallon glass jar and a heating pad.
I put 5-6 standard tea bags, or 4 large tea bags in cool water and let steep in the summer sun for 8-12 hours. It can be poured over ice and enjoyed, or chill in the refrigerator and serve later. Placing the water/tea over a warm heating pad will achieve the same purpose, as it is the slow gentle extraction method that makes the difference.
BTW, I like chai, English breakfast tea or Earl Grey served over ice.
Take a step up from "hum-drum" Lipton and try Red Rose, it's widely available and much better tasting.
Kelli2006 is right about the brewing process, I would only add if you aren't happy with your tap water you probably won't be happy with your tea.
I second the Red Rose. Its my understanding that its the same tea that sold under the Vesper label back in the 60's-70's.
I, too drink iced tea vs. hot tea. It's a hydration thing, I think. Part of the fun is mixing it up every day, using different kinds of tea from different manufacturers.
kelli2006 brings up a good point about the tannins. Some teas don't ice well because of that. I've had the worst luck with Tazo and with Taylor's of Harrodgate (except for their Yorkshire Gold blend). PG Tips on the other hand seems to be a good iced blend, as does the Red Rose. Also, Aldi's house brand cheap teabags ice well. I've also had good luck with Indian assam, Korean buckwheat tea, and with pu-er from Yunnan province. Even many green teas ice well. You can pick these up at a Cost Plus World Imports.
Republic of Tea has some yummy flavored black tea blends that go well iced. I second the Twinings recommendations as well for either the flavored or the straightahead black tea. I've found that English Breakfast ices well, but Irish Breakfast doesn't.
Red Rose is definitely an improvement over hum-drum Lipton. Lipton Yellow Label from an Indian grocer is an improvement, too, but not necessarily worth the trouble when you can get a good loose Assam instead.
If you want true southern style iced tea, use Luzianne tea bags.
Brewing does make a difference. I use filtered water, brought just to a boil, and make my iced tea fresh every time, pouring it over ice (also made from filtered water).
My advice is to have fun with it. Worst case, your out a few bucks for a box of tea you don't like which you can probably give to a friend. Best case, it's a great adventure in discovery.