Happy Memorial Day! Fuel Your Summer with Thirst-Quenching Teas!
Summer’s official kickoff doesn’t begin until the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, on June 21 in 2023. But most of us abide by the informal launch of the warm season, which takes place this weekend, as we celebrate the Memorial Day holiday. School’s out for most students, from 1st grade through college. Temperatures compel flip-flops and shorts rather than wool socks and sweaters. And we finally return to al fresco dining and entertaining, from back yards to parks to restaurant patios.
For many of us, summer leads to much more activity, too. We head to the mountains for hikes, and stand up on paddle boards, navigating our way around lakes. We hop on our bikes and climb up canyons or just cruise around our towns and cities. Fishing, trail running, long post-prandial jaunts: You name the activity, outside of pursuits involving snow, and it’s probably upped from Memorial Day until things finally turn cold during late autumn.
All along, we’ll desire beverages to quench thirst. Hot weather sparks increased needs for hydration, as we perspire and lose water much more rapidly than during the cooler seasons. Water is always a fine idea. But we prefer tea, both chilled and hot. Our favorite beverage offers straightforward hydration, of course. But it also brings electrolytes, antioxidants and myriad botanical compounds to the outdoor party.
Functional beverages? Tea is the OG!
In fact, we think of tea as the OG functional beverage. Drinks spiked with everything from ashwagandha to probiotics to caffeine, mushroom extracts and melatonin swept the nation during the past few years, ranking as a top trend within the sprawling and dynamic natural and organic food products industry.
The array of sodas, waters, kombuchas and other drinks that now occupy space on refrigerated shelves seems novel. And for most of these new beverages, the addition of botanicals like maca root indeed counts as innovation. But for tea, many of the popular botanicals now getting tapped by beverage manufacturers have been embraced for decades, if not centuries.
As summer ripens and you find yourself gulping more and more liquids every day, remember tea. It quenches thirst, advances health and achieves desired effects, like energy and endurance, one sip at a time. And it delivers exquisite flavor, too! We offer a trio of teas below to brew for your summer of fun.
Happy Memorial Day! On Monday, let’s honor the many veterans who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the United States.
Teas for Quenching Thirst: Jasmine Oolong Canned Iced Tea
When we decided to launch an in-house of ready-to-drink canned teas, we scoured our inventory of more than 220 teas for a quartet of them that would provide especially vivid flavors while also satisfying thirst.
We selected jasmine oolong as one of the featured teas, and remain thrilled with its deliciousness and ability to decorate our days with gentle caffeine boosts combined with green tea’s many health benefits. Tea artisans in China add aromatic night-harvested jasmine flowers to lightly oxidized green oolong leaves in the tea blend
This tea is a summer-long companion for us. Cans line our refrigerator shelves, and we grab them all of the time for everything from a drive across town to a backyard cookout to a picnic. The tea also complements a wide range of foods, including barbecue.
Give it a whirl, and you’ll pick up more of these special cans and keep on whirling!
Teas for Quenching Thirst: Rooibos Creamsicle
One entire subset of the functional beverage category revolves around hydration. Gatorade, for example, rose to prominence in sports due to thirst-quenching powers. And what stands behind those powers? Electrolytes, which are essential minerals that elevate hydration and fight inflammation-producing free radicals.
But Gatorade and its many competitors flood their beverage lines with preservatives, artificial sweeteners and fake flavors. You don’t want this nastiness.
Instead, turn to teas made from the South African rooibos shrub. Rooibos, which South Africans have brewed into tea for more than 300 years, contains a wealth of electrolytes; few edible botanicals on Earth come close.
Our Rooibos Creamsicle blend rests on a rooibos foundation, but also includes orange peel, yogurt and a touch of sugar. The orange peel adds additional vitamin C as well as flavor excellence. And the yogurt and sugar bring about the Creamsicle effect.
Brew a pot of this tea, have a cup warm, and then chill the rest for drinking across the hot day. You’re welcome.
Teas for Quenching Thirst: Watermelon Chiller White Tea
When we began working on a blend made for summer enjoyment, we decided that watermelon had to make an appearance. Then we wondered if honeydew melon would complement its sister melon. Apple? Hibiscus? Elderberry, peppermint and rosehip? Yes to them all, along with the blend heart — fantastic Silver Needle white tea.
Turns out, this is one of our best teas for summer savoring. Key to its triumph is Silver Needle, also known as Bai Hao Yin Zhen. Tea farmers in China pick tea buds in early spring, then fan them out and dry them in sun before firing over low heat in a charcoal fire. The process preserves the tea’s gorgeous silver color, and yields a tea that is the sweetest of white teas.
One additional Silver Needle benefit: like the best white teas, it comes loaded with an abundance of antioxidants and polyphenols.