A popular, top-selling brew for good reason – it has a taste consumers love and comes in varieties to suit almost any preference.
Brewed from real leaves prior to bottling for balanced flavor. No artificial sweeteners or colors. Available in several flavor options including lemon, raspberry, sweetened, and unsweetened.
A few repeat customers complain of batches with off flavor. Sweetened flavor may be too sweet for some customers.
If you're thirsty for something traditional and home-brewed, Luzianne is both flavorful and affordable. A favorite for generations.
Classic bags by a longtime popular brand. Blended to produce excellent, traditional flavor. Well priced, as there are enough bags to make several gallons. Comes in several varieties.
Some packs had flavor that seemed stale. Leaves can spill out of the bags during brewing, and end up in the drink.
Brewed with organic ingredients and pleasant flavors that will appeal to most drinkers.
Made with leaves that are produced through fair trade methods. Comes in several flavors that have pleasant taste without being overly sweet. Ingredients are natural and organic.
Some repeat customers note that the product in some cases had a strange flavor that wasn't typical of the brand.
Consider this sugar-free brew if you’re looking to cut down on your calories without compromising on taste and flavor.
Made with hand-picked leaves. Contains no calories, sweeteners, or preservatives. Comes in BPA-free and recyclable pet bottles. Available in a variety of flavors including peach, lemon, pineapple, and raspberry.
Some customers found the fruit flavors to be too subtle. A few reports of bottles being difficult to open.
Trendy flavors with organic tea in glass bottles. This pricey iced tea isn't for everyone, but it appeals to consumers who prefer out-of-the-ordinary blends similar to those found in tea houses.
Organic with few ingredients and no artificial sweeteners or colors. Comes in glass bottles that consumers say don't interfere with the flavor. Available in several unique flavor blends.
Priciest option on our shortlist. Tea flavor is on the mild side, which may not appeal to dedicated tea drinkers.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
There is nothing more refreshing than a tall glass of iced tea on a hot day. Iced tea aficionados know this cold beverage is enjoyable all year round, whether you drink it with meals or between to keep your energy going. Traditionally, iced teas are brewed from caffeinated black tea. These days, iced teas are made with everything from green tea to herbal, from flavored caffeinated teas to decaffeinated black teas.
Iced teas also come in different forms, including ready-to-drink bottles or powders you mix with water. Some tea bags are even specifically designed to be brewed for iced tea. Be aware that iced teas may be unsweetened, or sweetened with sugar or sugar alternatives.
With the wide variety of iced teas on the market, it can be hard to know which to choose. This is why we’ve simplified the shopping process. You can also keep reading for everything you need to know about how to choose the right iced tea for you.
Black and green tea leaves used for iced teas contain caffeine, though green tea less so. The caffeine content of a glass of iced tea depends on various factors: the amount of tea bags used, the amount of water and ice added, the type of tea used (black or green), and the steeping time (the longer you steep, the stronger the caffeine kick). The caffeine content of iced teas can vary widely from brand to brand, anywhere from 5 to 48 mg.
A typical eight-ounce glass of black iced tea will contain 47 mg of caffeine. For people with caffeine sensitivities or who don’t care for the jitters, opt for an iced tea made from decaffeinated tea, which will have a fraction of that amount — around 2 mg.
Interestingly, both green and black teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, but differ in how they are prepared. Black tea is fermented — exposed to air which browns the leaves. Green tea is pan-fried to avoid fermentation and is much lighter in color.
This also contributes to the difference in taste and caffeine content. Green tea has less caffeine than black tea, around 25 to 35 mg. Some taste buds prefer the more robust, intense taste of black tea in their iced beverage, while others like the lighter taste of iced green tea.
Herbal iced teas contain zero caffeine. While they may not be considered “iced tea” by strict connoisseurs of the beverage, there are many iced teas made from herbal tea, like hibiscus and passionfruit, to name a few. These can be thirst-quenching on a hot day without giving you a caffeine buzz. Kids may also safely enjoy the fruity flavors.
Unsweetened iced teas contain no sugar or artificial sweeteners. They can be quite bitter to the taste, especially black iced teas. They typically don’t have any calories and are a healthy choice, especially if you’re diabetic.
Sweetened iced teas are sweetened with sugar or cane sugar. Other forms of sweeteners include honey or stevia. Sweetened iced teas have more calories than unsweetened varieties, unless they are sweetened by stevia or artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which are both sugar-free, zero-calorie alternatives.
Flavored iced teas run the gamut of flavors, including lemon, mint, blackberry, and pretty much any fruit flavor you can imagine. Often these are syrup-based flavorings, so check the label’s sugar content if you’re watching your carb or sugar intake.
Organic iced teas use tea leaves that have not been exposed to pesticides and other agricultural chemicals which can be harmful to your health. These are conveniently labeled with a USDA organic certification.
Fair trade iced teas follow standards that ensure workers harvesting the tea leaves are paid fair wages, work in safe conditions, and can contribute to their communities. Tea is often grown in developing nations where competition in the global marketplace can lead to unfair practices.
Powdered mixes are the lowest-priced iced teas available. They start at $8.50 and go up to $15 containers that yield 38 quarts of iced teas. Packets can run as little as $2.50, yielding six 2-quart pitchers of iced tea.
Bottled iced teas are most cost-effective when bought in a pack. A pack of 12 ranges between $9 and $15. Organic bottled iced teas are $20 per case of 12. Individually, store-bought bottled iced tea costs between $1.50 and $3.50, with organic and fair trade options on the higher end of this range.
Concentrates of iced tea come at a higher price point of $15 to $24 per bottle or box of packets, but keep in mind, these can yield up to 32 gallons of iced tea.
A. Sweet tea is the most common type of iced tea in the Southern region of the United States. It is black tea brewed very strong with a large amount of sugar added while the tea is still hot. This mixture is diluted with water and cooled, then served over ice. If you order “iced tea” in the South, it’ll likely be sweet tea, whereas if you order iced tea in other regions of the U.S. it’ll be the unsweetened variety. If you want to order plain iced tea in the South, you may have to specify “unsweet tea.”
A. Yes, but be aware they have a diuretic effect, increasing the need to urinate. The myth that caffeine is dehydrating has been debunked, and caffeinated drinks can be part of your daily fluid intake. However, water is still your best option when it comes to staying hydrated, so be sure to drink plenty of it.
A. Granted, if you’re choosing an unsweetened variety, both black and green iced teas have health benefits. They both contain flavonoids (a subgroup of antioxidants called polyphenols) that can protect your heart. Green tea contains a higher amount of the flavonoid EGCG, where black tea is a better source of theaflavins. Both contain caffeine which boosts alertness, focus, and mood; iced black teas contain more of this nervous system stimulant. They both also contain L-theanine, an amino acid coffee lacks, that enhances a calm, relaxed state. In a nutshell, both tea varieties offer commensurate if not identical benefits.
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