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Summertime is Lemonade Time: Flavors Beyond the Classic

by Caitlin Kelch

This post is sponsored by Teavana. All of the words and opinions are my own and we only work with brands we trust and truly think offer products we think offer value to our readers. Thanks for supporting brands that enable Design*Sponge to bring you original content five days a week. We donate the majority of products we receive from sponsors after we test them and use them to create posts. Read the post to see who’ll receive this awesome Teavana gift pack!

I’ve been doing some serious lifestyle and health reviews as my 50th birthday nears next month and that’s means having to thoughtfully consider all of the little quips and snips my eleven year old daughter makes when I’m indulging in something she learned is “not so healthy.” So basically, no more diet soda for me. My habit wasn’t crazy, but I did enjoy the delightful, bubbly burn each day around 3pm to help me power through school pick-up and the last few hours of my work day.

Teavana reached out to us a few weeks ago to share their extensive array of summer lemonades and some other fun, cocktail inspired teas. I had just had the best cold matcha lemonade from Teavana after my daughter begged me to take her to Starbucks to support Lady Gaga’s philanthropic organization, the Born This Way Foundation. The foundation creates programs that provides young people with mental health resources, empowerment and support so I was happy to support them and make the 30 minute trip. Yep, we live in the country!

After that fantastic matcha lemonade which wasn’t too sweet, thank goodness, I was excited to brew up some of the Teavana samples they sent. And let me very transparent here, this is a sponsored post. It’s one of the ways we support ourselves, pay our writers and are able to publish free content five days a week. We vet our products carefully and this is a product we happily support.

That said, Tevana reminded me what good, old fashioned fun it is to enjoy a summertime tradition with friends and family. For me, that means unscheduled time to share with others where we don’t have to worry about cooking or the stresses of everyday life. Sitting on the deck or porch with big, icy drinks is as good as it gets this time of year.

It’s a slow, simple pleasure.

Now let’s talk lemonade. I love the idea of lemonade, but have had too many “yikes, that’s sweet!” moments in my life. Too often, lemonade is either artificially sweetened with no obvious disclosure or just packed with so much sugar that the tart and freshness disappear. So I’ve avoided lemonade. I had high hopes for the Teavana Summer Lemonade and Blueberry Lemonade because the ingredient list and the loose pieces of real dried fruit signaled to me that experience was very promising. And if Design*Sponge had a scratch-n-sniff component, I’d share the amazing smell that is still around in my kitchen from when I opened the bags.

My neighbor Linda is downsizing and moving down to North Carolina (where she has a Magnolia tree in her new yard and will be sipping lemonade on the porch no doubt!), and I’ve had the pleasure of packing as much porch sitting and cold drink sipping with her as I can.

More often than not, my daughter and other neighbors end up coming by during these visits, then out comes the pitcher. Everyone sits back and watches our dogs romp in Linda’s yard for an hour or two.

After following the simple instructions for brewing the Summer Lemonade and their Blueberry lemonade, I took the five minutes of steep time to cut up some tiny lemon wedges to add to my ice cube tray. My family in Kentucky always freezes tea to uses as ice cubes in their iced tea so i thought the addition of some fresh lemon in the lemonade would not only look great, but would compliment it too.

Boiling down lemonade and tea making (pun intended!) into three easy steps – Scoop, Steep and Serve – takes the whole process and elevates it to a simple process and simple pleasure that can happen anytime. Summertime now means lemonade time for me so thanks Teavana. I don’t miss my cola buzz at all.

Here’s the brew process with the well-designed pitchers they sent.

The Summer Lemonade is on the left and the Blueberry Lemonade is on the right. And as I suspected, they are both amazing! The lemonade’s definitely meet lemonade criteria, but with a lighter, refreshing twist. From the first sip I knew I was going to drink the entire glass and quickly. With some teas on ice, I’ve gotten a bitter taste overload (probably from the brew process, as in over-steeped) but following Teavana’s recommendations and using their diffusing pitcher, it was pretty close to perfect.

Here’s what Teavana sent us:

1. Tumbler $15   Why We Liked It: This glass tumbler is very thick glass, but not heavy. The lid attaches easily and securely. As the spill queen, I needed this more than I knew.

2. Happy Hour Iced Tea Selection $40   Why We Liked It: alcoholic alternative (yay!), great flavors like Bellini (pineapple & papaya), Strawberry Daiquiri (strawberry, vanilla & rose), Pina Colada (coconut, vanilla, pineapple) & Mandarin Mimosa (Mandarin orange, pineapple & lemongrass). We tried them all & they all rocked. Our favorite? It’s a tie between the Strawberry Daiquiri and the Mimosa.

3. Infusion Tea Pitcher $30   Why We Liked It: Super tight seal, easy to use, multiple uses, thick plastic holds heat  = very sturdy, BPA-free, slim profile makes it a great fit for side storage in the fridge

4. Peak® Everyday Ice Tray $15   Why We Liked It: has a ridged edge for easy handling, the lid keeps out odors & other not-so-good things, those cubes pop out so easily, nice + bright color, easy to clean by hand because of oversized deep wells, produces larger cubes that are perfect for summertime beverages, dishwasher safe

5. Summertime Lemonade $45 (makes 45 – 50 cups)   Why We Liked It: not too sweet, natural flavor & ingredients, caffeine-free, I tasted hints of pineapple and hibiscus!

6. Blueberry Lemonade $45 (makes 45 – 50 cups) Why We Liked It: so pretty!, blueberry flavor pairs nicely with the tart lemon, caffeine-free, not too sweet, natural flavor & ingredients

7. Perfectea Maker $30   Why We Liked It: hot & cold use, handy dispensing feature from bottom of the pot (means no spillage when pouring), you can watch the loose tea release beautiful colors, sturdy

8. Summer Stackable Tea Tin $15   Why We Liked It: bright + graphic, sturdy metal, airtight for tea storage, made in Japan, great for grabbing and choosing from a few summer flavors without taking out multiple containers, looks great on a countertop, attracts kids (perhaps for an alternative beverage)

9. Belgian Rock Sugar $4.50 per 1/2 pound   Why We Liked It: non-GMO, not processed or refined, made from beets, dissolved easily while tea was steeping, sweetened like salt enhances flavor – it doesn’t overpower and isn’t a thick flavor   Note: If you like sweet tea, and your lemonade as sweet, you’ll end up using a lot of this delicate sugar so know that going in!

A big thank you to Teavana for making me a lemonade convert and for taking the craft of tea making and brewing so seriously. It makes for great products that come with well-built accessories that deliver healthy, premium beverages you can easily enjoy at home!

Author’s Note:  The gift pack we received from Teavana was used to create this post. I’m delivering it (and a lot of ice) to our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore so the volunteers can enjoy a treat in the heat as the load up cars for their customers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Nice tips for iced tea, especially making ice cubes out of favorite brews. Unfermented full leaf green teas make up my fave blend, with wild honey. More vitamin C than citrus and won’t give you gastritis after age 50. Early happy 50th.

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