What’s In Your Iced Tea?

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by Danielle Beaudette

We’ve heard about the numerous health benefits that tea offers. What we may not be aware of is that with the growing number of choices for our favorite summer beverage, many may not live up to these benefits. Preparing your own freshly brewed iced tea is simple, and looking back through history, this has been a long-time trend.

Using loose tea leaves for icing tea has been around since the early 1800s. It was first referred to in the southern states as a tea punch, made primarily from China green tea and the heavy addition of sugar, sweet cream and liquor. In the early 1900s, inexpensive loose black teas from India, Ceylon, South America, and Africa became more widely available, so the choice for black versus green tea became more popular. The practice of adding sweet cream and liquor had all but disappeared, but more often than not, sugar was still a necessity.