This is the time of year when we start bringing up air conditioners from the basement, leaving windows open, digging around the garage for old fans- pretty much doing anything we can to stay cool. Well folks, I’m here to help by presenting you with some suggestions for thirst-quenching summer teas!
There’s a lot of ground to cover, so I’ll be breaking up the article into manageable installments for your benefit. So, without further ado, I present issue #1 on my 2-part series of Summertime Teas!
First up is white tea: This type of tea is naturally hydrating due to its minimal caffeine content. White tea leaves are also light in flavor, and provide a perfect base for fruity melanges like Sweet Watermelon and Pink Cherry Cider. That’s why my first summertime recommendation goes to Blueberry Silver white tea; not only does it contain a delicious mix of berries, but it’s also made with rooibos, a South African herbal tea known for its anti-inflammatory properties (Rooibos makes great migraine relief tea, so if you suffer from seasonal allergies and find yourself congested, this is the tea for you!) White tea’s natural bouquet makes it great for mixing with herbal teas like Gentle Sleep (chamomile) and Sweet Awareness (basil, clove).
One type of herbal tea that’s a must for staying cool is Peppermint, which is why my second recommendation goes to Caramel Mint, a delicious and filling white tea that’s made with caramel pieces and peppermint. The mint and white tea combine to make a hydrating one-two punch, and the caramel flavor makes it great for kids who might not otherwise be big tea drinkers!
Next is green tea: Green tea can be very temperamental, and with more green tea grown in its natural, unflavored state, you might not often think of it as particularly tasty when iced. However, the subtle flavor behind our Spring Rain or Gunpowder tea doesn’t demand any sweetening, and a healthy iced alternative to the fruitier drinks can be its own reward. If you crave a zestier blend, however, this author recommends Sweet Citron (lemon-lime), a must-have for fans of citrus drinks. Sweet Citron contains tons of vitamin C, which is great for your immune system and skin. This makes a great alternative to lemonade; just make a pitcher for your next barbecue and tell us it doesn’t work just as good, or better!
If you need your fruity fix and citrus doesn’t appeal to you, this author suggests Maiden’s Smile, a raspberry-flavored green tea can be a sweet, refreshing beverage any time of year. Raspberries contain powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which help fight off infections by limiting bacterial and fungal growth in the body. Mix in some aforementioned mint for a powerful decongestant (see Raspberry Mint). If you have a summer cold, this could be your next venture into the wonderful world of tea!
The antioxidant level found in loose white and green tea far exceeds the flavonoid count in your typical store-bought blend, so to really take advantage of their health properties, BUY LOOSE! You can pick up any of the fine teas discussed today at The Green Teahouse at 40-42 Isham Rd. In West Hartford, CT, or check them out online at thegreenteahouse.com!
Next time on our Summertime Teas series, “Part 2 of 2: Oolong and Black Tea”. See you then!