During summertime, there’s nothing quite like a cold glass of sweet, flavored tea to help quench your thirst on a sweltering hot day. The problem is, however, that many of the store-bought versions are often packed with added ingredients, sugars, and artificial flavors.
But fear not because there are plenty of ways to enjoy flavored tea without these unwanted extras. Here is a simple three-step process to make the most of your tea-drinking experience.
Step 1: Start By Choosing A Tea
Green tea has been touted as a wonder drink for centuries because has the highest level of antioxidants and maintains some of the chlorophyll from the plant leaves. This popular tea is also believed to help control your blood sugar and boost your metabolism — both of which can help you lose weight.
You can drink green tea with leaves or matcha (where the leaves are ground to make a powder that has a potent concentration of the green tea). Both offer a wonderful flavor that can invigorate your mind and body.
Are you trying to keep your caffeine intake low? If so, then consider a delicious oolong tea, which is known for having a moderate amount of caffeine. Also, despite its caffeine content, oolong tea offers relaxing properties that can help take the edge off of a crazy day.
Like green tea, oolong tea also contains antioxidants that can help fight free radicals in your body.
Of all of the teas, black tea typically contains the highest amount of caffeine, which can help boost energy levels without the buzz from with other caffeinated drinks.
Black tea is also the base for one of the world’s most popular tea drinks: Chai. Chai tea is made by mixing black tea with various spices to create an aromatic and flavorful tea that can be enjoyed both hot and cold.
White tea is produced from the young leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant that all tea is derived from and has a mild fruity flavor.
This tea is the sweetest of the teas listed, as the leaves have not had a chance to mature fully. White tea also contains the least amount of caffeine.
Herbal blends don’t come from the same plant that green, white, black, and oolong teas do — they’re actually made from all kinds of herbs, roots, and other plants.
Step 2: Choose a Sweetener
Once you’ve chosen a tea, it’s time to choose a sweetener. Not all teas need a sweetener — like our award-winning collections — but if you are looking for ways to add some spice, choose a few options that are healthier than sugar, sucrose, and high fructose corn syrup (like what you find in bottled or canned teas).
If you’re looking a pure, natural way to sweeten your tea — and add antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties — raw honey is a fantastic choice.
Real Maple Syrup
There is huge difference between real maple syrup and manufactured brands with caricatures on them. Real maple syrup — made of sap from trees that has been boiled down — is far better and does not affect your blood sugar the same way. (Also, if you’re on a vegan diet, real maple syrup is the perfect swap for honey.)
If you’re looking for a zero calorie option to sweeten your teas, give stevia a try. Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia is made from a plant of the same name, not in a lab.
Step 3: Hot or Cold?
Finally, decide how you want to enjoy your tea — they can be enjoyed year round by drinking them hot in a mug under a blanket or iced in a tumbler on the beach. Choose the style that works for you and enjoy all the delicious benefits.
One more thing: at Art of Tea, all of the tea varieties in this list have so many different infusions. For example, there are green teas infused with pomegranate, oolong teas with a peach flavor, black teas that taste like lychees, and white teas mixed with tropical fruits that make for a delicious mocktail.
When you think about all the teas and sweeteners you can choose from, there’s almost an endless supply of wonderful and satisfying options — there really is no reason to limit yourself to an unhealthy flavored tea.
Which one will you enjoy first?