Best Iced Tea to Drink All Year Long, Temperatures Be Damned

The great thing about the best iced tea is that there’s a type of iced tea out there for any occasion. When it’s hot outside, you can reach for a refreshing iced sweet tea with lemon. If you’re at 7-Eleven picking up some chips, you can grab a massive can of Arizona iced tea loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. If you’re relaxing at home, you can kick back with the calmness of an iced green tea.

When it comes to the best iced teas, we just want it to be true to what the bottle says. Iced sweet tea should have the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. Iced green tea should feel relaxing, herbal, and calm. And iced lemon tea better taste citrusy. Over the course of two taste tests we found some of the best iced tea brands out there—including a few we hadn’t heard of before. Cool off with the best iced tea (or the best ice tea, if you insist).


Ito En Oi Ocha Unsweetened Green Tea

Best Relaxing

Ito En Oi Ocha Unsweetened Green Tea

This is a grown-up iced tea. It’s the best iced green tea for people who are okay with an iced tea that isn’t sweetened and really tastes like actual tea. 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. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best iced peach tea

Best Peach Tea

Lipton Peach Iced Tea

I feel like Snapple’s iced 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. It’s definitely the best peach iced tea we tried. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best iced tea: liquid death grim leafer

Best Low-Cal

Liquid Death Grim Leafer

Flavored with agave and infused with B vitamins, Liquid Death’s totally metal take on iced tea is shockingly just 30 calories for a massive can. If you like Arizona Iced Tea but don’t want the 25 grams of sugar per serving (there are just 6 grams in Liquid Death), this is one of the best iced tea brands for you (it’s also the best of all the Liquid Death flavors out there). It has the same honeyed sweetness as Arizona but with a bit more warmth and earthiness—and a much more hardcore can design. —Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

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arizona iced tea with lemon

Best Lemon Tea

Arizona Iced Tea with Lemon

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. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

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best yerba mate

Best Yerba Mate

Guayaki Yerba Mate Traditional

The best yerba mate we tasted is also the most classic. Sometimes all you need to make the best iced tea is tea, sugar, and a little lemon flavor. Okay, this one also has a touch of rose hips in the mix. It has a yummy, toasted green tea flavor and a honeyed finish (even though it’s sweetened with cane sugar). It has a summery vibe thanks to a hint of citrus zest, as well. And though it packs a good amount of caffeine (140 mg compared to the less than 50 mg in our top pick), it’s gentle.—Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Albertsons

Rating:

8/10

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best iced green tea: arizona iced tea

Best Green Tea

Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey

This is the iced tea I end up buying more often than not. 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. It’s one of the best iced teas and it’s definitely the best Arizona flavor. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

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Tejava Unsweetened Original Black Tea

Best Unsweetened

Tejava Unsweetened Original Black Tea

This unsweetened iced tea is really bitter—in the best way. 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. This is the best unsweetened iced tea brand you can buy. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

milo's extra sweet iced tea

Best Very Sweet

Milo’s Extra Sweet Tea

You all were very angry that we didn’t include Milo’s on our list when we first published our ranking of the best iced teas, but we simply didn’t love the original Milo’s iced tea. The extra sweet version, on the other hand? It’s great. It really is extra sweet. So, if you are a super fan of Southern-style sweet tea, this is definitely the best iced tea brand for you. Sporked’s managing editor, Gwynedd Stuart, used to work at an Applebee’s in Florida and said this is exactly how sweet they would make their iced tea and people would guzzle it down. If it’s good enough for thirsty Floridians, it’s good enough for you. Personally, I would add a squeeze of lemon, just to cut the sweetness a little. —Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Honest Tea Organic Mango White Tea

Best White Tea

Honest Tea Organic Mango White Tea

This iced 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 our number one best store bought iced tea pick, but it’s still quite sweet. In addition to tasting great, both the tea and the sugar are fair trade. Personally, I adore this iced tea. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best iced tea

Best of the Best

Gold Peak Sweet Tea

Gold Peak is the best iced tea brand (one might even say it’s 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. Senior 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 iced tea is refreshing in all the right ways: It’s tart, bitter, earthy, and delectably sweet, but not fake tasting. Big win and definitely the best bottled iced tea to always have in your fridge (we do). — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Merc / Goldpeakbeverages.com

Rating:

9.5/10

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, Shaka Pineapple Mint, Shaka Mango Hibiscus, Milo’s Zero Calorie Sweet Tea


About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

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  • I live in the UK, and I am always gutted that I have little to no access to most of the brands on your lists. The only wildly available brand of Iced Tea in the UK is Lipton Lemon, and even that is not available in most stores. [You can usually get Arizona (my personal favourite, The Arnold Palmer half & half specifically) at American Sweet shoppes, but they are marked up at a ridiculous price due to the import.

    Reply
  • I am a little sad that red diamond didn’t make the testing pool, but I completely understand that you can’t try everything.

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

    Reply
  • Not ranking Milo’s at #1 is blasphemous

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    • 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.

    • Milo’s is excellent and I LOVE their extra sweet tea. My favorite tea out there. Drinking it as I type this.

      Reply