The Ultimate Iced Tea: Green!

If you missed one of our most popular blogs on just how good green tea is for you, take a quick detour -- 6 Reasons to Drink Green Tea -- and then come right back, because hot weather's no reason to give up your daily cuppa. Iced green tea is delicate and delicious, so keep a pitcher in the fridge and make it a summer staple. Here are even more health reasons to take up a summertime tea habit.

The quick-brew system: Pour 2 cups very hot water over four green tea bags and steep 3–6 minutes, depending on how strong you like it. Add 2 cups cold water and chill.

Then, if friends are dropping by -- or you're just in the mood for something special -- pull out the stops: Green tea dresses up like nobody's business. We tapped some of the country's top tea gurus for these recipes. They'll wow the crowd or just help you chill out on a steamy summer day.

For porch sippers

If you like your tea lemony and your drinks lightly sugared, this combo should hit your sweet spot. "It gives you that fresh green flavor, with a hint of lemon -- perfect for summer," says Nelson Drago, owner of the Chado Tea Room in Los Angeles.

Makes about four 1-cup servings

1 tablespoon loose Japanese green tea leaves, available in Asian markets and health-food stores
9 ounces lemonade, sweetened to taste
Sliced fresh lemon or whole strawberries for garnish

Steep tea leaves in 18–20 ounces of barely boiling water for 3 minutes, or longer if you like stronger tea. Pour brewed tea through a strainer into a large carafe or pitcher full of ice. Stir in lemonade. Serve in glasses garnished with the fruit.

Not only for dancing divas

This fruity sensation is from Mary Lou Heiss, coauthor of The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide. Tropical fruits (mango and pineapple) up the antioxidant ante.

Makes four 1-cup servings

1 1/2 cups chilled green tea (Heiss suggests using 2 tea bags of Stash Premium green tea)
3/4 cup chilled mango puree, sold at Asian markets and in some supermarkets
3/4 cup chilled peach or apple juice
1 cup chilled pineapple juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients, pour into blender (make in batches if necessary), and blend for 2 minutes. Pour over ice and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

Now and Zen

This recipe hails from Essencha Tea House & Fine Teas in Cincinnati. Part of Zen Buddhist culture for centuries, matcha makes brilliant but bitter green tea. However, matcha latte is "creamy yet crisp," says Essencha co-owner Tracy Monson. "And it gives you the ultimate energy boost!" Because it's made from the entire leaf, matcha may be the healthiest of all green teas.

Makes one 1-cup serving

1/2 to 1 teaspoon good-quality matcha, sold at Asian markets
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
8 ounces milk or soymilk

Place matcha and sugar in a high-sided bowl. Whisk gently until blended. Add enough hot water to make a light paste, whisking until the mixture is free of clumps. Transfer to a cocktail shaker. Add milk and ice and shake well until foamy. Strain, and then drink straight up or over ice.

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