Posted in Kafevend Blog

Saturday was the longest day of the year and as many a pessimist will tell you, it's all downhill from here. We like to look on the bright side here on the blog however, so may we point out that tomorrow is Midsummer's Day, followed by Glastonbury and even then we're still not quite into July; there's lots of summer left! So if you've been wilting in the unaccustomed heat lately, could it be time to ditch the standard cuppa in favour of something a little different?

The USA has long been the culinary home of iced tea; around four fifths of tea consumed there is iced. The ready made brand that we most often see for sale in the UK is Lipton, but if you fancy making your own instead, get out a jug instead of the teapot and brew up. Generally iced tea is quite sweet, so the beauty of making your own is that you can cut down on the calories and avoid ruining your summer holiday diet plan. Remember to slice a lemon, fill the ice cube tray and ditch the usual mugs for some glasses, so that your refrigerated tea can be served with all due panache!

While iced tea is believed to have been around since the early years of the twentieth century, our next cold tea suggestion harks back to the comparatively recent 1980s. The Taiwanese invented a new iced tea phenomenon which they christened Bubble Tea. The bubbles refer, not to fizz, but to pearls of chewy tapioca, which are slurped up from the depths of the drink through a wide straw. The use of both milk and fruit teas makes for a wide variety of flavours to choose from. The quirky product's birth place boasts thousands of bubble tea shops. The craze went on to sweep across Asia and has since extended to other receptive nations, Canada being a fine example with some two thousand outlets to choose from. We're happy to report that you won't need to go abroad to test bubble tea for yourself. London based firm, 'Bubbleology' have a number of tea shops and venues within larger stores where they're committed to bringing us the Taiwanese taste sensation.

If you can't face London in the summer, don't fret at the missed opportunity! Remember that your usual herbal and fruit teas can be enjoyed chilled as well as hot. In fact for those who insist that nothing other than 'normal tea' is worth boiling the kettle for, this can be a good route into widening one's tea repertoire. Blackberry tea is particularly good served cold. Commercially produced varieties are widely available, but if you still have some of last autumn's harvest tucked away in your freezer we recommend you get defrosting and check out this blackberry tea blog.

We daren't finish without acknowledging that for many of you committed tea drinkers out there a cup of hot tea is just as refreshing when the thermometer's reading 80°F. Some may mock you, but scientists agree with this counterintuitive idea. Drinking hot tea raises the body's core temperature, which makes us perspire a little, but when that sweat evaporates we enjoy a cooling sensation. So whichever style suits you best, enjoy your tea this summer and may we have many more warm days to follow.

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