Updated: Jul 20
Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons. When the temperature rises, our bodies stay balanced by relying on water to keep basic functions intact, including protecting our organs and regulating body temperature. But water isn't the only way to properly hydrate our bodies.
Research suggests that iced tea hydrates just as well as water. Teas are versatile, flavorful, and full of health benefits — and tea is a lot more fun to drink.
It's all about that base.
Traditional iced teas are typically made from black tea, but you can use any type of tea, including
green, white, and herbal teas like red rooibos or mint. The different types of teas offer different health benefits, in general all teas are good for us.
How you brew iced tea may also have an impact on its healthiness. For best practices on brewing your tea, take a quick look at this informative article by Life is Better with Tea. We always use boiling water to steep teas, sun tea doesn't always get hot enough to kill the natural bacterias found in tea.
Raise the flavor and hydration levels by dressing up pitchers of plain tea with a myriad of
fresh add-ins like sweet berries, fragrant herbs, tart citrus, and more.
Some of our favorite extras include:
dried lavender (of course!)
lemon juice or slices
fresh mint leaves
fresh basil leaves
fresh ginger root
And the secret ingredient is... good water.
Wherever you live, it's likely your tap water has been cleaned with chemicals like chlorine, minerals have been added, or perhaps minerals have been taken away. In any case, the flavor
of metals, minerals, or chemicals interfere with the flavor of the tea leaf and potentially, diminishes the health benefits as well.
Of course, there is much debate over which water is best. Personally, we like to keep things simple and as eco-responsible as possible, so we recommend trying basic, filtered water from your tap or other filtering systems such as a filtered pitcher. If that's not an option for you, purified water is another great choice.
What's cooler than cool? Ice cold!
The ice cube is quite possibly the most underrated player in the iced tea game. Add fresh
fruit, fruit juice, fruit nectar, fresh herbs, or any combination that you enjoy to an ice tray with some of your water of choice, and freeze. Once frozen, place three to four cubes in a glass, and pour your chilled tea over the top. As the cubes melt, the added flavors will slowly infuse the tea.
Better still, instead of using water-based ice cubes in your iced tea, try using iced tea cubes. This way, it won’t taste diluted no matter how long it sits. Option to use the same flavor of iced tea that you are serving, or experiment with different flavors. A fun pairing might be a black iced tea with mint iced tea ice cubes. Try it and let us know what you think.
Summertime got ya feeling nostalgic? Ice pops! Combine ice tea concentrate and fruit puree for the adult-ish version of this childhood favorite. What a fun way to do something good for yourself.
Bubbles make everything better (IMHO).
Sparkling water and tea?! Yes, please! If you're anything like us, you are deep in the
carbonation craze. The ZB team drinks "bubbly water" regularly while working together in the workshop, and obviously, we love tea too. You can imagine our excitement over this brilliant combo.
And, why not be fancy about it? Grab a wine glass, pour in your chilled tea of choice, top off the glass with some sparkling water (flavor as desired), sip, and savor. Pinkies up!