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Best teas for making iced tea

For the last 40 years I've been a heavy iced tea drinker. My usual brand of tea has been Red Rose although I am happy with regular Lipton, Luzianne, and once in a while Bigelow Earl Grey.

Last summer I was having lunch at a nicer restaurant in the downtown Cleveland mall with a large group of friends. Many of us ordered what the menu called Caribbean Iced. We were all wowed by the unusual flavor of the tea. Looking around you could see the place was selling a ton of the stuff. When we asked the waiter what was in it he confided it was a cheap mango flavored black tea. When I got home to Michigan I found a few places that carried mango flavored tea. I bought a few different brands (it really is pretty cheap), went home, brewed up, and yup, same fantastic iced tea.

That got me experimenting with other teas. My favorite is one I get in Asian markets called Golden Sail Brand Lichee black tea. At $5 for a 1/2 pound red tin can it's inexpensive and utterly delicious.

I'm curious about other teas to try and would appreciate your input!

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  1. I love peppermint tea iced! Trader Joe's Organic Mint Melange is especially great with a hint of lemongrass!

    I also like red hibiscus iced tea.

    1. http://www.adagio.com/rooibos/rooibos...

      Rooibos, or red tea, makes an excellent iced brew. Naturally sweet and unique in flavor. This link to Adagio.com provides quality choices at a very affordable sampler rate. Enjoy!

      4 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        As Hillj said, excellent iced tea. Not a real tea, more of a shrub that is put in its entirety through a fine mulcher to get the product. Has more anti-oxidants than green tea, and no caffeine. Water can sit on the schmutz for a long time and extract more flavor than normal teas as well. While the flavored ones are IMHO OK, the unsullied original is my favorite and can also be gotten in organic form inexpensively at the Head Nut in surburban Philadelphia, large mail order business.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Thanks for the name of a Philly supplier, Deluca but while visiting the Head Nut website, I didn't notice any rooibos tea listed.

          1. re: HillJ

            l am currently in Paris, but after checking the website, called them for you and they have at this minute a blood orange and mexican blend Rooibus, but not plain. Person who could tell me when plain would be there was not in yet. Suggest you call them

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Excellent! I'm heading to Philly 1st weekend in Oct. I'll check.

      2. Teas that tend to be brewed at lower temperatures make excellent ice teas. e.g. white teas like silver needle, or green teas such as sencha or certain jasmine flavoured greens. You can cold brew them simply by putting the appropriate amount of leaves in water and leaving it in the fridge for 8 hours or more.

        2 Replies
        1. re: limster

          Lipton makes "cold brew" iced tea bags which I use for making sun tea. The taste by itself is nothing to write home about, but it is simple to make, and I have had some success by combining this with stronger flavored teas.

          1. re: DonShirer

            Try it with some of the higher quality loose leaf stuff. I put the leaves into a bottle of mineral water, close it and leave that in the fridge.

        2. There's a German Shop called Teegschwendner or Teagschwendner. They have a US branch as well and they are selling great stuff from around the world.

          1. We got iced tea from a nearby Indian restaurant that was subtly chai-spiced. Not at all sweetened, no milk, just iced chai tea. Fantastic!

            I've made it using Tazo Chai tea bags, the usual way. I know Meijer's carrys that brand, possibly some others. If you get down to the Detroit area, Trader Joes carries a chai tea as well.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Sean

                Love Stash's Moroccan Mint Tea! And others of theirs too.

            1. I always use herbal teas. My favorite is a orange honeybush, but I also like vanilla rooibos. I usually forget to sweeten them, but occasionally I stir in some honey as they're cooling. For black teas, I had an excellent blend of regular black tea and chai tea (no milk) that was iced; it was delicious.

              1. I really like Revolution brand teas. Their Tropical Green Tea, White Pear Tea, Dragon Eye Oolong and Golden Flowers Tea are really good.

                The next time you're at the Asian store, you should pick up some Thai tea leaves. It is my favorite tea for iced tea.

                1. We mostly stick with Luzianne as the base, but routinely add two or three tea bags of Twinings Four Red Fruits, Raspberry, Black Current, and other brands of Ginger Peach, Mango, etc. We love experimenting, and have found that unsweetened fruit flavored tea really never needs sugar (although we love a good sweet tea now and then).

                  1. I love Celestial Seasonings "Constant Comet" for iced tea. Very refreshing.

                    1. I love the following teas iced:

                      Twinings Peach
                      Twinings Black Current
                      Twinings Four Red Fruits
                      Red Rose

                      1. My favorite iced tea right now is iced green tea by Yamamotoyama. It's powered and you just add it directly to cold water and stir. I can drink pitchers of this stuff. I prefer the unsweetened kind, but it does come prepared sweetened with cane sugar as well.

                        1. Design-A-Tea (designatea.com) lets you create whatever blend you like with a choice of base (black, rooibos, green and oblong) and 42 flavours (you can pick 2 per tea) as well as herbs that can be added.
                          My faves for iced tea are the cranberry (both black and rooibos), their Plum Lov'en blend (plum and vanilla in rooibos), pineapple&passionfruit in black tea and mango&peach in black tea. They also have iced tea packets (raspberry, herbal, coconut rum, koslanda black and plum lov'en or you can ask for whatever flavour combo you'd prefer) that make a gallon. Mr Design-a-Tea, Brian gives excellent customer service and you can request a free sample before deciding to buy.
                          I also really like Yogi Tea's redbush chai.

                          1. I like jasmine and hibiscus. Lichee-flavored black tea and black tea with rose petals are also pretty good. Thai tea without the milk is great as well.

                            1. We just bought a coffee shop and not being much of an espresso drinker, I've been experimenting with all our teas...My favorite is definitely the Numi Mate Lemon Green Tea with a couple tablespoons of our mango smoothie mix. Really refreshing and delicious!