A broken Central Heating System in our offices really opened a can of worms but then the worms were instantly roasted because for the past month it has been like Summer all over again only minus the tan lines.
A chance conversation between myself and one colleague who was half hanging out a window and another who was jabbing at the defunct electric fan with a butter knife led us to talk of whether drinking a hot drink actually cools you down.
I have always wondered if this is a true fact or something everyone just repeats and with perfect timing a hot and sweaty Indian came in to see if we had seen his butter knife which had mysteriously disappeared from the staffroom.
In a quick piece of distraction while the knife got slipped down the back of the filing cabinet, he was asked if they drink hot tea in India to cool down and he said that the older generation drink hot tea all the time regardless of the season so it's more of a cultural rather than a cooling thing but the younger generation tend to drink cola when it gets hot.
Telling him we thought we saw his butter knife in the cutlery draw, we then went on a mission to find out if people in hot countries did actually drink hot drinks and we cornered a Greek student who looked at us as if we were mad and said if you had the choice between a cold drink and a hot cup of tea in 40c Greek summer heat, there is no doubt which he'd choose and it wasn't the tea.
In the restaurant we found a couple of colleagues with scientific credentials who explained that the assumption is that by drinking something hot, you bodies core temperature increases so you sweat and sweating cools you down but as the sweating only cools you down to the temperature you were before drinking the tea elevated your temperature in the first place, it's quite pointless and if someone
hands you a hot cup of tea when your hot you would be better off waiting for it to cool down and pouring it over yourself.
We left them to their conversation about Star Wars and the periodic table or whatever science types talk about and went to hunt down other people from hot climates, such as the Chinese janitor who said that where the summers in Hong Kong were stiflingly hot and cold tea is mostly served because while hot tea is considered a year-round drink, it's not popular during summer.
Considering it case closed, the Thai cleaning lady threw us back into confusion by saying sweet, hot tea is exactly the thing they drink over there to cool themselves down in the heat which my much travelled neighbour agree with followed by a lengthy conversation about tea drinking in Bangkok and how drinking iced drinks didn't agree with his stomach and he had to use the toilet frequently.
In short, what i mostly learnt was not to dig around inside a fan with a butter knife and only offer my neighbour a cold drink if a toilet is close by but i am still no closer to finding if drinking hot drinks when you are hot cools you down.