Summer Refreshment: Cure for the Mid-Afternoon Doldrums

Make Iced Green Tea

It’s 3:00.  The vending machine is calling, or maybe the doughnuts left over in the break room.  You know it’s suicidal to indulge those cravings, but work is so boring and you’re so tired and . . .

Here’s an alternative.  Maybe more than sugar and calories, you need refreshment—as in something cool, revitalizing and calming, like Iced Green Tea.

Pomegranate ice cubes in the foreground; Lemon balm sprigs to the side; my lovely rosebush in the background

Pomegranate ice cubes in the foreground; Lemon balm sprigs to the side; my lovely rosebush in the background

Years ago, a good friend told me about the surprisingly satisfying taste of green iced tea, but I just couldn’t get excited about it.  Green tea seemed bland enough when hot; I could only imagine what a cold cup might taste like.

Things changed a couple weeks ago when I ran across a new decaf green:  Whole Foods’ Green Tea with Lemon Myrtle.  Admittedly, it was the price tag that drew me in.  While most teas now run $3.00 to $4.00 for a 20-count box, this one had 40 bags for $4.00—and it was organic to boot.  Remembering the crush of heat that waited outside the air conditioned grocery store, I decided it was finally time to try iced green tea.  Now I’m hooked.

Ayurvedic Balance There may be a good reason iced green tea is just the ticket for me on a hot day.  According to the Ayurvedic thought system, I’m primarily a “Pitta” gal.  As Jennifer Workman, Ayurvedic practitioner and author of Stop Your Cravings explains, we pitas get hot and bothered easily.  Happily, with something bitter, astringent and sweet our irritability evaporates and we get realigned into balance.  Conveniently, my new tea is both astringent (green tea) and bitter (lemon myrtle), in one easy-to-make, no-calorie beverage.  See the ice cube suggestion below to incorporate a little low-calorie sweetness.

Vatas and Kaphas Will this tea be as beneficial if you’re not a Pitta?  Yes!  Although Pittas are predisposed to irritability, anyone can get hot and bothered when the circumstances warrant, and summer’s heat certainly qualifies as just cause.

Good as a Tummy Tuck? Not really, but among the dozens of health facts to hit the airwaves recently there was a study about green tea’s ability to reduce tummy flab.  Sure can’t hurt to try!

A Special Touch Toss in a couple pomegranate juice ice cubes for a little sweetness.  Make a batch from pomegranate juice, then store in a plastic zippered bag or storage container in the freezer.  Not only will they be quite handy, they won’t acquire a nasty freezer burn taste.

Brewing in the Post-Hippie Era Remember the sun tea craze?  It was a great idea:  Why waste energy brewing on the stovetop when the sun could do the work?  Now it’s possible to go one step further and just brew in the frig.  Put a pitcher in the frig at night and it can go to work in the morning.  Three good reasons to go this route:

  1. Your refrigerator doesn’t have to cool hot or warmed tea, saving energy.
  2. You get better taste.  As explained by tea connoisseur Beth Johnston of Teas, etc., cold water draws out or pulls the flavor from the tea , “a much slower and gentler method [than hot water brewing] that results in a smoother, more subtle, naturally sweet tasting tea.”  
  3. As or more importantly, you’re spared from potentially dangerous bacterial growth.

How’s that?  Both water and tea leaves can harbor bacteria.  Sun tea water reaches only 130 (F), never the 195 (F) required to kill all this bacteria.  So left in the nice, warm sunshine, it can quickly grow and multiply to dangerous levels, enough to make you sick. 

Getting It to Work Of course you can drink iced green tea any time, but it does me the most good at my 3:00 p.m. low point.  So fill a water bottle at home and stash it in the office frig.  Alternatively, consider brewing a bottle at work.

No Whole Foods? No problem.  Any green tea will do.  Add a slice or two of lemon to your glass.  Or, when throwing the tea bags in your brewing water, include a few sprigs of lemon balm, one of those great herbs that comes up year after year without your doing a thing.  Or check out some of the greens that Johhston offers, especially Premium Lemon Citrus Organic.

To a refreshing and uplifting afternoon!


4 Responses

  1. Nice blog. thanks for the instruction. Can u pls tell how to make green tea icecream


    • Glad you like the blog. Sorry, I don’t know how to make green tea ice cream (I can’t eat much dairy), but I can say that whenever I cook with tea, I brew it strong. Maybe 2 tea bags for just a half cup water, so you get very concentrated flavor in a small amount of liquid. Perhaps this is a good starting point for green tea ice cream. Speaking of dairy allergies, I just had some “ice cream” made with coconut milk. I wonder if coconut milk good be a good flavor pairing for your ice cream? Please do share if you come up with something! And thanks for the comments.


  2. Iced tea with Pomegranate ice cubes, wow, it looks yummy, I’ve never tried one this before, thanks for sharing.


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