Drink hot tea in the summer if you'd like but it won't cool you down!

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Takeya Iced tea makerIt's officially summer and unsuitable for human habitation in Vero Beach today. 92 oF but feels like 107 oF so here we are sitting at  Tea and Chi's "big table" and doing the British thing; drinking milky, hot black tea and complaining about the weather.

What's the British thing with drinking hot tea in the summer you ask? Well, according to my mother, hot tea makes you sweat and as the sweat evaporates you cool down. Even without taking into account the laws of thermodynamics, which would prove this to be an absurd claim, I would like to point out two other facts; nothing "evaporates"  in the humid climate of Florida (that's why we don't hang clothes out to dry/mold) and the last time Britain had a summer was 1972 so how would they know?!

Can you tell this weather puts me in a bit of a mood? Well, despite the above diatribe I should say I like hot tea any time of year and that is, in my book, the only reason to drink it in the summer or otherwise. I like iced tea too, and as a matter of fact I'd like to add a link to my new, very favourite way of making iced tea even though the teas we are tasting today are not suited to icing. The Takeya iced tea maker is compact enough to fit in the door of just about any fridge, makes 66 oz of tea at a time and you don't need to boil water! It's also BPA free plastic, doesn't stain and is easy to clean. It's been the hottest selling item lately both in store and on-line.

Back to the hot teas, the teas we are tasting are the last four of the unblended plain blacks in our repertoire. Next on my list are English and Irish Breakfast, Glasgow Gold and then the flavoured blacks.

Kenya GFOP, Milima: From the Milima estate, longish, dark leaf with a distinctive floral notes. Brews copper-ish, brisk, cup good astringency, not overly strong with pleasant cacao bean notes. OK with milk but I prefer it plain.

Kenya CTC Tinderet: CTC stands for Crush, Tear and Curl, the method by which tea is machine cut and shaped into the distinctive small pellets. This technique typically makes tea stronger, faster brewing and often malty tasting. This tea brews dark red and is malty and bisquity. A bit sharp without milk but delicious, rich a soothing with a splash.

Tanzania BP1, organic: Organic broken pekoe leaf with mild, pleasant, tea aroma. Brews a slightly lighter red color than the Tinderet. Taste is flat a strongly astringent. A splash of milk improved this to tasteless. Won't be restocking it so I hope it isn't someone's favourite.

Java FBOP, Santosa: Thin, longish leaves unfurl into crinkly edged, dark, largish, broken leaf pieces. Smooth, with pleasant summer fruit notes. Holds milk well but I find it more interesting without.

Tomorrow I hope to get to the last, unflavoured blacks. Stay cool.

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