It’s no secret that when it’s 90º out in the summer, the next best thing to a tub of ice cream in your hands is an iced beverage of some sorts to cool you off. I’ve always been one to gravitate towards ice water or tea but every now and then, my taste buds need something different. I want to let you into a little bit of what I’ve been sipping on these past few months. Yes, my weeks are usually filled with smoothies but as recently I’ve been getting more and more into lattes (for when I really need that shot or two of espresso), naturally flavored waters (La Croix being one of my top favorites) and kombuchas. All hail the kombucha trend.
Every single morning I want to start the day off with a beverage and end it with a beverage. Maybe when I’m finally 21 I will drop a cocktail or two into my week here and there but for right now, here’s what I’m loving…
1. Lattes and/or cold brewed coffee – I’ve talked about coffee endlessly on my blog. So much so that I’m surprised my blog doesn’t revolve around it. I usually order from my local coffee shop, Metropolis Coffee Company, because they use fair-trade coffee beans and are one of the only places I know in the city that offers hemp milk. If you haven’t tried your coffee with hemp milk, I strongly recommend it (especially if you do not handle dairy well). Metropolis uses the brand Pacific Foods which a TON of coffee companies use (much better than Almond Breeze) but I love Living Harvest’s Tempt brand (if you’re at the grocery store). The first time I ever went to Metropolis I asked them for their dairy alternatives, got the usual “soy” of course and when I heard “hemp”… I was completely caught off guard.
Their medium latte is supposed to have not one. Not two. but THREE shots of espresso in it! I ask for it with two because I think I might have a heart attack if I consumed three. It’s hard for me to not drink these up in less than five minutes because they’re extra creamy and delicious. I always recommend the hemp milk latte because it tastes like it actually was made with cream.
When I’m not going for a latte – which I try not to do too much of due to the high acidity and crash I get from espresso – I love bringing my own almond milk in a mug or reusable container to shops to add to a plain cup of cold brewed coffee. People may think it’s weird but in reality, it’s just handy dandy!
If I’m not in a coffee shop or have time to make my own batch of iced cold brew, I like to purchase bottled cold brew like Stumptown or Chameleon cold brew. I can easily get through one bottle in two or three days depending on how much I want to drink. It’s always best to do about a shot glass or two of coffee concentrate and about a cup of milk for the perfect homemade latte!
2. Kombucha – I said it in one of my social media posts the other day but it seems like every day (or most days) this past week, I started the morning with some sort of caffeinated beverage of coffee sorts and ended the night with my fave probiotic buddy, kombucha.
I’ve always been a fan of kombucha because it has this slight fizziness to it, comes in a wide array of flavors, is packed with raw bacteria and probiotics to support a healthy gut and in general 9 times out of 10 it tastes DELISSSH. I’ve tried many flavors and brands in the past and I always look for ones without too much added sugar because after all, if it’s loaded with sugar it pretty much is just soda at that point.
When Clearly Kombucha reached out to me, I was immediately interested. This California-based kombucha created by Ali Zarrow and Caleb Cargle is nothing short of bright and colorful. Definitely something that appeals to the eye. One of their slogans is “eat sleep BOOCH repeat” and they even have stickers that say “BOOCH don’t kill my vibe”. When I received those I instantly thought we’re onto something here.
This company is booming with creativity, especially with their flavor choices. I received the asian pear, tangerine and black currant. My favorite? The black currant. Least favorite? Tangerine. I’ve never been one into citrus flavored drinks and the tangerine actually tastes and smells like a clementine. But hey, if you’re into that kind of thing – give it a go! You might just love it. The black current reminds me of subtle, subtle blackberry raspberry flavor. I couldn’t get enough of it honestly.
Going back to the sugar content of these lil guys, they only have 4g per serving (8g per bottle). Other kombuchas tend to lean in between 2-4g (GT’s Synergy) or 12g+in other brands I’ve seen. After trying Clearly, I now want and crave a kombucha every day…
3. Naturally flavored drinks and juice – Depending on what type of drink you’re ordering or purchasing at a store, it can be filled with a ton of ingredients and flavorings. You really might not ever know what you’re sipping on in reality. I love to buy my own juices and naturally flavored beverages rather than buy them at restaurants or shops just so I know I will be able to save them for later if I can’t finish them and also to see what’s in these bad boys.
For a refreshing post-workout flavored drink or something to just enjoy when you’re sitting on your couch watching House Hunters (my life), I like to lean towards Bai beverages. I’ve posted a recipe before on my blog with my favorite Bai flavor: the Molokai Coconut, which you can check out here.
This flavor is 110% as a smoothie liquid base, especially when going for a tropical flavor blend like pineapple and coconut or strawberry and mango. I add a little protein and a splash of almond or hemp milk with it and it gets the job done. I remember the first time I tried the Molokai Coconut flavor I ate it with this random kale salad I picked up at a health foods store downtown. It was one of the most refreshing lunches! Bai beverages are sweetened with a natural sweetener called erythritol (along with stevia extract) which makes them come off a bit sweeter depending on the flavor you have. I prefer the Molokai Coconut because it is so light in flavor and does not taste fake at all!
As for juices, I often don’t purchase them except on rare occasion. The price often gets to me and to be quite honest with you, I’d rather enjoy a smoothie than suck down a sugary juice in replacement of a meal (which most juices these days are) and then be starving. Sorry but no.
Whenever people ask me if I’ve done or WOULD do a juice cleanse, I laugh. The thought of not eating ANYTHING but consuming juice for 1 to 7 days boggles my mind. Especially for someone like me who eats within an hour of waking up. I will say, those cashew based milks included on juice cleanses make them look a little more appealing.
But like any other millennial, I do enjoy the occasional juice drink here and there. For example yesterday, I had CRUDE‘s RED #1 juice with a kale tempeh salad (which will be on the blog later this week! woo!) and I was completely infatuated. I’ve always been a beet and ginger juice gal rather than apple and kale and this was everything I could hope for. A slight taste of ginger lingering behind the pear and coconut water. All the feels!
So yes, I’m not a huge juice fan BUT if a brand mixes the right blends together… every now and then I say, life’s short, you gotta splurge on the $9 juice and indulge. CRUDE is one of my favorite brands as of right now (originating from Michigan) but two other brands I am a huge fan of are Suja Juice and Daily Greens. Check ’em out!
Now I’m going to go drink my batch of organic sumatra blend coffee I just made in my cold-brew machine with some of my homemade almond milk… Oh, the simple things in life. How I love them so.