Tea bag confusion
April 23, 2017 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Company X makes tea bags for regular tea and for iced tea in the same flavor. How are they different? If I don't add ice to the iced tea bag will it be the same as the regular tea bag? If I add ice to the regular tea bag will it taste the same as the iced tea bag?
posted by Aranquis to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There is quite a lot of science in tea bags - depending on how the flavours are put in, they will infuse at different speeds so your tea will taste different depending on how you brew it. This may or may not be magnified at different temperatures - think of how green tea gets bitter with properly boiling water.

So I can't say for sure, but there is a real possibility that the two types of tea bag will brew differently at high and low temperatures.

Incidentally, my aunt is a flavour scientist for twinings in the UK, and she designed my favourite flavoured black tea. She actually hates it because she drinks her tea very weak and with this tea the lemon flavour infuses before the tea does, so if you only infuse for a short time you get mostly lemon. I really like it for exactly the same reason!
posted by kadia_a at 10:41 AM on April 23, 2017 [12 favorites]

My assumption has been that the only difference is that iced tea bags are designed to infuse an entire pitcher, while regular tea bags are meant for a cup. Same stuff, different sizes.

But perhaps not? (Maybe e-mail Company X and ask them?)
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:47 AM on April 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I grew up in a family that consumes Lipton hot and iced tea bags at epic scales for both. My experience is that they are different blends, with the iced tea blend designed to taste best cold and the hot tea blend designed to taste best hot.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:36 PM on April 23, 2017

I love Lipton iced tea bags, but I haven't been able to find it at the store at this beginning of a new iced tea season. I am sitting here drinking a glass of iced tea I made with regular tea bags and hot water, and it tastes a little bitter and is quite cloudy and opaque. I definitely prefer the iced tea bags.
posted by primate moon at 2:42 PM on April 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hmm, dissenting opinion. I brew iced tea by making hot tea at double-strength, adding sweetener when hot, and then diluting it to the proper concentration by adding cold water or ice. You shouldn't find it too bitter, assuming you take the tea bags out at the right time. Having said that, I tend to use herbal or green teas rather than black teas.
posted by cranberrymonger at 7:06 PM on April 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

Some iced tea bags are designed for cold brewing. I've used and like these. I can't say for sure, but they seem to contain a more finely ground(?) tea that infuses room temperature water quickly in a way that a standard tea bag doesn't. Also less apt to get bitter if you let them steep for a long time.
posted by gennessee at 3:26 AM on April 24, 2017

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