I have discovered a rather curious situation. It seems that many people think that drinking tea in the summer time, when it’s hot, is unreasonable. Now perhaps you’re shaking your head in agreement . . . but I find that very confusing.

It all started when Sandy and I were invited for dinner at a friend’s. She’s a recent convert to tea, buying a wonderful tetsubin, a few bodum glasses and select teas from me. I’ve enjoyed watching her begin her journey with tea. She had some house guests from overseas and needed to get more tea and purchased a few tea gifts for her guests.

I usually bring my own tea with me when I’m spending a long evening out but didn’t feel the need to do so anymore with this couple, for obvious reasons. We had a delicious light meal with a fabulous salad made from greens picked that evening from their garden. Much to my surprise, no tea was served. When I inquired about it, her reply was, “We don’t drink tea when it’s hot.”

I asked, “Do you drink coffee in the summer?” The look on her face reflected that she thought that was a bizzarre question. “Of course”, she quickly answered. End of discussion. If I wasn’t her tea purveyor, I would have easily moved into a discussion about what makes the hot drink of tea any different from hot coffee. Having a dual relationship creates another dynamic to the relationship: We are relatively new friends and I didn’t want her to feel that I was trying to get her to buy more tea from me.

This incident brought an awareness to me of what other people think about tea. It never occurred to me to stop drinking my beloved tea because of the thermometer. As I’m not a coffee drinker, and never was. My experience of observing coffee drinkers is that they consume coffee year round. Yes, some add ice to coffee in hot weather, just as some add ice to tea, but for the most part, hot coffee is typically consumed year round. I’m left with the same question . . . why treat tea differently? If I were out in the sun and feeling very hot, I wouldn’t want any hot beverage. Other than that however, tea is tea and it is my beverage of choice. According to the international statistics, which have concluded that aside from water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. People all over the world continue to consume hot tea year round, despite the temperature outside.

I’d welcome the opportunity to hear from others about this curious phenomenon. Do you enjoy fresh brewed tea in the summer? I’m not talking iced!

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