Pitcher This: These Are the 7 Best Iced Teas

Tea exists on a spectrum, and what you want to sip often comes down to circumstances and what kind of mood you’re in. When it’s hot outside, I crave a deliciously natural sweet tea with lemon. If I’m at 7-Eleven picking up some chips, I want an Arizona iced tea loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. If I’m relaxing at home or having a stressful day, I prefer the calmness of a green tea. The great thing about tea is that it can match your mood, whatever that may be.

For this taste test, we invited Good Mythical Morning’s own Chase Hilt to join us. When it comes to tea, we just want it to be true to what the bottle says. Sweet tea should have the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. Green tea should feel relaxing, herbal, and calm. And lemon tea better taste citrusy. I loved this taste test, as it turned me on to some really great tea companies that I hadn’t heard of. Check out the list below. 

A note: On a trip to Pennsylvania, I happened to try Joe’s peach tea, which came recommended. It was absolutely stunning. However, it’s fairly regional and will not make this list.

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best iced tea

Best of the Best

Gold Peak Sweet Tea

Gold Peak is the gold standard because it’s made with high quality tea leaves and it features a boat load of cane sugar. Much like my personality, Gold Peak’s approach to adding sugar is a lot, but it never crosses the line. Even Chase, who said he has a sensitivity to sugar, agreed this was just the right amount of sweet. Staff writer Jordan Myrick said this tasted like, and I’m paraphrasing, “When Grandma brewed tea too strong and compensated by putting lots of sugar in it.” We happen to love that boldness. Gold Peak is refreshing in all the right ways: It’s tart, bitter, earthy, and delectably sweet, but not fake tasting. Big win.

Credit: Merc / Goldpeakbeverages.com

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best iced tea

Best White Tea

Honest Tea Organic Mango White Tea

This tea is just so refreshing and aromatic. The mango adds an extra layer of fruitiness, and the tea itself is really floral. White tea tastes a lot like honey, and Honest Tea Organic Mango White Tea even has some extra earthy, vegetal notes. It’s got a little less sugar per serving than Gold Peak, but it’s still quite sweet. In addition to tasting great, both the tea and the sugar are fair trade. Personally, I adore this one.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best iced tea

Best for an Arnold Palmer

Tejava Unsweetened Original Black Tea

This is really bitter. If you love coffee, you’ll love Tejava unsweetened tea. It’s heavy on the earthiness, but it still manages to be floral and refreshing. To me, this would make the perfect base for an Arnold Palmer. Tame the bitterness with a citrusy, tart, and sugary lemonade, and relax outside like you haven’t got a care in the world. And if you hate sweetened tea, we think you’ll love Tejava for its pronounced natural flavor.

Credit: Merc/Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best iced tea

Best Green Tea

Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey

This is the tea I end up buying more often than not. I believe Jordan said, “It tastes like smoking your first cigarette under a bridge.” Hilarious. There is something very teenage angst about Arizona green tea. It’s what you buy when you’re high at the corner store. It just pairs so well with 7-Eleven snacks! I also love that Arizona Tea comes in big ol’ tallboys. Hell yeah. Arizona tea is subtle, but the green tea has a refreshingly specific flavor and loads of sugar to back it up. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best iced tea

Best Lemon Tea

Arizona Iced Tea with Lemon

Next in the lineup of back-to-back Arizona products, this tea surprisingly (very surprisingly) tastes like fresh lemons. I expected a big time fake lemon flavor here, but this is bright, citrusy, and a ray of sunshine. I have no clue how they did it. The ingredients are tea, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, and natural lemon flavoring, but it just works, damnit. One big honkin’ can contains 73 grams of sugar. It’s processed, but it’s good. 

Credit: Merc/Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

best iced tea

Best Peach Tea

Lipton Peach Iced Tea

I feel like Snapple’s peach tea has a weird, off-putting aftertaste, whereas Lipton’s is just flat-out refreshing and fruity. The tea flavor is natural and delicious with earthy, floral notes, and the peach flavor adds some great complexity, too. I wish the peach flavor was a bit stronger (and organic), but it’s hard to complain about a tea this delicious.

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best iced tea

Best Relaxing

Ito En Oi Ocha Unsweetened Green Tea

This is a beverage for adults. It’s really bitter, with a lovely, earthy flavor. It’s kind of grassy, but if you’ve had Ito En, you know what you’re getting into. Japanese tea, and the culture surrounding it, is much different from American tea; it’s all about calming, relaxing, herbal flavors and aromas. Ito En is delightfully simple, and if you’re not into ingesting lots of sugar in your drinks, but want something refreshing and comforting, it behooves you to give this a try.

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried: Pure Leaf Sweet Tea, Brisk Iced Tea with Lemon, Milo’s Sweet Tea, Tazo Chamomile Tea, Arizona Southern Style Sweet Tea, Snapple Peach Tea, TeaJava Oolong Tea, Honest Tea Oolong Peach.

Film your own taste test at home and share with us using #SporkedTasteTest for a chance to be featured on our social pages!


About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • Not ranking Milo’s at #1 is blasphemous

    Reply
    • They pass over a lot of good brands on sporked. There is also evidently no record of what other teas were tried? We only get to see the winners of each category? Kinda sus.

      BTW, Peace Tea’s Peach Tea is FAR superior to Lipton in every way (personal opinion).

      Reply
      • bro – look at the bottom of the list. it says what other teas we tried.

        as far as not ranking *your* favorite tea. chill. Milo’s was on our product list. Peace tea is too expensive to source and not available everywhere.

        I wanted Joe’s Peach Tea on the list. But it’s not available everywhere. We try not to rank things that are too regional.

  • Pure leaf unsweetened, ice cold, one can taste the tea, not sugar.

    Reply
  • Sad. I was checking out this website for the first time and thought it was interesting. The first list I opened up was this one, “…Best Iced Teas”. The lack of Milo’s on this list makes the entire list moot. Now I’m questioning all your lists. It’s an egregious omission.

    Reply
    • lmao I see the Milo’s stans/reps have found the article.

      Reply
  • Teas’ Tea Pomegranate Blueberry Green Tea is one of the most delicious drinks I have ever had, to the point I would order them two cases at a time on a…. weekly basis. I recommend!!

    Reply