When It’s Too Hot Outside, Have Your Tea Inside

We are definitely in the Dog Days of Summer, especially in terms of temperature and humidity, throughout a big portion of the U.S. That means your outdoor tea time could be a tad overheated, if not downright impossible. Time to move that tea time back indoors.

What Are the Dog Days of Summer

Stay cool indoors and avoid that major heat outdoors!

Stay cool indoors and avoid that major heat outdoors!

Date-wise, these Dog Days occur mainly in the months of July and August here in the Northern Hemisphere. They are typically the warmest and often the most sultry days of the year. The name “Dog Days” comes from Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (big dog). This star is so bright that ancient Romans thought that, like the Sun, our planet was heated by it. In Summer, Sirius rises and sets generally at the same time as the Sun does. So, it seemed that the extra heat during these days came from this “dog star.” The period of time (20 days before and 20 days after the conjunction) are named “dog days” after that star. Generally, this is from around July 3 through about August 11.

However, Sirius is about 60 trillion miles away from Earth while the sun is only about 93 million miles (8.6 light years) away. A bit far, even for such a large star (actually, a two-star system where Sirius B orbits around Sirius A, which has a radius of 740,000 miles, which is 71% larger than the radius of our sun) to affect us. So, the extra heat comes from the earth’s tilt on its axis. We are getting more direct sunlight that causes heating in the atmosphere. Other factors are the jet stream and the ocean temperatures (again due to the more direct rays of the sun).

Enjoying the Dog Days with Tea

These are the days when iced tea reigns supreme, even when we spend as much time indoors as we can manage. When we do head outside, it’s with a big travel mug of iced tea in hand. Of course, the ice doesn’t last long in such high temperatures, even in the most insulated of mugs, so you need lots of it, which also means that you need to steep the tea up a bit extra strong. The melting ice will dilute the tea to a fairly tolerable strength.

Some of us are totally committed to hot tea, so our Dog Day Tea Time is held indoors where a sufficiency of air conditioning is available. Setting up our tea table, teapot, chahai, cups, utensils, etc., is also a bit easier to manage. And any foods we want to have with that tea, be it rice cakes, fruits, or things like scones and cookies, will stay free from bugs.

When the cooler temperatures return in the Fall, we can once again contemplate that nice outdoor setting for our tea time. Until then, we’ll stay safe and cool indoors. We hope you do, too!

About Janice and Stephen Shelton

Purveyors of Premium Teas
This entry was posted in Enjoying and Preparing Tea and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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