Iced tea

Iced tea with lemon

Iced tea (or ice tea;[1]) is a form of cold tea. Though usually served in a glass with ice, it can refer to any tea that has been chilled or cooled. It may be sweetened with sugar, syrup and/or apple slices. Iced tea is also a popular packaged drink. It can be mixed with flavored syrup, with multiple common flavors including lemon, raspberry, lime, passion fruit, peach, orange, strawberry, and cherry. While most iced teas get their flavor from tea leaves (Camellia sinensis), herbal teas are sometimes served cold and referred to as iced tea. Iced tea is sometimes made by a particularly long steeping of tea leaves at lower temperature (one hour in the sun versus 5 minutes at 180–212 °F/80–100 °C). This is known as sun tea.

Cultural variations


Iced tea is popular in Austria and is commonly known as Eistee (ice tea); it is usually drunk heavily sweetened. Pfanner and Rauch are two of the most popular manufacturers.

Belgium and the Netherlands

In Belgium, the Netherlands (ijsthee), and other parts of Europe, "Ice-Tea" is the brand name of a carbonated variety of iced tea marketed by Lipton since 1978. They also market other non-carbonated iced teas under the "Ice Tea" brand.


In Brazil, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most popular beverages is mate or chá mate. Unlike the Argentinian or gaucho mate (also known as chimarrão), the carioca rendering is consumed iced and sweetened. A preferred flavouring is lime juice (not lemon), referred in Rio as "mate com limão". It is a part of the local beach culture, where it is sold by walking vendors in portable coolers. Mate dried leaves can be bought in supermarkets to be made at home. The most popular brand is Leão, originally from Paraná, and later acquired by The Coca-Cola Company. It is generally left overnight at the refrigerator. Leão also markets mate as a non-carbonated soft drink.


A glass of Canadian iced tea, made from concentrate and served with ice

In Canada, iced tea refers to sweetened iced tea, flavoured with lemon. The iced tea is usually made at home from drink powder or obtained in bottles or cans. Sweetened green teas and those flavoured with raspberry, peach, or pomegranate are becoming more common via marketing efforts. Sweetened iced tea is often served as an alternative to other soft drinks, prepared by companies like Lipton, Arizona, Nestlé (Nestea) and Brisk. Water, sugar and flavourings may exceed tea in quantity in these drinks. Many health food and specialty stores carry iced tea made of whole leaf tea without additives. Fresh-brewed iced tea is also popular, particularly in smaller independently owned restaurants. Powdered or frozen iced tea is a common preparation at home, due to its ease of use.


Although not a traditional way to serve tea, iced tea gained widespread popularity in even rural areas since the late 1980s with canned or bottled tea. Many varieties of tea, including green tea, are available packaged and sold in stores. Many families make their own iced tea by either putting lots of ice in a small amount of strong hot tea or by putting hot tea in a fridge for some time. Common types of iced tea are black, green, oolong (烏龍茶), and lots of herbals as well. Iced herbal teas are especially popular in the hot summers, where "yin"(陰)or cooling herbs are used to make tea such as chrysanthemum, kuding tea (苦丁茶), etc. Cooled tea (but still warm) was popular throughout ancient times. Refrigerated tea was only available to those politically connected to the Communist Party. The introduction of limited capitalism and the opening markets in the 1990s made refrigeration available to the general population for the first time. China’s refrigerator-ownership increased to 95 percent from just 7 percent of urban families in the years from 1997 to 2009. [2]


Iced tea is sold in 7-Eleven stores and supermarkets.


Nestea, Lipton and Pfanner are the most dominant brands and lemon- and peach-flavored iced teas are the most popular variants. Lipton offers a number of non-carbonated iced teas under the "Ice Tea" brand and the carbonated variety under the brand "Ice Tea Sparkling". Iced tea is also available in many restaurants and cafés. Half-sweetened iced tea (i.e. 50 g/l sugar compared to the 100 g/l found in soft drinks) is available in most big supermarkets, mainly "Lipton Green". Instant teas are available that can be used to prepare iced tea with cold or hot water which are often called "Krümeltee" (meaning crumb tea or crumble tea) because of the special appearance.


Ice tea in Greece is primarily either lemon or peach flavor. Most dominant brands are Lipton, Fuze Tea, Arizona, Nestea, and Life Tsai. Lately, new flavors have appeared but have not reached the popularity of lemon and peach, though varieties of these exist such as no sugar or with green tea with the above flavorings. Sparkling Ice Tea is almost non-existent, but there is powdered Ice Tea available in supermarkets. Ice Tea not concerning the brand, is readily available in most restaurants, usually served with ice and a lemon slice (regardless of being lemon or peach) In addition to the classical Ice Tea, there also exists canned cold mountain tea branded by a different company called tuvunu (greek: τού βουνού) meaning "of the mountain". This variant is currently less popular, possibly due to its recent entry to the market. Overall, Ice Tea is one of the most popular non-alcoholic beverages in Greece in the top three with cola and orange juice.

