Springtime has sprung upon us here in the Pacific Northwest! With warmer weather ahead we need to make sure to stay hydrated. Tea, whether hot or cold, can be both refreshing and relaxing. It can also be a good alternative to coffee, which contains higher doses of caffeine.

Consuming  large amounts of caffeine (especially in the morning) can cause us to crash later in the day. Coffee also dehydrates the body, which can lead to headaches, sluggishness and irritability.


Photo by Liana Lis

Teas come in a variety of flavors, caffeinated or decaf and have different brewing options based on the type and form of tea. To keep it simple, I use store bought tea bags. Bagging your own tea is another option. The choices are endless yet the results can be tailored for any palate.

So, let’s get steeping!

Black teas are perhaps the most common tea and also the most commonly used for making iced teas. Green teas are another option to enjoy, hot or cold, and are loaded with antioxidants.


Photo by Liana Lis

For herbal and caffeine-free options: peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, ginger, rooibos, hibiscus and a plethora of other varieties are available.

There are a number of combinations to be created with teas. One of my favorites is a combination of black and peppermint tea (4 teabags of each tea) steeped together in a pitcher and poured over a tall glass of ice. It’s light enough to drink hot and refreshing enough for a warm day.

Another personal favorite is sweetened hibiscus tea. It has light, fruity notes and, in my opinion, is better iced. Sweetened or not, this cup of love is a no brainer and ready in minutes. Grab some tea bags, grab a pitcher, add ice and voila! Top your cup with a few slices of lemon, or add some mint leaves for flavor.

Most ingredients needed to make homemade brewed tea are available at any grocery store. There’s no need for fancy, loose leaf, double-baked varieties for a quick, refreshing cup of tea. Complements & additions may include: honey, lemon, ginger, mint and rock sugar.

The next time your body screams iced coffee for a boost, tame the urge with a homemade brewed tea instead. It’ll save you countless dollars, calories and peace of mind.

Tip: Depending on how strong you like your tea, adjust according to the amount of tea as opposed to longer steeping time. Some variety of teas can turn bitter if brewed for longer than needed. Here’s a helpful site for brewing Stash Tea.