My cousin Cara quit coffee a few years ago. She had started working as a barista when she was 16, and after a decade of coffee dependance she was ready for a break. It wasn’t the caffeine she was trying to avoid, but the dependence she had developed on the taste, scent and intense burst of energy (and inevitable anxiety) she would get from coffee. While working early mornings on a farm, she still needed the caffeine, and so she turned to tea. Though the amount of caffeine in an average cup of coffee is greater than that in a cup of black tea (the first having 130-180 milligrams of caffeine while the latter has only 55-70 milligrams), she found the energy she gained from the caffeinated tea was gentler than the aggressiveness she would feel from coffee. As the caffeine in tea usually takes longer to make it’s way into the blood stream, the effects are much smoother; you will likely feel a positive increase in concentration without much jitteriness. Though Pleasant Pops has always offered an extensive selection of teas (black, green and herbal), we are now featuring two new drinks which are tea based and absolutely delicious: Pumpkin Chai and Iced Peppermint Green Tea. If you’re looking from a break in your coffee routine, but appreciate the helping hand of caffeine, now is the perfect time to delve into the world of tea.
Our Iced Peppermint Green Tea is refreshing, energizing and rich in antioxidants. Using equal amounts of Organic Green Tea and Organic Herbal Peppermint Tea (from Harney & Sons), we add a bit of sugar and voila! The green tea provides a nice clean base to the iced tea while the peppermint adds a punch of flavor. Green tea is often recommended as the healthiest drink to consume; packed with natural vitamins, bioactive compounds and stimulants, green tea can help with weight loss, improve brain functions, and help protect against several diseases (like cancer, Alzheimer's, and type 2 diabetes). It is a fantastic way to start your day (drinking a cup of green tea first thing in the morning will help kickstart your metabolism) and an awesome method to get an afternoon energy boost. Though our Iced Peppermint Green Tea is slightly sweetened (with natural cane sugar), it tastes light and fresh. While summer is still bobbing it’s head into early fall, this is the perfect drink to try out.
Next, our Pumpkin Chai. I could talk about this drink forever. We perfected our recipe for pumpkin syrup last winter. Using pumpkin puree, spices like cinnamon and cloves, and just a bit of sugar, we spend hours mixing, boiling and straining this syrup so it’s ready to add to any drink. We’re happy to add a splash of pumpkin syrup to anything (think iced coffee, hot lattes…) but our newest, and best, discovery is adding pumpkin to our chai lattes! Our house made chai is amazing on it’s own, but adding the bit of pumpkin makes for a drink that is rich in flavor and screams fall. Chai, which is made using black tea and several spices, provides a minimal, yet noticeable, amount of caffeine. Drinking a Pumpkin Chai will give you the kind of energy boost perfect for a Wednesday afternoon or Sunday morning, and is so delicious you’ll want to drink it day and night, all fall long.
Next up on my “to-try” list is a Pumpkin Chaider (pumpkin, chai AND apple cider) and I’ll be sure to report back! Finally, make sure you save the date for our big 2nd Birthday Bash on Sunday, September 28th! We’ll be celebrating our anniversary at the store all afternoon! See you soon!