Green Iced Tea: Blackberry Basil Green Tea

berrygreen4

Fresh summer berries and herbs highlight this bright, earthy Chinese green tea, Dragon Well. Delicately flavored, aromatic, and a lovely red hue make this iced tea a hit at a summer time lunch or dinner.

Blackberry Basil Green Tea

Ingredients:
– 6 cups water
6 tea bags of Dragon Well Green Tea
3 Tbsp
agave (or to taste)
4 stems fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh blackberries
– ice
– lemon slices to serve (optional)

Instructions:
1. Begin by boiling fresh, filtered water.
2. Place tea bags in heat safe measuring cup.
3. Remove the water from heat just before it starts to boil (around 190 degrees) and pour 2 cups of hot water over tea bags.
4. Steep tea for 3 minutes and then remove the tea bags.
5. Add agave to hot tea and stir to incorporate. Set aside to cool.
6. Place blackberries and basil in the bottom of a pitcher or serving container, set aside a handful of each for garnish.
7. Pour tea into pitcher over blackberries and basil. Muddle the blackberries, basil, and tea gently for 15 seconds to release juices and flavor.
8. Add the remaining 4 cups of water to the pitcher.
9. Add ice to pitcher to chill.
10. Serve over ice.
11. Top each glass with basil leaf and a few berries, serve with a lemon wedge if desired.
Makes approximately six 8oz servings.

Make perfect iced tea all summer (or year)! Follow our easy guide here. And be sure to check back for more recipes throughout Iced Tea Month.

Herbal Iced Tea: Berry Peach Rooibos

rooibospeachberry4First up for our month of delicious, refreshing summer time tea recipes is a fruity, cooling, Berry Peach Rooibos iced tea!
Rooibos is a fantastic caffeine-free option for kids and adults alike. Sweet summer fruits pair perfectly with the vanilla and honey notes of rooibos. This iced tea calls for relaxing on the porch with family on a hot summer day.

Berry Peach Rooibos Iced Tea

Ingredients:
– 4 Rooibos tea bags
– 4 cups of water
– 1 peach, thinly sliced
– 1 cup fresh blueberries
– 1 1/2 -2 tbsp honey (or to taste)
– ice

Instructions:
1. Start by boiling fresh, filtered water.
2. Place the tea bags in a heat safe measuring cup and pour 1 cup of boiled water over the tea bags; steep for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the tea bags and add the honey to the hot tea, stir until the honey is dissolved.
4. Put the peach slices and blueberries in the bottom of a pitcher and pour in the tea and honey concentrate.
5. Add the remaining 3 cups of water, make sure it is tepid or cool, not hot!
6. Stir up the fruit and tea to combine.
For a stronger fruit infusion, refrigerate at least an hour before serving. Serve over ice.
Makes approximately four 8 oz servings.

Make delicious iced tea all summer long with our easy guide here!

Six Easy Steps to Brew the Perfect Iced Tea

icedteamangoblack1

June is National Iced Tea Month and we’re so excited to share delicious, fun, and creative iced tea recipes with you all month long.

To kick off Iced Tea Month right, here are easy steps to brewing perfectly balanced iced tea:

  • Start any cup of tea by boiling fresh, filtered water.
    • For best results, black and herbal teas should be steeped with water right off the boil (around 212°).
    • Green, white, or oolong teas are best brewed with water just before it’s boiled (180-190°).
  • For every 8 oz (1 cup) serving of iced tea you wish to brew, you’ll want one tea bag or 1 tsp (2-3 g) loose leaf.
  • Make a double strength concentrate by steeping the tea bag or tea leaves in half the amount of water as you would for hot tea, for an 8 oz cup you’ll brew a 1/2 cup (4 oz) concentrate.
  • Now, steep your concentrate! Here is a quick guide to steep times:
    Black: 3-4 min, Herbal: 5 min, Green: 2-3 minutes, Oolong: 2-3 min, White: 1-3 min.
    See chart below for a great reference for steep time and temperatures.
  • Once your tea has steeped, remove the tea bag or strain the leaves with a sieve or brewing basket, then add cold or tepid water to create 1 full cup of tea.
  • Pour over ice, and enjoy! If you like, you can add your favorite sweetener or a twist of lemon.

More Iced Tea Tips:

  • To make a stronger cup, double your tea bags or increase the amount of tea leaves used, not the brew time, as this can affect the flavor and increase bitterness.
  • To prevent cloudiness, never pour hot tea directly over ice. Adding tepid water first helps to bring the water temperature down slowly.

Will you be cooling down this summer with iced teas? Share your favorite recipes, photographs, and stories with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’d love to see the refreshing iced teas you’re brewing.

Check back each week of June for more iced tea recipes to serve up all summer!

Brew Time Temp Chart copy

Self Care Pledge Week 4: Mental Health & Happiness

7.jpg

After learning useful ways to handle stress, creating good habits for restful sleep and energy, and exploring the importance of healthy eating, we move on to our final self care topic: Mental Health & Happiness.

Here are some of our favorite self care actions that can make a big difference in staying positive, focusing on your goals, and overcoming life’s challenges, large and small.