Hong Kong

Iced lemon tea is available at many Hong Kong restaurants. A strong black tea (e.g., Ceylon) is brewed at length in a metal pot over a burner and prepared as follows: a large glass is filled with ice, a scoop of simple syrup is added (if desired), and the glass is filled to the top with hot tea. Slices of lemon are placed atop the mixture, which are then muddled into the tea by the customer, ensuring that the volatile oils present in the lemon peel are at their peak when consumed.

In dessert parlors (such as "Quickly"), iced green tea is often available (usually flavored with jasmine blossoms), with and without tapioca pearls, as is Hong Kong milk tea (usually served warm in cafes, but poured over ice when served with tapioca, creating a very creamy iced tea).


Iced tea is a common drink in India, found at most restaurants, hotels and malls. The most popular form of iced tea in India is ginger lemon iced tea or lemon iced tea. Other kinds are rather uncommon, though peach iced tea is quite popular. Brands of iced tea include Lipton and Nestlé, which have become affiliated with the same.


Iced tea can be found at some of the restaurants, cafes in Nepal. Mainly it can be found around tourist area such as Boudhanath area, Thamel and some other major malls. Some variations are lemon, green mint, peach, etc.


Iced tea as served with Indonesian food

Iced tea is a popular drink in Indonesia. It is served in a vast majority of foodservice businesses, ranging from street hawkers and traditional food corners to high-end restaurants. Iced tea is sweetened; it is known as "es teh manis" and is served with a meal. Bottled brands include Sosro and Lipton.


Iced tea is a popular drink in Italy and is widely available, generally only in lemon- and peach-flavored incarnations. Estathé and Lipton are well-known brands.


Japan is one of the most important iced tea markets in the world, with iced tea in bottles and cans a common sight in the country's ubiquitous vending machines. Japanese iced tea products mirror the market for hot tea in the sense that they are mostly green tea and oolong products, usually unflavoured and mostly unsweetened. Suntory, Kirin, and the Coca-Cola Company are some of the largest producers. Lipton, the world's largest tea brand, offers a range of iced tea products based on black tea through joint ventures with two local partners, Suntory and Morinaga. Black tea products are sweetened with sugar and come in a variety of flavors, including lemon, peach and unflavored. Milk tea is another flavor of black tea that is particular to the Japanese market. Kirin Beverage also offers a few carbonated black tea products.

Japanese-style products rather than the Western-style products are penetrating the markets of East Asia. Several Japanese companies have started exporting their products to Europe and North America, in particular Ito En, which markets a whole range of Japanese-style unsweetened green and oolong teas in the USA.


Iced tea is very popular in Malaysia and is sold in most restaurants and grocery stores. The two most common types of tea are plain Chinese iced tea (teh o' ais) and iced lime tea (teh o' ais limau). Both varieties can be bought at most coffee shops and restaurants and are usually made by the outlet, though canned and bottle iced lemon tea is readily available at grocery stores. Popular brands of iced lemon tea are Lipton, Nestea, and F&N Seasons as well F&N iced tea of Oishi.


A lemon flavored iced tea in Manila.

Iced tea is served in many bars, restaurants, grocery stores, schools and fast food outlets as an alternative to carbonated soda. In most areas, the Nestea brand is the most popular. It is available in powdered form as well as in cans and bottles. Iced tea in the Philippines is almost always sweet, with a slight lemon flavor.

The most common variations are lemon and calamansi iced teas. There are some brands that offer bottled iced tea.


Iced tea has been a popular drink in Portugal since the early 1990s. It is sold in cans and bottles found in bars, restaurants, grocery stores and supermarkets. Lipton Ice Tea, Nestea and Frutea are the leading brands. The most common types of iced tea sold in Portugal are lemon, peach or mango flavoured.

Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria

Although not produced traditionally (tea is usually served hot, with lemon and sugar/honey), iced tea became popular in these countries following the fall of the Eastern bloc in 1989–1990. Iced tea is mainly available in shops, being sold by companies such as Lipton and Nestea.


Iced tea is widely drank both in bottled and tea bag version, (Nestea and Lipton are the most common in supermarkets.) although it is not severed traditionally where tea is hot, it is still the most known tea and is well like by most.

