​Let's raise a glass to iced tea

Sweet praise for sweet tea 04:37

As refreshing as a tall glass of ice tea might be, not all teas are created equal. Martha Teichner joins us for tea:

Did you know that 85 percent of all the tea consumed in the United States is iced? Or that Americans drink more than three billion gallons of iced tea a year? Or that in 2014, we spent $5 billion on the canned and bottled stuff?

And then there's the matter of whether Summerville, S.C., a half-hour up the Interstate from Charleston, really is the birthplace of sweet tea (often referred to as "the table wine of the South")?

"You can use a Mason jar for anything, but we especially use it for our iced tea," said Tina Zimmerman, Summerville's director of tourism.

Americans drink more than three billion gallons of iced tea a year. And it must be in a Mason jar. CBS News

Do they ever!

On June 10 -- National Iced Tea Day -- the city set the Guinness Record for the world's largest sweet tea, in a really large cup.

"From the tip of that straw to the base is about 12 feet," said Summerville Mayor Bill Collins. "And it was filled with 1,425 gallons of sweet tea."

How sweet? "We only used about 1,600 pounds of sugar," said Collins.

[Watch CBS Affiliate WCSC explain how they did it.]

The Guinness World Record holder for largest sweet tea. CBS News

"You're a politician -- convince me that Summerville is the birthplace of sweet tea," said Teichner.

"You said I was a politician. You have to trust me. Would I lie to you?" Collins laughed.

What is absolutely true is that the first commercial tea farm in the United States was in Summerville, in operation from 1888 until 1915.