A Tea for the Polar Vortex

When your phone says this—yesterday and today, even in late morning—you need a tea that will convince you that, yes indeed, you can manage to walk from your house to your car, assuming you walk quickly, because, yes indeed, that does actually say “feels like minus 36°“!

And when your husband can throw out a pan of hot tea because, well blech, it was teabag tea—and you have your very own plume of tea shards—then you know you need a tea that will convince you not to go back to bed!

And when, on your way in to work, the car in front of you says this, you know you really really need a cup of tea that will convince you to not simply drive back home and call it a day!


So I’m imagining a steaming cup of Chili Chocolate tea, because, well, chili peppers evoke warm climes, right?


And the bite of heat, well, that will nicely offset my thermometer.


Oh wait, that heat? Pain.

Yep, because those ingredients that make a chili pepper a chili pepper are capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin. Some of our nerve cells have receptors for capsaicin—and these same receptors help control our body temperature, and they send out pain signals when they are damaged.

Essentially, your body’s response to a hot pepper is physiologically very similar to being exposed to actual heat. (JSTOR Daily)

And when there’s too much heat, there’s damage, and pain.

Well, there’s the pain of this.


Or the “pain” of this:


I’ll take another steaming cup!



Source: “The science of hot chili peppers,” by J. MacDonald, JSTOR Daily, June 1, 2017.

Chili Chocolate tea, a TeaHaus, Ann Arbor, blend, is available here.

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