The oldest printed recipes for iced tea, date back to the 1870s. The earliest cookbook with iced tea recipe is “Housekeeping in Old Virginia” published in 1877.
Iced tea started to appear in the United States during the 1860s. Seen as a novelty at first, during the 1870s it became quite widespread. Recipes appeared in print, iced tea was offered on hotel menus, and it was on sale at railroad stations. Its popularity rapidly increased after Richard Blechynden introduced it at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
Iced tea's popularity in the United States has led to an addition to standard cutlery sets: the iced teaspoon is a teaspoon with a long handle, suitable for stirring sugar in the tall glasses in which iced tea is usually served. Iced tea is at its most popular in the summer.
It is a common stereotype of the Southeastern United States that due to the popularity of sweet iced tea in the region, unsweetened iced tea is not. It is often the case, however, that the term "iced tea" is assumed by default to mean sweetened iced tea in that region.
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.
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-flavoured bubble teas are popular as well. Sometimes pudding, jelly, or chunks of fruit are put into it instead of tapioca pearls.
Cold tea and Ice tea is usually all-natural served with lemon and honey. Iced tea became popular in the hot summers of the 1990s at the Sunny Beach resort at the cost of Black Sea. Ice tea culture is accompanied by popular modern folklore style of music. During that time, nightlife celebrities made widespread consumption of ice tea mixes with alcohol and delicious cocktails.
Japan is one of the essential 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. Corporations like Suntory, Kirin, and the Coca-Cola Company competing on this segment of the market.
Although not a traditional way to serve tea, iced tea gained widespread popularity in even rural areas since the late 1990s with canned or bottled tea. Many varieties of tea, including green tea, are available packaged and sold in stores. Ice tea market in China is observed that the young generation use a traditional way of making ice tea using organic products in combination with natural sweeteners.
Nestea, Lipton, and Pfanner are the most dominant brands and lemon- and peach-flavored iced teas are the most popular variants. Instant teas are available that can be used to prepare iced tea with cold or hot water which is often called "Krümeltee" (meaning crumb tea or crumble tea) because of the unique appearance.
In 1996 the Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola companies began aggressive targeted marketing campaigns aimed at replacing fresh brewed iced tea in foodservice establishments with the cola companies' tea. In many cases, the cola companies provided a fountain dispenser for the tea concentrate that looked similar to the containers that were used to dispense fresh-brewed tea.
In 2020 the current consumer choice is safety above all, combined with the trends of rising attention towards healthy and natural products. People from all over the world use natural and organic ingredients in self-preparation of delicious and refreshing ice tea.