Little Yellow Teapot Reports: A Revisit to Teas Served Chilled on Iced Tea Day

Happy Iced Tea Day! Your fave little teapot here, presenting 50 teas that my humans and I have tried chilled over the years. (You could also prepare them as iced tea and get similar results.)

Iced tea is not chilled tea is not cold infused tea. Never fear, your little teapot buddy is here to explain the difference. And over the years my humans have been guinea pigs trying a multitude of teas served cold.

Iced Tea vs. Chilled Tea vs. Cold Infused Tea

The difference is pretty simple:

  • Iced tea – extra strong tea steeped in hot water and poured over ice in a heatproof pitcher.
  • Chilled tea – regular strength tea steeped using hot water, let cool to room temperature, and then put in refrigerator overnight.
  • Cold infused tea – regular strength tea infused in cold water in the refrigerator (generally speaking).

A Few Tips About Chilled/Iced Tea

Time for this little teapot to set the record straight on a few points:

  • Clarity in iced or chilled tea is not a trait to use when judging a chilled tea’s quality. What matters is the taste and, to a lesser extent depending on the sensitivity of your “sniffer,” the aroma.
  • When chilling a tea for the first time, try it unsweetened. You can then gauge for the next round how much, if any, sweetener is needed.
  • If you want sweetener in the tea, add it while the tea is hot after steeping.
  • Good sweeteners to use: agave, artificial sweetener, pure cane sugar, honey.
  • Adding ice to tea requires the tea to be steeped stronger than usual to balance out the dilution when the ice melts, giving you greater risk of bitterness.
  • Let the hot tea sit on the counter and come to about room temperature, then put it in the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight. It may get cloudy but will still taste wonderful.
  • Teas blended with fruits seem to make some of the best tasting cold drinks. They are often already sweet enough from the fruit that no additional sweetener is needed.
  • Teas with a floral flavor profile or with flower petals added can be bitter. Sadly, the practice of adding things like cornflower petals is becoming common despite this bitterness. I think most of you humans blame the tea.

On to the teas. There are so many, that I broke them down by type. Some were great, others so-so, and quite a few total duds.

Green, White, & Oolong Teas

These teas tend to have light flavors, but they can make excellent chilled teas, with no bitterness (click each photo to see details – if no details showing, please let me know since WordPress is dropping them, usually off of last image in each group):

Black Teas

Black tea is the traditional kind to use for iced tea, chilled tea, and sweet tea (that syrupy Southern confection in a glass). Adding fruit flavors just enhances the experience. Click each photo to see details (if no details showing, please let me know since WordPress is dropping them, usually off of last image in each group):

Take your pick, humans, and have a very cool Summer! TOOOT!

© 2016-2020 A.C. Cargill photos and text

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