When I go north, I expect the weather to cool down — not unreasonable, right? So when Montreal flouted this expectation last month with an unseasonable flush of heat, I was not prepared. On one particularly warm afternoon I fled into a café, escaping the sun, my entire body prickly with heat and irritation.
As I brushed by one of the enormous open windows on my way in, the smell of basil and rosemary rose up to greet me. The windows of this café were overflowing with pots of herbs. I slid behind a small wood table and ordered something uncharacteristic, for me: Iced green tea. I think I was drawn to it by its name — they called it an "elixir," and when I took the first cold sip it was almost magical in its cooling power.