Who doesn’t love summer? Several years ago, my hand would have shot up. That is, until a friend in India put a bug in my ear about the many ways tea could keep me cooler on hot summer days. Since discovering the cooling bliss of healthy iced tea, I don’t bat an eye at even the hottest of summer days.
Teas with Cooling Effects
There are teas and herbals that have cooling effects on the body that we can enjoy hot or cold to help us weather the heat. Choose teas with rosehips and petals, hibiscus, lemon, lime, elderflower, lemon balm, or yarrow for cooling.
Evening in the Garden elderflower tea would be a perfect tea blend for this purpose since it contains three cooling herbs from our list: elderflower, rose, and lemon. The Happy Hour blend would be another good choice, giving you a cooling boon from the hibiscus lime tea.
I like to steep a strong batch of my favorite summertime tea and then mix it with cucumber water, according to taste. Since cucumber is also cooling, it adds another layer of breeziness to the tea while providing a bit of sweetness.
Healthy Iced Tea
Tea without sweetener is already one of the healthiest beverages you can drink, but many people prefer a sweeter tasting tea. If you must add sweeteners, there’s a great article here on the site that identifies which types of sweeteners are best for which types of teas.
A great way to sweeten your herbal tea without sugar is to toss in two or three cardamom pods and a couple of small pieces of cinnamon stick while steeping. You can adjust the amount of either to suit your tastes. I put cardamom and cinnamon in every tea I brew unless it’s a type I prefer without sweetener.
Many people say iced herbal teas don’t taste good, but I say they aren’t trying hard enough. You can infuse your teas with fresh fruit for a little extra flavor. A trick I enjoy is adding juice, especially the slightly astringent juices like pomegranate, cranberry, blueberry, and acai. Make a little extra of this tea combo to make ice and it’ll keep your drink from becoming diluted.
Hot Tea Saves Us on Extra Hot Days
You might be surprised to learn that on the hottest days of summer, I skip the cold drinks altogether. Yep, I use heat to “up” my summertime tea game. As counterintuitive as it sounds, hot drinks can bring sweet relief by raising our body temperature so that the difference between us and the weather is not so significant.
Combine this effect with cooling teas and those that double as diaphoretics and you get triple the cooling benefits. A diaphoretic herb is one that helps drive up your body temperature while causing you to sweat. You can see how making some smart combinations will not only cool you from the inside out but will supercharge your body’s own evaporative cooling system.
Not only is tea a pleasant way to stay cooler, but we increase our hydration in the process, which also contributes to cooler bodies on hot summer days. Have any of these cooling tea ideas given you inspiration for something you’d like to try this summer?