South Africa

Iced tea has recently[when?] become popular in South Africa and is widely available in cafes and retail outlets countrywide. Nestea, Lipton, Manhattan and Fuze Tea are the most popular brands, in addition to the South African brand BOS, which uses rooibos sourced locally from the Western Cape.[3]

South Korea

Cold tea (usually without ice) is popular during the summer months in South Korea. Common varieties include corn, barley, and green tea. Bottled iced tea is found in nearly all grocery and convenience stores.


The two dominating brands are Lipton and Nestea—the two best-selling flavors are lemon and peach.[citation needed] Iced tea is also sold in grocery stores and some restaurants.


Mass-produced iced teas such as Nestea (Nestlé), Migros Ice Tea and Lipton are popular refreshments, while fresh-brewed iced teas are seldom found outside the home. Iced herbal teas, typically dominated by peppermint, are readily available, as are flavored black teas. It is typically labeled as "ice tea".

Switzerland is considered as the motherland of bottled iced tea. Ruedi Bärlocher and Martin Sprenger, two employees of the Swiss Bischofszell beverage company, had tried the famous American iced tea and first suggested to produce ready-made iced tea in bottles. In 1983 Bischofszell Food Ltd. became the first producer in the world of bottled ice tea on an industrial scale.[4][5]


Bubble tea is usually a strong black tea, sweetened with sugar and condensed milk. It is served cold usually with tapioca pearls. There are many variations of it, with different types of teas; fruit-flavored bubble teas are popular as well. Sometimes pudding, jelly, or chunks of fruit are put into it instead of tapioca pearls.


A glass of Thai tea

Thai iced tea or cha yen (Thai: ชาเย็น) in Thailand is a drink made from strongly brewed black tea. It is sweetened with sugar and condensed milk and served chilled. Evaporated milk, coconut milk or whole milk is generally poured over the tea and ice before serving to add taste and creamy appearance. However, in Thailand, condensed milk and sugar are mixed with the tea before it is poured over ice and then topped with evaporated milk. In Thai restaurants worldwide, it is served in a tall glass, though in Thailand it is more typically poured over the crushed ice in a clear (or translucent) plastic cup. It can be made into a frappé at more westernised vendors.[citation needed]

Additional variations include:

  • Dark Thai iced tea (Thai: ชาดำเย็น, cha dam yen): Thai tea served chilled with no milk content and sweetened with sugar only. The concept is based on traditional Indian tea, which is used as the main ingredient.
  • Lime Thai tea (Thai: ชามะนาว, cha manao): Similar to dark Thai iced tea but flavoured with lime as well as sweetened with sugar. Mint may be added.


In a traditional tea-drinking country such as Turkey, with its own tea and tea culture, iced tea became popular when Lipton introduced it in the 2000s. Iced teas are a popular alternative to soft drinks. Lipton and Nestea were the two major brands until 2012, when the contract between Coca Cola İçecek A.Ş. and Nestea expired. Coca Cola replaced Nestea with its Fuze Beverage brand, but due to the word füze meaning "missile" in Turkish, the name used for the Turkish market is Fuse Tea.[citation needed] The national tea company Çaykur is in the market with its iced tea brand 'Didi'.[6]

United Kingdom

Although iced tea is not as widely consumed in the United Kingdom as the rest of Europe, the drink became more popular in the 2000s.[7] Lipton sold their carbonated iced tea, similar to the one sold in Belgium, in the 1990s. Recently,[when?] Lipton has returned to general sale of non-carbonated tea, quickly followed by Nestea and Twinings.

United States

In the United States, iced tea makes up about 85%[8] of all tea consumed and is very popular as an alternative to carbonated soft drinks, especially as a characteristic beverage of the American South. It is ubiquitous in grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, vending machines, and soda fountains. It may be freshly made on premises or available in bottles and cans, and at self-serve soda fountains. Restaurants typically give the customer the choice of sweetened or unsweetened.


In Vietnam, iced tea is often served free in coffee shops and some restaurants while the customer is deciding what to order.[citation needed]

Other Languages
العربية: شاي مثلج
asturianu: Té xelao
azərbaycanca: Buzlu çay
башҡортса: Һалҡын сәй
català: Te gelat
dansk: Iste
Deutsch: Eistee
español: Té helado
euskara: Te izoztu
فارسی: یخ‌چای
français: Thé glacé
galego: Té xeado
한국어: 냉차
հայերեն: Սառը թեյ
Bahasa Indonesia: Es teh
íslenska: Íste
italiano: Tè freddo
Bahasa Melayu: Teh ais
Nederlands: IJsthee
norsk: Iste
português: Chá gelado
русский: Холодный чай
Simple English: Iced tea
српски / srpski: Ледени чај
suomi: Jäätee
svenska: Iste
Türkçe: Buzlu çay
українська: Холодний чай
Tiếng Việt: Trà đá
粵語: 凍茶
中文: 冰茶