Green Ice Tea Detox

A brief history of my relationship with green tea

Green tea and I didn’t use to be friends – I found it to be so, so bitter. But everywhere I looked someone was gushing about its incredible health benefits: It’s packed with important antioxidants. It has cancer- and heart-disease-fighting properties. It can help burn fat while lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. It improves artery function and can help prevent diabetes and stroke. And researchers seem to agree (Harvard Health Publications, WebMD).
If I could enjoy even half of these benefits, I wanted to be on board. So I’d try time and time again to spark a lasting, loving relationship with green tea. I thought maybe I just had to get accustomed to the flavor. You know like when you have your first sip of coffee or beer and feel compelled to spew it back out. Then five years down the road, you find yourself laughing at your former, naive self and wondering how you could ever have disliked beer and all its greatness. I’d reluctantly add spoonful after spoonful of sugar or honey to my tea just to try to mask the taste then ultimately abandon my sickeningly sweet concoction about halfway through.

New beginnings

But, I’m both proud and excited to say that green tea and I are now best buds! And it’s all thanks to a colleague who showed me the light. He made me my first cup of good green tea. It was NOT bitter in the least. Apparently, I’d been brewing it all wrong. Go figure. Unlike black teas where you can dunk the tea into freshly boiled water, green tea requires cooler water. By scorching it, I was bringing out that terrible taste. You simply boil water and then let it sit for a while. My rule of thumb is more like a rule of index finger: If I can dip my finger in without pain, it’s ready for the tea. Then let the tea steep for about 3 minutes. The result is a very delicate, grassy flavor.
Having found this new friend, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate it into my life. And this green ice tea detox is one of my absolute favorite. To boost the long list of benefits, I add some lemon juice which contains vitamin C and helps flush out toxins. Depending on my mood, I’ll toss in some mint or cucumber for added flavor. And besides just drinking it over ice on a hot summer day, you can also put it in smoothies instead of milk or water. Besides the wealth of health benefits I listed above, it is low in calories and gives you a slight caffeine boost. I LOVE it in my morning smoothies! I’ll try to do a post soon with some of my favorite green tea smoothie recipes.
Green Ice Tea Detox


5 cups water
4 green tea bags, (or the equivalent amount of loose-leave tea)
2-3 T. honey
Juice 1 lemon (or lime)
3 inches of cucumber*, peeled and sliced (optional)
1-2 springs of mint* (optional)


1. Bring water to a boil and then allow it to cool for about 5 minutes or until you can dip your finger without being in pain. 

2. Add tea and let it steep for about 3-4 minutes. 

3. Add honey and mix with spoon until it is dissolved. If adding, mint do so now*. 

4. Once the tea has cooled to room temperature add lemon juice and cucumber*. Place in fridge and drink over ice with a spring of mint for decoration.
*Note: I would recommend omitting the mint and cucumber the first time you make it just so you get a feel for the basic taste. Additionally, I would recommend using either mint or cucumber, but not both. They each have unique and very strong flavors.

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