I have heard from numerous people lately that it's just too hot to drink tea. I find this amazing, considering the majority of tea consumed in the US is iced. That got me to thinking about people's perceptions of tea; are we so entrenched in our preferences that we can't even consider "looking outside the bag"?
Many of the people I know drink hot tea all day long; they won't even consider iced tea. Then there are the "icers" I know who think hot tea is too stuffy. Me? I'm right in the middle. I love a hot cup of Ceylon in the morning, with its warm honey notes and the right amount of pick-me-up to jump-start my morning. I will then turn around that afternoon and ice it, enjoying a smooth, refreshing cup to quench my thirst. Both forms have their appeal for me, and I appreciate the subtle differences between the two.
To satisfy my own curiosity, I did a little experiment a couple weeks ago. I provided the tea for a local yarn shop's celebration. For something different, I decided to make a pu'erh/herbal blend and, wanting people to assume it was the standard iced tea fare, I did not put any labels on the iced tea. I got many positive comments on the tea - and even more when I told them what it was (I was especially surprised when some adamant hot tea lovers professed a liking for this iced blend). Some people were so bold as to tell me they would not have tried it had they known what it was - but were pleasantly surprised by the combination of flavors. In the end, it did confirm my suspicion that people are generally afraid to try new things, but when they do, they are fairly open to the new experience.
So, go ahead and live a little. Mix it up!