Ice, ice baby: Cool tea to beat the heat

I’ve had this post ready for a while now, but where I live, it’s been an unusually rainy and overcast summer and so we haven’t had the scorching temps that we usually have (my apologies to those of you who have experienced that extreme heat). But it’s still plenty warm, so keeping cool can be as close as your teapot or pitcher.

It’s hard for me to drink hot tea in the summer unless I’m in a chilly office or home, so iced is the way to go. When that’s not practical, I find that even if I can just cool it down to lukewarm, I can swing it — just as long as it’s not hot enough to heat ME up.

tea 2Since it seems I’m consuming a bit less tea in hot weather, I tend to go for the most nutritional bang for my buck when I do drink it. So I opt for white, green and rooibos (red).

Some of the ones I’m enjoying this summer:

Strawberry Kiwi from the Georgia Tea Company. This offers a nice punch of flavor. I add some of their Pai Mu Tan white tea leaves to the infuser; it ups the antioxidant power of the tea and doesn’t affect its flavor. It’s a good one for kids as they like its fruity flavor and cheery red hue. Kind of like Kool-Aid but way more healthful for them. One thing I love about this company is that they sell samples of their tea, so you can try a number of different varieties without breaking the bank.

Green Mango Peach from Tea Forte. I enjoy this tea equally well hot and iced and have been drinking it now for close to a year. My DH seems to be quite fond of this, so I make it often to try to get more green tea in his diet. During the summer, I’ve been brewing 12 to 16 ounces in the evening and letting it chill overnight. Then he can take it in a big travel mug and drink it on his commute to work.

Ultimate Green from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea. This lightly citrus green tea also contains matcha and white tea, giving it an extra antioxidant boost. Its taste is fairly subtle, so one of these days I think I’ll experiment and mix it with something compatible that has a bigger pop of flavor.

Moroccan Mint from the Georgia Tea Company. I’ve been grooving on this green for some time now. It’s perfect for an after-dinner drink, especially if you’ve indulged a bit too much at the table. And it’s quite lovely iced, very refreshing and satisfying. It makes for a nice change from mint black tea and has less caffeine and more antioxidants.
I also have some of this company’s Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls green tea and think I might try pairing the two. After all, Jo Malone’s White Jasmine and Mint cologne is such a lovely blend, so why not tea?

What are your favorite summertime teas?

  • DarrylDa says:

    I actually find all teas have a cooling effect in the summer, even if they’re hot. Maybe it’s the astringency.

    Lapsang souchong seems tailor-made for chilly autumn nights by the fireplace, what with its pine-smokiness, but I actually love it in the summer, especially warmer evenings spent outside. Its smells like a campfire, but tastes so silky and smooth, not at all bitter or overpowering.

    • Ann says:

      Glad to hear from another tea lover! Alas, lapsang souchong is one of the few teas that are just a bit too much for me, but I never say never, and will keep trying it. Thanks!

  • poodle says:

    I like iced tea but I’m one of those crazy people who still drinks hot tea in the summer. My niece gave me a sample of a coconut mango tea that’s wonderful. I need to ask her what brand it is.

    • Ann says:

      Hiya, Poodle! So nice to see you! That tea does sound yummy — if you find out what it’s called, do let us know. Thanks!

  • Mary K says:

    I drink unsweetened iced tea all year long (any kind of black tea or else rooibos for a treat). I live in MN and need my iced tea, even in the middle of winter. Like Tom, I am happy that McDonald’s has iced tea (all sizes) for a dollar. I also do like hot tea first thing in the morning and have been enjoying The Republic of Tea’s Green Rooibos Plantain Coconut..

    • Ann says:

      I hear you, Mary, on the yearlong iced tea habit. My DH does it, too. Funny though, at restaurants, I always just order water and brew my own tea at home. That Republic of Tea sounds yummy — how potent is the coconut in it?

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I wonder how many of us ended up down the rabbithole of perfumes because of how nice teas can smell ? I always loved the smell of earl grey tea that my parents would drink (and I grew to like too)now I also like perfumes with bergamot and tea notes .I also got my Dad to wear Bvlgari au Rouge as his go-to summer/hot weather scent .(winter/cold is usually Bvlgari Black or Quarum-both also my fault,but he was tired of Stetson…Obviously a perfumista lives in house! All family members end up with larger collections due to proximity to the collector.Even the cousin accross the country.

    • Ann says:

      Jennifer, I think you’re really onto something there about the correlation between tea and perfume. Good for you for spreading the love and scenting the family!

      • tammy says:

        Jennifer is beyond generous with everyone, not just her family; trust me on this one!

  • tammy says:

    My favorite iced tea by far is Paradise Tropical Tea. Unbelievably good.

    It’s basically mango, I believe, so any mango tea would suffice, I guess, but I love this so much I buy it bulk form Amazon. (And you have to be careful with the bulk size, because it’s packaged for commercial-sized carafes. I cut the pouches in half)

    I also love to make sun tea with plain ol’ Lipton’s.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Tammy! Let’s hear it for mango tea! I do love it in tea but the fruit itself, not as much. That and papaya have just never floated my boat somehow. I need to make some sun tea on one of our “sunny” days.

