Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer Whites

With hot summer days upon us, we're all looking for ways to change up our routines. Lighter meals with fresh fruits and veggies. Iced coffee instead of a hot latte. Tea in an icy cold glass instead of a warm steamy mug.

Perhaps, though, you'd like a little variety in your iced tea. Milder flavor. Less caffeine. Maybe not the floral, fruity flavor of herbal iced teas.

Have you considered white tea?

I recently got hooked on Adagio's line of white teas, which don't disappoint hot or iced. Nearly every night I'm making two batches of white iced tea: one to take to work and one to have ready in the fridge for dinner the next night. Fortunately, Adagio sells several varieties of flavored white tea. So far I've tried white pear (my favorite), white peach (a very close second), white tangerine, and white tropics (a blend of pineapple and coconut).

If you like just a touch of sweetness in iced tea -- but not the heavy sweetness that comes from sugar -- stir about a teaspoon of honey (max: a teaspoon and a half) in 12 ounces of white tea while it's still hot. Then pour in 12 ounces of cold water and throw the tea in the fridge.

Both the flavored and unflavored white teas are great for sipping any time of day. Low in caffeine (about 5 to 15 mg per serving, says Adagio), you can drink them late into the evening without the risk of making yourself too wired to sleep. They make wonderful accompaniments for any meal, especially salads, fruit plates, and Asian meals.

For an unflavored white tea with less fuss, Adagio sells bottles of unsweetened white iced tea. Available in 16.9-ounce bottles, you can even buy a case of 15 bottles if you really get hooked. For more variety and convenience, check out their bottles of green tea, black tea, and jasmine tea!