Here we are in the middle of a heat wave and it's thirsty work surviving in this kind of temperature. We all need to keep drinking liquids which should be tea, of course. But should it be hot tea or iced tea?

So why would you have hot tea in hot weather if you want to keep cool? It does seem counter intuitive but the weight of practice suggests otherwise. The custom of drinking hot drinks in hot weather goes back many centuries especially here in the UK and some of the largest consumers of tea live in tropical or desert regions like India and North Africa. It might be because it's been easier to get things hot rather than keep things very cold, fridges are a fairly modern invention after all, but maybe there is some truth in the idea that drinking hot drinks cools you down?

Some scientific studies have been done to discover which will keep you cooler - a hot or an iced cold drink? Without going into too much detail the nub of their findings is that drinking hot drinks lowers the body's overall heat storage. This is because it causes us to sweat more, and we cool down as the sweat evaporates off our skin.

However, you do need to be in a situation with good airflow and moderate humidity where the sweat can evaporate . Drinking hot tea in a very hot, humid climate with a limited breeze will not have the same effect. This is when iced tea might work better at cooling you down.

I suspect that it is a matter of drinking what you like but those of us who drink hot tea on a warm sunny day now know, what should never have been in doubt, that our Grannies knew what they were doing.

Which do you prefer? Hot or iced tea?


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