As we approach the summer season, keep your tea game strong with some refreshing teas and herbal infusions that are great for the warmer weather. Here are some of our favorites for June that can be enjoyed hot or cold brewed!
ALISHAN HIGH MOUNTAIN ECO RED Sips by TERROIR TEA MERCHANT
We’ve recently been experimenting with cold-steeping many different types of tea, and WOW do we love how oolong turns out! With so much natural flavor complexity in the first place, the cold slow infusion process accentuates those flavors and aromas, and reduces bitterness even further.
Alishan High Mountain Eco Red is a delicious dark rolled artisan oolong that is great for tea lovers of all experience levels. Jason and Charity of Terroir Tea Merchant in Victoria, BC, are all about helping us experience pure teas in a more enlightened way by understanding the terroir. If you’re not familiar with the term “terroir,” they explain it beautifully here.
This high mountain oolong was hand-picked in a misty forested area of Alishan in Taiwan, at 1,200 meters above sea level. The moist, cool climate creates a continual mist that causes the plants to grow slowly because of the abundant cloud cover and reduced sunlight. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are not used - and there’s no need anyway because of the nutrient rich soil and high elevation. This stays in line with the tea farmer’s traditional tribal culture and spirit of simplicity, community and respect for nature.
We recommend trying this oolong both hot and cold, to compare the flavors! To cold brew, combine the leaves with cool spring/filtered water and steep overnight in the fridge. You should use a little more leaf than you normally would for hot-brewing - Terroir Tea Merchant suggests 4.5g leaf per cup of water. The nice part about cold brewing is that you can’t really mess it up - if it turns out too strong, simply add some water or pour over ice to dilute it a bit. You can also hot brew either Western or Gong Fu Cha style as well! We hope that learning about where this oolong comes from improves your tasting experience!
HIBISCUS ELIXIR Sips by FIREPOT NOMADIC TEAS
If you’ve ever had iced hibiscus tea on a hot day, you know how refreshing and cooling it can be! This month we are featuring a rejuvenating hibiscus blend from Firepot Nomadic Teas - each of their teas offers a healthy and authentic taste from some of the world’s most inspiring cultures. We are also excited to be partnering with founder Sarah Scarborough, who develops mouthwatering recipes infusing Sips by partner teas - you can find them on our Tea Recipes blog.
We love learning about the culture and history behind each of Firepot’s teas and blends! In Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, hibiscus infusions are commonly served at markets, celebrations, and homes. The tropical flower is known as Agua de Flor or Agua de Jamaica in Latin America, and may also be referred to as roselle, rosella, or sorrel in other parts of the world.
Hibiscus has a tart, cranberry-like flavor and a deep magenta color. It is high in vitamin C and minerals, and is believed to have health benefits from cooling and balancing the body to lowering cholesterol.
Hibiscus Elixir combines hibiscus with ginger, lemongrass, and some other revitalizing herbs and fruits. We love to cold brew it! Some say cold brewing hibiscus mellows out some of the tartness and reduces the need to add sweetener. Simply combine Hibiscus Elixir with cool water overnight. You can even add some fruit slivers to serve, such as sliced oranges or berries! Or, try our recipe for Hibiscus Mimosas.
PEACH NECTAR Sips by RISHI
Peach season is here! There's something so satisfying about biting into a juicy peach at the height of ripeness. Rishi’s Peach Nectar comes close to this sensory experience. It combines succulent peaches, tangy rosehips, and sweet honeybush with tender white tea plucked in early spring in the misty mountains of China’s Fujian province.
If you’re a fan of peach tea, you’ll love this blend! It contains aromatic organic peaches, rosehips with immune-boosting vitamin C, and both white tea and honeybush are packed with antioxidants, which are anti-aging, defend the body against disease, and nourish and protect skin, among other benefits.
Try cold brewing Peach Nectar by placing a few sachets in cool water overnight and then serving with peach slices the next day! A refreshing, nourishing delight for summer get-togethers, Fourth of July celebrations, or just everyday sipping.
LEMONGRASS Sips by TEATULIA
If you like citrusy, refreshing drinks like cold lemonade on a hot day, but would prefer a healthier alternative without all the sugar, try brewing up some lemongrass tea! This featured blend is brought to us by Teatulia direct from their gardens in Bangladesh. It combines zesty lemongrass with a touch of bayleaf and is available in convenient sachets, so you can enjoy it wherever you are.
This tropical island plant in the grass family has a subtle citrus flavor, and is widely used as a medicinal herb and culinary herb in Asian cuisine. Lemongrass oil is refreshing and purifying, and is commonly used in aromatherapy to soothe and relax, or for deodorizing purposes and warding off bugs. Lemongrass is also used in Ayurvedic medicine - in traditional herbal preparations such as khada, which is used against coughs and colds.
Lemongrass tea is a delicious cleanser for your body - inside and out! It’s naturally caffeine-free, high in vitamin C, and contains substances that are thought to relieve pain and reduce fever. It also is great for digestion, so we love drinking it with meals or to ease stomach aches.
You can enjoy Teatulia’s Lemongrass, hot or cold, as a refreshing summer beverage. It is lovely cold-brewed on its own, or added to punches, cocktails, and foods for a hint of citrusy goodness and some added health boosts!