Summertime doesn’t alter my morning tea ritual at all. A hot cup of jasmine green or pu’erh tea in the morning makes me feel energized and focused for the day. The warmth is comforting and centers me as I write blog posts or check emails before heading off to the gym.
On a hot afternoon, however, I do occasionally want a nice glass of iced tea. Just like the tea I drink hot, not just any iced tea will do. I definitely steer clear of the local favorite – sweet tea! Iced tea, like hot tea, should be a healthy alternative to water not a way to drink extra calories. It’s okay to partake liberally of this refreshing summer treat as long as you do it smartly.
- Bottled iced tea can be a good grab and go choice (especially if it’s replacing soda!) but always read the label. Most have added sugar (thus calories) so look for those that say unsweetened or are calorie free. As with all tea, go for quality. Skip the Lipton and try brands like Honest Tea or Republic of Tea.
- When ordering iced tea in a restaurant specify unsweetened. Sweet is often the default. My favorite place to order iced tea is Starbucks. I love the shaken green iced tea but you have to ask for the unsweetened version. Otherwise a venti is 120 calories. Skip the iced chai latte too. The are full of calories that come mostly from sugar. Want the Starbucks taste at home? Try the Tazo Zen blend made just for iced tea.
- Make your own iced tea from regular loose leafed tea at home to reap the most health benefits . One of my favorite recipes is from Samovar Tea. Cold brewing their Pineapple Coconut Oolong takes a little extra time but it is well worth it. Or you can make an easy “shaken” green iced tea with a cocktail shaker! Brew your green tea stronger than normal then shake over ice. Pour over ice to serve.
How do you do tea in the summer? Do you have a special blend you enjoy hot and iced?