Beating the Summer Heat with Tea
I live in an apartment with very old wiring. We can only ever run one appliance at a time and during the summer months, that one thing is the air conditioner in the living room. My poor tea maker is often neglected since I’d have to turn off the air conditioner in order to turn it on. Nevertheless, there are many ways that tea has helped me to beat the summer heat.
Mint, whether fresh or dried, can add a refreshing and cooling aftertaste to your tea. I love putting fresh mint in my iced tea but it also works great for most hot teas. I’m drinking some guayusa cucumber mint iced tea as I am writing this blog post and it is certainly doing the trick. There are many different kinds of mint so it is fun to experiment. Growing your own is also easy and fun to do.
There are many different ways to cold brew. Since there is no heat involved, the tea doesn’t develop any bitterness. The easiest way would be to just throw your leaves in a mason jar or other container full of water. Depending on the your preference on strength, you can let it steep for a just a few hours or leave them overnight. There are many tools on the market, like the Steep & Go, that make this even easier. My Yama Glass Cold Drip Tea Maker takes quite a long time to make iced tea but the result is always tasty. Sometimes called shinobi-cha, ice brewing is also a great way to make a refreshing cup of green tea.
Hot Drinks Can Cool You Down
It may sound counter intuitive but drinking something hot can trigger your body to cool down. I’ve experienced this phenomenon myself. That being said, I do generally prefer teas with lower steeping temperatures in the summer. Silver Needle and Gyokuro are both favorites that come to mind.
Preventing and Treating Sunburn
A study published by the British Journal of Nutrition found that the catachins in green tea are incorporated into our skin and can provide some protection against sunburn and long term UV radiation-mediated damage. Not that I need another reason to drink a cup of tea but this is a great incentive. In the event that you do get burned, applying room temperature black tea to the affected area can soothe your skin and reduce inflammation.
How do you beat the heat? Let me know in the comments! I asked my Twitter followers what tea they turn to on a very hot day and these are some of their answers:
@teaformeplease pretty much anything incl iced tea but a hot black milky tea holds a special place in my heart thanks to my Brit heritage…
— Verity Fisher (@joiedetea) July 6, 2013
@teaformeplease green tea, usually a baked one like huangshan maofeng or taiping houkui
— Peony Tea S. (@Peonyts) July 5, 2013