1. For almost 150 years Iced Tea was made using green tea. Iced Tea was born in the South in 1795. South Carolina was the first State in the U.S. to grow it and the only State to produce tea commercially.
2- Early green tea was served cold. It was spiked with liquor and packed a punch. So, that’s what they called it- “Punch!”
3-The oldest southern tea punch recipes in print are made with green tea, not black. The oldest sweet iced tea recipe in print comes from a community cookbook called “Housekeeping in Old Virgina” by Marion Cabell Tyree, published in 1879.
4- While iced tea has a Southern accent it was almost 100 years old before it was introduced to the rest of America. In 1893, a concessionaire grossed over $2,000 selling it at the Chicago World’s Fair. It was nine years later at the World’s Fair in St. Louis that iced tea was popularized (not invented).
5-Due to the hot summer of 1904, World’s Fair patrons ignored the usual hot drinks and went in search of cold refreshment, including iced tea.
6- By World War I, (1917) Americans were buying special tall iced tea glasses, long spoons, and lemon forks. By the 1930s, people were commonly referring to the tall goblet in crystal sets as an “iced tea” glass.
7- The American Prohibition (1920-1933) boosted the popularity of iced tea as an alternative to illegal beer, wine and liquor.
8- The change from green to black tea came during World War II due to supply cuts. At the War’s end 99% of Americans had switched to black tea imported from British controlled India.
9-Tea was adopted as the Official Hospitality Beverage by State Bill 3487, Act No. 31 of the 111th Session of the South Carolina General Assembly on April 10, 1995.
10- Outside the South, tea is not commonly sweetened. Most Southern restaurants serve sweetened, iced tea.
Country Star Brad Paisley once tweeted:
‘Attention Los Angeles, adding sugar to iced tea AFTER it is served does not make it sweet tea. It only makes it crunchy tea. Time to learn.’