By Ana Drevek
Ana Drevek is our customer experience specialist. She lives and works in Curitiba, Brazil - and is passionate about nature and healthy living. Her Daily Rituals include exercising every morning, and drinking her magical homemade teas throughout the day. Her creativity also takes shape in calligraphy, and watercolor. <3
For many people, summer is one of the most awaited seasons of the year. Waking up in the morning knowing that a pleasant outside world is waiting for us filled with the vibes of kids on vacation that will spend all day playing and enjoying themselves and the parents happiness for spending more time with their children, the less heavy traffic and more smiling people, the long-awaited trip, or a calmer routine that normally is chaotic.
At night, a dinner with friends feeling the warm breeze coming from outside, fresh clothes and soft perfumes, light make-up and easy smiles. It is a period of new discoveries and new learning because we are more exposed to new stimuli. We also feel more motivated to take care of ourselves, taking care of our bodies, our mind, our thoughts, and our attitudes. Summer is really magical!
During the hot days, we look for different ways to refresh ourselves, to relax and enjoy our time. But with high temperatures, our body loses more liquid and we feel more thirsty. Our body is made up of 60-75% water, so its essential to consume 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day to keep the body well hydrated and to recover the minerals that we lose in sweat. In addition, water regulates body temperature, facilitates digestion, and reduces appetite and caloric intake, which is the key to controlling overweight and obesity.
Because it does not contain flavor, some people find it difficult to consume the minimum amount of water indicated per day. For those people and everyone else, we suggest to add home-made iced tea in their routine, a refreshing drink that brings several health benefits, due to the natural properties that the ingredients have as well as hydrating our body, and in addition, is a drink suitable for the whole family.
The tea comes from a plant called Camellia Sinensis, which is grown in many Asian countries. Based on the different production processes, the tea is given different characteristics and shapes that define its flavor and strength. Teas also have many health benefits because they have antioxidants and substances such as polyphenols, L-theanine and catechins, which help to strengthen the immune system and bones, as well as protect the body from the effects of stress and various diseases.
The main types of tea are:
Green Tea: It is not oxidized and is admired for its freshness, reminiscent of the sea breeze. It has nutrients that come from the small spring bud and oils from the roots. The water temperature during the preparation varies between 158 ºF and 185ºF and the infusion time is between 2 and 4 minutes.
Black Tea: It is oxidized and rich in flavor that develops during the oxidation process. It is widely used in blends, with a mixture of other teas and herbs or fruits. It also can be called red tea, due to the color of the liquid. Black tea is lively, malty, and full-bodied. The water temperature during the preparation varies between 176ºF and 203ºF and the infusion time is between 3 and 5 minutes.
White Tea: It is the least processed tea of all. It has a very low natural oxidation. It is considered one of the healthiest tea because it contains antioxidants, such as catechins and polyphenols concentrated in the bud, which will help to strengthen the immune system. The water temperature during the preparation varies between 158 ºF and 176 ºF and the infusion time is between 2 and 4 minutes.
Oolong Tea: There are several oolong teas available with different levels of oxidation, aromas, and flavors. It is one of the most challenging teas to produce due to its many stages of production. The water temperature during the preparation is 176ºF and the infusion time is between 3 and 4 minutes.
Yellow Tea: It is the tea that is least produced or exported, making it quite rare as it is found in only a few areas of China. It is characterized by a fresh and delicate flavor and the best types of yellow tea are those made from leaves harvested in early spring. The water temperature during the preparation varies between 158ºF and 185ºF and the infusion time is between 2 and 3 minutes.
Pu-erh Tea: It is a post-fermented tea and contains microorganisms with probiotic properties, which aid in digestion and benefit the imune system. It also helps with weight loss. Flavors can range from earthy, moldy, and leathery to chocolatey or woody. The water temperature during the preparation varies between 194ºF and 210ºF and the infusion time is between 2 and 4 minutes.
In addition to these 6 types of tea, there is the famous and delicious Matcha Tea. It is a green tea and its vivid color is due to the artificial shading that the leaves receive before harvesting, stimulating the production of chlorophyll. Matcha has high levels of caffeine and contains several antioxidants, including EGCG, known for its anti-cancer properties, and L-theanine, which helps with memory and concentration, as well as speeding up the metabolism and improving the immune system.
To prepare a Matcha you’ll need:
1 teaspoon of sifted matcha
4.06oz -5.9oz / 120-175ml of water heated to 167ºF
Place the sifted matcha in a heated bowl (chawan). Add some of the hot water and stir until it forms a paste. Gradually add the rest of the water and with quick movements in an “infinite” format, stir with the bamboo whiskey (chasen) until the tea is frothy. Enjoy immediately.
