Drinking iced tea is a great way to stay cool, and with humidity levels the way they are (at least around our store), it just might be a necessity. Last time on “Summertime Teas”, we talked about white and green tea, the leaves of which retain most of their natural antioxidants, making them great for hydration.
However, some tea drinkers don’t need the hydrating boost. In fact, the caffeine content of oxidized teas like oolong and black (15-25% of the caffeine found in coffee) is enough to dehydrate you. Avid dark tea enthusiasts can supplement their drink of choice with plenty of water, but still, why would you sacrifice a thirst-quenching white tea for an esoteric, dark one?
Actually, there are a few reasons one might pick an iced oolong or black tea if they’re in a summery mood. Oolong’s dark, leafy flavor may be the cause of its association with more ‘serious’ tea drinkers, so there’s a greater emphasis on tradition in oolong production than most other varieties. Oolongs are hand-picked, naturally oxidized and prepared with age-old techniques. The specific oxidizing process gives oolong leaves their high caffeine content, which speeds up your metabolism, chemically breaks down the food in your stomach, and block fat absorption in your intestines. This makes oolong tea synonymous with weight loss and obesity prevention, but the leaves work best when combined with a healthy, high-fiber diet and plenty of exercise. So the next time you want to take advantage of the weather with a hike or a bike ride, bring along a thermos of oolong!
The orchid-like Buddha’s Favor and robust High Peak are must-haves for health-conscious oolong drinkers. You might also like the roasted flavors of our Toasted Formosa. If you need a fruity kick, however, I recommend Golden Mango (by far our most popular oolong). Mango slices and orange peel mix perfectly with marigold and safflower pedals to brighten up the dark leaves!
Black teas are great for the season, too. Studies have shown that the polyphenols in black tea work to dilate your arteries, increase blood flow to the extremities, and dissolve clots (thus regulating cholesterol levels). This makes black tea great for people who are high risk for heart disease or stroke. Outdoor summer sports like tennis and volleyball are praised for giving athletes a great cardiovascular workout, so compliment those activities with a heart-healthy Assam or Darjeeling (naturally-flavored Indian black teas, although we have plenty of black teas with masala spices, like Golden Autumn and Sweet Apple Chai).
Or perhaps a Chinese black tea is what you crave? The time-tested Lapsang Souchong is always a good idea: a fire-roasted Fujian tea from Wuyi Mountain that picks up a smokey essence from the pine branches burned to cook it, giving it a mesquite, almost barbecue flavor! This author doesn’t leave his house in the morning without a hot cup of Dragon Bubble tea, a malty black tea with rural notes of freshly-pitched hay. For the sunny seasons, however, this tea translates exceptionally well into an iced one!
Whatever your choice for a dark iced tea, the Green Teahouse is here to provide it for you!