Tempting Teas

I very rarely drink soda, so when I go out to eat, I always order iced tea. Here in the south, I order “unsweet tea” since the average sweet tea recipe can contain anywhere from 1/2 cup to two cups of sugar per gallon.

There was a time when tea was an afterthought on many restaurant menus, but statistics now show that it appears on nearly 75% of all menus, according to research firm Datassential’s MenuTrends platform. And, we can’t ignore the purchase of the 300-unit Teavana chain by Starbucks back in November of last year. Tea is definitely getting its moment in the spotlight.

Iced tea offers consumers a healthy beverage choice, and is easily transformed with flavor mix-ins. Some of the most popular flavors of iced tea include raspberry, strawberry, green tea, peach, lemon and mango. I’ve even seen some restaurants stir in syrups normally used for coffee or cocktails. In fact, a quick visit to the Torani site returns more than 100 recipes for teas that integrate blueberry, coconut, cherry, apple, huckleberry, lavender, watermelon and more. The Monin site shares a regularly updated list of the top 10 most popular flavorings for iced tea, which include blackberry, pomegranate and wildberry.

Are you doing something unique with your iced teas? Let us know about it in the comments section.