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Drink of the Week: Blue Hawaiian Loaded Tea at Columbia's Vista Nutrition

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$7 for a 32 oz. tea. 504 Gervais St. facebook.com/vista.nutritionSC.

Blue drinks just seem especially refreshing — even when it's cold out.

Recent downtown addition Vista Nutrition has plenty of blue drinks on tap among its nearly 60 options for loaded teas — like this one, the Blue Hawaiian.

All of the teas contain a mixture of green, black and oolong tea, vitamin C, B6 and B12 vitamins, ginseng, aloe and guarana, which provides energy, along with additives meant to boost metabolism, focus, alertness, clarity and ease of digestion, according to the chalkboard listing menu options for the teas.

“These loaded teas have anywhere from 150 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, only 24 calories, and no sugar,” said Kayla Smith, the owner of Vista Nutrition, explaining that the addition of aloe helps the body absorb all the vitamins and minerals.

The Blue Hawaiian combines three flavors — lime, piña colada and blue — and is a mesmerizing ombre blue-green color with the deepest hue at the bottom of the cup. In addition to the flavoring and supplements, the 32 oz. cup is loaded with ice that melts and makes the drink last longer.

A curious blend of tart, fruity and sweet, the Blue Hawaiian is as refreshing an iced blue drink should be. But the real benefit of this tea comes a little later, when the energy-boosting effects come into play. The energy increase that follows drinking this tea isn’t like a jittery coffee buzz, it’s like a slow swell of power and purpose that makes you feel like you can conquer your life’s goals in the span of a Saturday afternoon.

Vista Nutrition opened on Jan. 2 and has had an overwhelmingly positive reception so far.

“One of the main reasons I decided to open in the Vista is because there are so many bars and we wanted a positive environment for people who didn’t want to partake in that,” Smith explained.

She added that they will be extending their hours and making other adjustments and improvements to the shop as she sees what people want.

Vista Nutrition is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking is available in the lot behind the building.

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