Refreshing Iced Coffee and Iced Teas

The weather is getting warmer and you’ll be out and about more which means you will need to stay hydrated.  But that also means you’ll by buying something to drink while you’re out.  You don’t just want a bottle of water either, you want something refreshing, maybe even some caffeine?   You will fight the urge to buy a $5.00 specialty coffee or tea drink every time you’re out.

Going to a cafe  is the adult version of getting ice cream in the summer time.  You love the frozen or iced specialty drink from your favorite cafe.  And while it’s fine to treat yourself every once in a while, it can wear on your waist and your wallet.  Here are some ways to recreate some of those beverages at home.  Not only will you save money but you will save the calories when you want to treat yourself to the cafe!

Coffee

If you want iced coffee there is a really simple way to make your own at home.  All you need is a french press and some coarsely ground coffee.  It’s as easy as heating up the water and waiting 5 mins for it to steep.  Or you can cold brew and let it sit over night.  You always want your coffee stronger if you are going to ice it because ice cubes will melt and dilute your coffee.  Here is some information on french presses and an easy to make iced coffee recipe.

French Press

Iced Coffee

It is healthier to not add sugar or syrups but if you’re like me you don’t really like coffee without flavor.  Grab some almond milk instead of creamer to be a little bit healthier and you can buy your favorite syrup flavors if you really want to feel like you have the coffee shop at home.  It will save you money!

Tea

Tea can be a great alternative for those who don’t like coffee and even if you do ❤ COFFEE!   You may want to let a little tea into your life.  Most teas contain a great amount of health benefits:

Boost endurance

Reduce risk of heart attack

Help fight free radicals

Hydrating

Protect the body against ultra violet rays

I prefer loose leaf tea or the sachets.  It tastes a million times better (other than tazo, who is now making sachets!) The quality is apparent.  Here is a breakdown of the different types of tea and what they contribute to your health.

White Tea:

Un-fermented  of the teas, it is one of the most delicate teas to brew.  You need to pay close attention to brewing times and temperatures.  I had a salesperson at Teavanna tell me the second steeping was better with the white tea “Pear Luna” I purchased.  She was right the first steeping even though brewed correctly was dramatically more bitter than the second steeping.

White tea is said to be anti-inflammatory, aids in weight management, fights the effects of aging, aids in bone health, anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities.

It has the least amount of caffeine so it is less likely cause anxiousness or headaches associated with caffeine.

Green Tea:  

Steamed tea leaves creates a Green tea.  Full of anti-oxidants, strengthen bones, improve cholesterol levels, and reduces risk of stroke.  As well as counteracts stress on the brain leading to to neurological disorders.

Oolong:

Partially oxidized leaves is what makes an Oolong.   It reduces conditions such as heart disease, inflammatory disorders, high cholesterol, promotes bone structure, skin and dental health.  Oolong promotes weight loss, acts as a stress reducer and improves mental performance and alertness.   The health benefits are doubled because the leaves are partially oxidized, meaning  it is a combination of green and black tea.

Black Tea:

Fermented tea leaves, protects lungs from smoke, and reduce likelihood of stroke.  Black tea has the highest amount of caffeine but not as much as a cup of coffee.

Here is a chart that shows the caffeine content with each tea.  Keep in mind Herbal teas like peppermint or floral do no contain caffeine since they consist of different types of un-fermented plants.  All of the following teas are derived from the same plant just un-fermented and fermented at different stages.   Herbal teas are the best before bed and a very shortly steeped white tea will aid in sleep as well.

Beverage Caffeine Per 8 oz Cup
White Tea 30-55 mg
Green Tea 35-70 mg
Oolong Tea 50-75 mg
Black Tea 60-90 mg
Coffee 150-200 mg

As wonderful as all of these health benefits are, tea is not a cure to all of these aliments.  As with all things, tea should be consumed in moderation.  The quality of tea you consume and how you brew it affects how your body absorbs the properties.

Here are some articles you can read for yourself if you are interested.  I have read  a great deal about tea being a barista and avid tea drinker.   Barista handbooks, as well as the book “Drink This, Not That” have information about teas, their fermentation and caffeine levels.

13 Reason Tea is Good For You: Time

http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/04/13-reasons-to-love-tea/

How Much Caffeine Is In Tea?: Choice Organic Teas

http://www.choiceorganicteas.com/caffeineintea.php

Types of Tea and Their Health Benefits: WebMD

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea: Organic Facts

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/health-benefits-of-oolong-tea.html

Discover the Delicate Taste and Many Health Benefits of White Tea: The Tea Talk

http://www.theteatalk.com/health-benefits-of-white-tea.html

Now that you are all geared up to make tea at home.  All you need is a tea pitcher and hot water!  I have a tea kettle.  It’s easier to heat and pour than just a pot of water an works great with the french press too.  Teavanna makes an ice tea pitcher that has a screened strainer so the smallest tea leaves will be contained.  My sister loves her iced tea maker.

Iced Tea Pitcher

Iced Tea Maker

The most refreshing summer teas to me are tea-monades.  Which is just a regular brewed iced tea with lemonade added.  Especially since some teas can be bitter, but this can add a lot of sugar.  I try to only add a splash to lightly sweetened tea.  I add a small amount of sweetener, sugar, honey, or agave nectar works.  Just a few teaspoons while the tea is brewing absorbs the best.

You can always go no sugar and add fresh fruit!

Watermelon Green Tea

If you put your iced tea or iced coffee in a cute travel cup they will stay colder longer and you’ll save another cup from the landfills!

Happy iced coffee and tea brewing!

 

Did you find this post helpful?  Share it with your friends!

What is your favorite summer drink?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s