New Delhi: As summer approaches, get your sunglasses and sunscreen ready because National Iced Tea Month is quickly approaching. When it comes to chilled beverages, iced tea has always been at the top of our list! Tall glasses brimming with natural goodness, a dash of sweetness, and oodles of ice — that’s something we can all relate to!
From being an important part of Southern hospitality to unsweetened black iced tea being served all over the country, iced teas have taken over most restaurants, food trucks, and bars, and are now sold in a variety of forms by major tea brands. To say the least, the rise of cool teas or iced teas has been meteoric! Between 2017 and 2022, global Cool tea consumption increased from 37 to 45 billion litres.
An increasing number of consumers want easy-to-brew, quick, and delicious iced teas that not only provide a sigh of relief in the hot summers but are also increasingly offering more as a healthier beverage in comparison to carbonated drinks. With a conscious shift in consumer preferences, home-grown tea brands are seeing an increase in demand for healthier cool teas that contain natural sugars like stevia, are made from real loose-leaf teas, and can provide a variety of health benefits. So, let’s take a look at the Top Iced Teas that you can enjoy this summer!
Herbal Iced Teas
Herbal iced teas are a great option because they are caffeine-free and contain no “tea” at all. It’s a delectable blend of herbs, spices, flowers and other botanicals. Iced Hibiscus tea, blended with spices and flowers such as chamomile and blue pea cornflower, is a personal favourite. These teas have delectable tart-like flavours and are high in antioxidants. Other Turmeric iced blends to consider include the Turmeric Ginger Iced Tea, which combines the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric with the soothing properties of ginger to help settle indigestion.
Floral Iced Teas
Who doesn’t enjoy flowers? Flower-power is popular in the tea world, where it is used to create delectable concoctions with ambrosial aromas, delectable taste, and a world of good health. Chamomile tea, for example, has excellent calming properties and can also be brewed as an iced tea. To make a flavourful cool tea with flowers, however, you’ll need green tea or black tea in the mix to accentuate the flavours.
Instant Iced Tea Premixes
Most of us want an easy way out, which is where Instant Iced Teas come in! Nestle first introduced instant iced teas in the 1950s, and they have been selling like hot cakes ever since! Instant iced teas are basically ready-made iced tea premixes that are water soluble (usually in powder form). Although traditional instant iced tea premixes were and continue to be popular, people are becoming more aware of the high sugar content that they contain. Some brands have created healthier alternatives that are lower in calories and contain natural sweeteners such as Stevia.
Fruit Iced Teas
Don’t they make you think of hot nights in Copacabana? Or do they whisk you away to the beaches of Hawaii? Then why not bring the magic home with you with fruit iced teas? Any tropical fruit will work wonders for you. Simply select fruits that complement one another. Such as pineapple and orange, lemon and orange, green apple with kiwi, and others. To bring out the flavours in these blends, we recommend brewing them with a tea base that is bold and flavourful, such as black teas. If this seems like too much work, you can opt for ready-made iced tea blends with real fruits and loose-leaf teas. The alluring Tangy Tamarind Iced Tea, which contains a vibrant blend of tamarind, tropical berries, fruit bits, and lemongrass with roasted coconuts, is one of our go-to blends. For those looking for a sprightly punch, try the Mint Passionfruit Iced Tea!
Loose-leaf Iced Teas
It’s all about the experience with tea — steep, brew, and sip! Getting a sense of this is only possible if you use loose-leaf teas rather than premixes. These iced teas, which are usually a blend of various fruits, flowers, tart-like or sweet ingredients, are nothing like the premixed ones. When the loose-leaves are steeped, you can smell each ingredient brewing, and this aroma eventually translates into the flavours when you sip this tea. Apart from lowering cholesterol, loose-leaf teas are much more comforting and are considered by tea connoisseurs to be the purest forms of tea.
Summertime fruits such as oranges, peaches, lemons, and others will satisfy your body’s thirst. This is due to the fact that vitamin-C-rich foods keep you energised and hydrated during the hot weather. As a result, iced teas such as Mint Passion-fruit, Citrus Cooler, and Lemon Basil — all of which help to combat the scorching heat while also promoting a variety of health benefits — have become popular.
(Bala Sarda, Founder & CEO, VAHDAM India)