The history of tea dates back to ancient China, almost 5,000 years ago. According to legend, in 2732 B.C. Emperor Shen Nung discovered tea when leaves from a wild tree blew into his pot of boiling water. He was immediately interested in the pleasant scent of the resulting brew and drank some.
Richard Belchynden, an American merchant, is often given credit for inventing iced tea at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. He was sampling and selling hot tea at his fair booth, but few fair-goers were in the market for hot beverages in the intense summer heat. So, he added ice to the steeped tea and voila!