Iced Tea vs. Hot Tea: A Comparison of Flavor and Origins

Tea is a popular beverage that has been enjoyed for centuries.

It’s a versatile drink that can be served hot or cold, sweet or unsweetened, and with or without milk.

However, when it comes to choosing between iced tea and hot tea, people have different preferences.

In this article, we’ll compare iced tea and hot tea in terms of temperature, flavor and convenience to help you decide which one is right for you.

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One of the most obvious differences between iced tea and hot tea is the temperature.

Hot tea is typically served at a temperature between 160-185°F (71-85°C), while iced tea is served chilled, usually with ice cubes.

This stark difference in temperature is key to deciding which type of tea you would prefer to drink, especially if you live in a region with alternating seasons. For example, you may find that you prefer hot tea during winter, or iced tea during the summer.


Hot tea is a little more versatile in terms of flavor, as there are countless varieties of hot tea, ranging from classic black tea to herbal tea blends. There are also an endless amount of ways to customize hot tea, such as with steamed milk or honey.

Iced tea, on the other hand, is usually made with black or green tea and sometimes flavored with milk, sugar, and fruit. While iced tea can also be made with herbal tea, it’s not as common.


When it comes to convenience, iced tea is the clear winner. Iced tea can be prepared in advance and even stored in the refrigerator for later use. If you wanted to, you can make a big batch of iced tea and have it ready to drink whenever you want.

Iced tea can also be purchased in bottles or cans, making it easy to grab and go.

Hot tea, on the other hand, requires more time and effort to prepare.

You need to boil water, steep the tea leaves or tea bag, and wait for it to cool down before you can drink it, so it can take a much longer time to consume hot tea in comparison to iced tea.

Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson is the founder and chief editor of the Professional Tea Taster.

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