For a day out
Bubble tea (boba tea)
Coming from Taiwan, one of the most picture-worthy and intriguing items on the list is a tea-based drink with chewy tapioca balls mixed in. It’s served in various sweet-ish flavors, with or without milk, and with a variety of sweet toppings. You can adapt this drink to any weather: to refresh, choose a mild flavor and add some ice; when it’s cold, go for thicker ones for a dessert-like taste. Just feel free to advise the tea maker to make your perfect match. For me, the great inspiration that dispelled my doubts about whether it’s worth giving a go was this video of British taxi drivers trying bubble tea for the first time – it’s absolutely hilarious.
When you drink matcha, it feels like you’re doing a good thing for your body. And that’s true! The antioxidants it’s full of help reduce the risk of heart disease and boost metabolism. Matcha is a kind of Japanese green tea made from tea leaves dried into a vibrant green powder. When mixed with milk or water, it totally dissolves in the liquid, leaving behind even more healthy substances than usual green tea leaves. The taste is considered grassy and slightly bitter, so if you’re looking for sweetness, try cakes and pies with matcha instead – these can usually be found at the same cafes where you have your drink.
A helping hand during heatwaves, when you’re tired of drinking water, and you want something fizzy but not so sugary and feel too lazy to prepare something on your own. In fact, you don’t have to like beer itself to appreciate its “refined” clone: besides the сlassic wheat or hop, there’s a wide choice of citrus and fruit flavors softer than any soda. Not to mention it’s legal to drink any time of day.
To try at home
Kombucha, known in Russia as mushroom tea, is a miracle of fermentation. Mixing sweet black tea with yeast results in a sour and very fresh drink, and the best part is you can buy it at supermarkets, coffee shops, or easily make it at home: all you need is an actual mushroom (find it on Avito or ask your friends’ relatives, they for sure have some) a jar, some tea leaves, sugar, and some patience!
A popular coffee substitute thanks to its taste, chicory is a herb that contains no caffeine. The beverage is made from ground chicory root and is considered a healthy and cheap alternative to coffee. With some milk and sugar (or condensed milk), the taste is so similar that you can’t tell a cup of chicory from a cup of coffee.
Made from a local plant with pretty purple flowers, this herbal tea is not only tasty but allegedly has many health benefits including boosting the immune system, stabilizing blood pressure, and fighting insomnia. Besides, it’s tasty and can be found in every grocery store or even picked outside the city, in Leningrad Oblast. You can find it on its own, but also try mixing it with berries, fruits, and other herbs.
What are the favorite summer drinks of our editorial team? Check out this article for more inspiration on fighting the heat.