It is a mixture of tea with herbs, fruits, flowers, spices and plants. It is a great option for those who want more flavor in their tea. It is worth pointing out that every blend needs to have a base with a greater amount than the other ingredients used. The tea itself is usually used as a base, but nothing prevents you from using an herb, such as chamomile for example.
Here are some ingredients that are commonly used in the Blends:
Chamomile: It reduces the feeling of anxiety due to its calming properties and helps soothing muscle spasms.
Vanilla: It contains antioxidants, it is good for nausea and helps in digestion, and reduces anxiety and depression Lemongrass: It has antioxidant properties that help to clean and detox the body.
Ginger: It boosts immunity, reduces inflammation, and is good for the digestion process.
Peppermint: It is good for nausea and is a natural expectorant. It boosts immunity and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Elderberry: It is an excellent source of dietary fiber and contains good amounts of vitamin A, C, potassium, calcium and iron. It also helps in the treatment of colds.
Hibiscus: It prevents cardiovascular disease, it helps in weight loss and to lowers blood pressure and improves liver health.
Orange Peel: It is rich in fiber, it is digestive, has antioxidant action. helps in treating diabetes and is good for the immune system.
Lavander: It helps to reduce anxiety and depression, it helps in sleep by fighting the insomnia and It relieves headaches.
Cardamom: It helps with the blood circulation improvement, it is a hair beauty ally and prevent ulcer.
Cinnamon: It prevents headaches, helps to reduce cholesterol and relieves inflammation.
We've separated three delicious and easy-to-make tea recipes thinking about how we can help you enjoy this summer season while being hydrated: a tea to calm, one to refresh and one to energize.
TEA THAT SOOTHES AND RELAXES
Temperature: 176ºF Infusion time: 4 minutes Quantity: 16.91oz / 2 cups
You will need:
2 tbsp / 3g of loose white tea (White Peony)
1 Vanilla bean, chopped
0.35oz of dehydrated pear or ½ sliced of fresh pear
1 tbsp of peppermint or 4 fresh leaves
2 pinches of lavander
16.91oz / 2 cups of water heated to 176ºF
How to make it:
In a pitcher, mix all the ingredientes slowly with a spoon, being careful to not let the tea leaves break. Add the hot water and wait for the indicated infusion time. If you prefer to use the fresh pear, add the slices after straining the tea. Allow to cool and serve with plenty of ice cubes. You can garnish with fresh peppermint leaves.
- If you don’t have the white tea, you can simple make a Tisane, which is the infusion of the ingredients without the white tea. It will taste delightful as well.
- To make the tea even tastier, remove the vanilla from the bean by scraping it with a spoon and add it to the tea along with the chopped bean. We use all parts of the vanilla bean.
- You can dehydrate the pear by taking it to the eletric oven at low temperature for approximately 2 hours.
PURE REFRESHNESS AND HYDRATION
Temperature: 203ºF Infusion time: 2-3 minutes Quantity: 16.91oz / 2 cups
You will need:
2 tbsp / 6g of Black Tea (Earl Grey or Assam)
2 pinches of chopped lemon zest 2 pinches of chopped Orange zest
8 units of Clove 16.91oz / 2 cups of water heated to 203ºF
How to make it:
In a pitcher, mix all the ingredients slowly with a spoon. Add the hot water and wait for the indicated infusion time. Strain the tea and cool with plenty of ice cubes. You can garnish with fresh slices of orange or lemon.
- If you don’t like black tea, you can choose oolong tea instead. The Ginseng Oolong Tea is a very nice option to replace the black one.
- Black Tea tends to become bitter over time because it is fully oxidized, so its fast consumption is the best way to enjoy this homemade tea.
- You can make a second infusion with this blend, allow it to seat for 6 minutes instead.
Temperature: 176ºF Infusion time: 3 minutes Quantity: 16.91oz / 2 cups
You will need:
3 tbsp / 6g of dried hibiscus
10 units of cardamom seeds + 6 units of whole cardamom
8 units of dehydrated blueberry or 6 units of sliced fresh blueberry
1 pinch of fresh rosemary leaves 16.91oz / 2 cups of water heated to 176ºF
How to make it:
In a pitcher, mix all the ingredients slowly with a spoon. Add the hot water and wait for the indicated infusion time. Strain the tea and allow to cool before serving. Serve with plenty of ice cubes. You can garnish with fresh blueberries and add a few rosemary leaves to it.
- I f you don’t like hibiscus or have a high blood pressure, swap it for green tea.
- To have the cardamom seeds, just open the cardamom pea.
- Be careful with the amount of rosemary you will use. If you add too much, this flavour will overpower the others.
- For both dehydrated blueberries or fresh ones, it needs to be placed together with the other ingredients before the infusion.