      • tammy says:

        Oh, me, too. I am not big on tropical fruits to eat, but I do seem to enjoy them as flavorings. Probably in keeping with Jen’s theory below…the scent adds enough flavor on its own!

  • Dina C. says:

    I make decaf black iced tea for the kids and me throughout the summer. For hot tea, which I’ve been drinking a lot of due to a cough, I love hot green tea. Favorites include Tazo China Green Tips, Tazo Decaf Lotus Blossom Green, Tazo Jasmine Pearls, Twinings Jasmine Green Tea, Tevana Jasmine Dragon Pearls, and Tevana Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea. I like drinking Twinings’ Rooibos tea while I’m reading about South Africa in Alexander McCall Smith’s books in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Series. 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Yay, Dina — another green fan! Gotta love those jasmine pearls especially. I’ve been wanting to read that series but just never seem to get around to it; maybe when school starts?

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I usually will use Tazo’s Passion tea. The tea might be pretty close to blood red and a little bitter without sugar but I like it. Year round, I love their Chai tea concentrate hot or cold. Yeah, my grocery store has gotten a little better with the tea selection but still not fabulous.

    • Ann says:

      I’ve only tried a few of the Tazo teas but they’ve all been nice. That chai tea concentrate is good. I agree; grocery stores now seem to be carrying a wider range of brands.

  • lucasai says:

    Actually last week I’ve written a guest post for Cool Cook Style in which I shared my own recipe for a refreshing summer mint tea, in both hot and cold variations.

  • Portia says:

    MMMM Iced Tea is even good in winter.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      So true, Portia! And I know some dyed-in-the-wool Southerns who wouldn’t give up their iced tea even if it was -10 F.

      • Ann says:

        Oops — that should have been “Southerners”.

        • tammy says:

          This Southerner drinks iced tea all year long as well, and rotates between it, Dr.Pepper or Co-Cola with breakfast, regardless of the temps outside. 😉

          I will say for breakfast, I prefer iced Lipton’s (or a good English Breakfast) with lots of lemon over my usual mango iced tea.

  • Austenfan says:

    What I do is make my tea with cold instead of hot water. It just takes a little longer to make. I make a lot of my cold teas using flavoured green teas. Mostly from Mariage Frères or the Palais des Thés. I fill a pitcher with cold water, and depending on the tea I add,depending on the tea, a number of teaspoon fulls of tea. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours, and remove the leaves. Using this method your tea doesn’t get bitter the way hot tea that gets chilled may.
    You can do the same using black tea, or even herbs like mint and verbena. I will drink hot tea in summer, but summers mostly don’t get to be really hot where I live.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, yes, I like making some teas that way as well. But I’ve found that a few of mine don’t do as well; seems they need the heat to “bloom,” not unlike many perfumes we know. 🙂

  • rosarita says:

    We drink gallons of ice tea in summer, especially my husband. Our favorite is Celestial Seasonings decaf green tea with mint, sweetened with a little stevia. The mint makes all the difference; hot mint tea is one of my favorites in the afternoon, all year.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, dear! Yep, that mint does add so much in hot or cold tea. I’ll have to try it with stevia — just tried it with honey and the honey was a bit too much in it. Thanks!

  • Tom says:

    I like iced green tea, but one of the (only) things I like about McDonalds is that they serve unsweetened black tea. Nice, especially when they’re selling the giant tubs for $1.

    • Ann says:

      Hey, Tom — glad you found something to like at McDonald’s. Although I must admit, rather sheepishly, that about twice a year I get a craving for one of their Egg McMuffins.

      • hajusuuri says:

        Dear Ann, an Egg McMuffin is actually a very healthy choice for breakfast. It is only 300 calories (okay, it does usually come with the hashbrown but don’t eat the hashbrown) and has a well-balanced combination of protein, fat, carbs (+ fiber!).

        • Ann says:

          Hi, lady! I’d forgotten about that — glad to hear I made a good choice. Thanks!

  • Lizzy says:

    The heat has been ghastly around here, so much so that I’ve been steeping teas in the sun to avoid boiling water on the stove (adding MORE heat to the house). Mountain Rose Herbs has a wonderful selection of teas; I especially like their Honeyroo and Vanilla Rooibos teas. Mariage Freres Eros, Marco Polo Green, and Casablanca Green are beautiful iced–though they are more on the subtle side. Kusmi Teas used to offer an assortment of their teas most popular iced; I especially loved the Strawberry Green, Label Imperial, St Petersburg, and Prince Vladimir. Divine on a hot day!

    • Ann says:

      Lizzy, those sound great! The only green MF I have is the Tea A L’Opera, but I’m thinking that might be pretty nice iced. It got pushed behind something in the pantry and I kind of forgot about it. Stay cool!

  • hajusuuri says:

    I tend to drink my tea, either iced or hot, straight up…no milk, no sugar/honey/sweetener substitute, although I don’t mind the lemon if included/offered. As contrarian as it sounds, even hot tea on a hot day could cool one off. Have a great week ahead!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, dear! So glad you dropped by. Lucky you to be able to drink your tea straight, hot or cold! Wish I could, but I’m just too temperature sensitive (hot flashes, etc., ha, ha!). You have a great week also!