Mental Health & Happiness:

  • Write down one thing you’re grateful for in your life, and place the paper somewhere you’ll see every day. We often forget to appreciate the things we have during times of stress and chaos and having this list handy can be a quick way to remind yourself of the important things in your life.
  • Try yoga poses for relaxation and meditation. Have you ever tried pairing yoga poses with tea?
  • Have tea time with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while (or give them a call if they’re far away).
  • Pat yourself on the back (literally, if you want!), and compliment yourself on a recent accomplishment. No need to be humble!
  • Break up the monotony by planning a weekend getaway, take a walk somewhere unfamiliar, try a new restaurant or recipe, or volunteer. A change of pace can help relieve feelings of stagnation.

May might be coming to an end, but practicing self care should be a year ’round routine. Focusing regularly on your personal well-being can keep you positive, successful, and fulfilled, resulting in a healthier, happier you.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Self Care Pledge Week 3: Healthy Eating & Nutrition

4
Week 3 is here! During May we’re focusing on self care actions to keep us healthy, happy, rested, and stress free. We’ve covered Stress Management and Restful Sleep, now let’s explore healthy eating and nutrition. What we consume can have a huge effect on how we feel and with hectic schedules it can be difficult to make mindful choices.

This week, let’s make a self care pledge to try these small (delicious!) daily choices and focus on well-being through what we eat.

Healthy Eating & Nutrition:
– Replace a cup of coffee with nourishing Premium Japanese Green tea.

– Play in the kitchen by making a newly discovered recipe. (We recommend the DIY Burrito Bowl from Oh She Glows.)

– Eat an antioxidant-rich fruit like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or prunes.

– Make a superfruit smoothie with a boost – green tea!
Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 tea bags of green tea (Premium Japanese Green, Classic Green, Dragon Well)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 cups of frozen blueberries
  • 1 ½ cups of vanilla yogurt
  • A handful of dry roasted almonds
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

    Instructions:
    – Brew the tea bags in ¾ cup of water that has been cooled to 180 degrees after boiling for 3 minutes – allow tea to cool after brewing.
    – In a blender, add tea, yogurt, blueberries, almonds, and flax seed, blend until desired consistency. (Makes two servings)

Recipe adapted from: http://www.food.com/recipe/blueberry-and-green-tea-smoothie-283273

– Conquer the mid-day slump with an indulgent tea like Vanilla Rooibos or Licorice Mint, instead of a sugary drink or snack.

– Fill half your plate with hearty veggies today, like broccoli or asparagus.

Have you been following along and making these daily choices of self care actions with us this month? We’d love to hear about it, be sure to tag #DailyChoices to share your story with us.

Next we’ll cover Mental Health and Happiness – the last and final list of self care actions for May! Keep an eye out next week for our helpful tips and tricks to maintain a healthy outlook on life and stay positive!

Self Care Pledge Week 2: Restful Sleep & Energy

3.jpg

Throughout May we’re focusing on self care.

What is self care? Intentional daily choices that support your physical, mental, and emotional health. Taking time for oneself is often takes the backseat in our busy lives, but we want to remind you to make self care a priority.

Week one was all about stress management and we hope you learned how to better handle those stressful moments in life.

Week two is all about rest and energy! Sleep is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle, but with hectic schedules and phone and computer screens to keep our attention, it can be hard to shut down when it comes time for sleep.

Restful Sleep & Energy:

– Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bedtime.

– Make your bed. (Fluff those pillows!)

– End the day with a sleep-promoting cup of Chamomile or Rest Assured* tea.

– Stop drinking caffeine by noon. Sip on clarifying Mental Focus* tea instead.

– Try the 4-7-8 calm breathing technique to fall asleep fast.

Try one, some, or all of these tips this week to feel more rested and energized. Better yet, follow along all month and make Daily Choices with us for a healthier, happier you. Share your self care experiences on social media with the tag #DailyChoices and join the conversation!


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Self Care Pledge Week 1: Stress Management

2.jpg
Your health & happiness matters. Choice Organic Teas encourages you to make mindful #DailyChoices during the month of May that put your self care first.

What is a self care pledge? It’s a vow to yourself to take intentional actions that support your physical, mental, and emotional health. We call these actions #DailyChoices.

How a self care pledge works: Select one, several, or all self care activities to practice during each week of May and recognize that it’s never wrong to take time for yourself.

This week we’re tackling stress management. Here are self care actions to help minimize stress and help you relax, you deserve it!

Stress Management:

– Take 10 deep breaths.

– Close your eyes for 2 minutes and picture the calmest, quietest place you know.

– Pamper yourself with tea! Here are two luxurious spa-like treatments you can do at home:

  • Steep two tea bags of your favorite green tea, remove the tea bags and refrigerate them until cool – be sure to sip that tea while you wait! Lie back and relax with the tea bags over your eyes for 10 minutes and let the tannins do their work on puffy, tired eyes.
  • Try a Peppermint Tea Foot Bath (makes enough to share with friends or save for later!)

    Ingredients:
    – 1/2 cup baking soda
    – 1/4 cup Epsom salt
    – The contents of 2 Peppermint tea bags

    Instructions:
    Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a container of warm water and soak feet for desired length of time. Once you’re done soaking, be sure to moisturize!
    Recipe from http://www.thegunnysack.com

– Listen to your favorite upbeat song. (Dance, if you want!)

– Skip checking email first thing in the morning. Instead, start your day with a 15-minute walk, stretching session, or exercise.

Will you join us in making these daily choices of self care actions during May? We’d love to hear about it, be sure to tag #DailyChoices to share your story with us.

Check back next week where we’ll feature self care actions for restful sleep and energy boosting!