Confessions of a Tea Drinker

Confession is good for the soul – or so the saying goes. So without any further ado, my confession. I have not consumed hot tea for a very long time. I’d like to be able to say how long but it just sort of crept up on me and so I’m not really sure. It’s probably been at least a year now, at the very least.

Ti Kuan Yin Oolong served cold
Ti Kuan Yin Oolong served cold

Which is not to say that I don’t drink tea. I actually drink it in amounts that are probably not so good for someone who doesn’t respond well to caffeine. It’s just that at some point I decided that I preferred my tea cold rather than hot. This goes for any type of tea I drink, whether it be a nice robust cup of Assam, a colorful Japanese green, an aromatic oolong or one of those relatively rare forays into herbal/tisane type beverages (mostly rooibos).

I’m not sure how or why this came about, but I suspect it has something to do with climate. Living here in southern Arizona it can be a bit daunting to contemplate a cup of steaming hot tea when the temperatures are well over 100 degrees and when grown men are weeping and the birds bursting into flames in the sky. While I’m aware that people in other hot regions, such as north Africa and the Middle East, often consume tea and other hot beverages in spite of the heat that doesn’t make the prospect any less daunting in my book. Then again, even when the temperatures fall into the fifties and sixties, during what passes for winter around these parts, I still drink tea iced, so I’m not sure if the climate theory is really sufficient to entirely explain the issue.

I guess if I had to pin down any reasons why this has come to pass I’d say there are primarily two of them. Since I drink so much tea in the course of a day’s time I find it more convenient to just whip up a larger quantity and stash it in the refrigerator. I know there are a lot of people who find the ritual of preparing tea to be an integral part of the process but I’m not one of them.

My primary reason for making the switch to iced tea is simply that I don’t like to drink tea hot anymore, although when it comes to the term “iced” I should probably clarify things a bit. Unless it’s a blazing day I tend to drink tea that’s not quite “icy” but that also has not had a chance to reach room temperature. I haven’t done much research into the matter – aside from my own experiences – but it seems that the extremes of the temperature range aren’t really the optimum temps when it comes to getting the optimum flavor from tea.

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7 thoughts on “Confessions of a Tea Drinker

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