Three years ago I was extremely addicted to Vitamin Water. I would buy it any time we ordered lunch and I would buy a bottle when we went to the shops to do our weekly grocery shop. Nothing beat that pink flavour, it was so damn delightful, and with promises like “Immune Booster,” and “Packed with a million antioxidants”, how could I resist. For a moment there I probably believed I would become an elite athlete if I drank more than the recommended serving size a day. I was probably on my way to be a professional Sumo wrestler more than anything else.

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My obsession with flavoured water began when I was weaning myself off soft drink. I drank a fair bit of Coke, Solo and Sprite throughout my teens / beginning of my 20’s (resulting in my fair share of cavities). I thought trading those nasties for the seemingly healthier choice of fruit flavoured water would be a smart choice, however I soon learned my favourite drink typically contained high amounts of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or crystalline fructose. I remember reading an article a year ago which stated some of these drinks contain 33 grams of sugar in a bottle. Mmm, nothing like a good mix of “vitamins” and sugar – maybe Coca Cola Amatil, the owner of Vitamin Water thought that people wouldn’t realise that these brightly coloured bottles were laden with sugar? Their thinking was somewhere along the lines of  “You’ll get fat from drinking excessive amounts of this, but don’t worry, you’ll have a somewhat okay vitamin intake”.

I may not have always made smart choices when it comes to what I put in my body, and I still have bad days now, but it’s these big changes like swapping out flavoured water for beverages which nourish my body; like green tea and my favourite during summer, iced tea have made a big difference in my overall health.

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I love whipping up my own iced tea now as an alternative. I used to just use a bottle from K-Mart, but I recently got this great little clear tea pot from T2. With doing this at home, you can save SO much money and reduce your household waste at the same time. I don’t even want to think about the amount of bottles I have used in the last 7 years from buying bottled (normal water), soft drink, juice, vitamin water, milk et al. I also love making my own at home because I know i’m not wasting calories on sugary store-bought versions.

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HOW I MAKE MY OWN

  • I use any tea I am loving at the moment. My most recent discoveries are: Sencha Mango and Fruitalicious from T2. I think every single one of my friends is obsessed with T2. With so many choices, how could you not be! Have you been into their stores recently? What’s your favourite flavour? JD and I recently went into their City store and tasted some fresh new blends. Mmmmm!
  • Use tap water or if you have filtered water, opt for that!
  • Boil the kettle, as though to make a hot cup of tea. Put leaves in a normal teapot. Leave to cool right down. Strain tea into a jug, another teapot once cooled.
  • Don’t use tea which needs a cooler boiling temp (green etc) otherwise you’ll be drinking a cup of bitterness – and trust me, that’s not all that tasty.
  • This one is important as it really determines how strong your tea will be. My suggest from trial and error, as well as looking into the tea experts is, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons per cup of water.
  • Use ice cubes to cool your tea down faster.
  • You’ve got to steep it long enough or short enough to get the flavours right! For heartier teas, like black teas and darker oolongs, steep for 3 to 5 minutes. For green, white and lighter oolong teas need just 2 to 3 minutes.
  • If you’re storing your tea in the fridge, add in some lemon to preserve the flavour!
  • If you’re time poor, T2 and similar do great blends – just add some fruit or mint to add a bit of fresh goodness.
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Images taken / edited by me

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WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Do you love tea? What are some of your favourite recipes? Have you shopped at T2 before? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

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