Arctic Iced Tea

Nunavut is Canada’s newest territory and the coldest as it stretches to the Arctic Circle. Drinking hot tea is a very popular pastime for Nunavut residents who see only a couple of hours of daylight and experience temperatures that dip to 40 below (Fahrenheit or Celsius).

The setting mid-day sun proved the perfect backdrop for a splash of tea tossed in a tinted arc. The photo, posted to Flickr where it received 75,000 views and Facebook has since gone viral, according to The Toronto Globe & Mail and Toronto Star, CBC News, Yahoo News and Huffington Post.

WTN160104_IcedTeaSunset_Nunavit_Michael H Davies_Facebook

Photo by Michael H. Davies (

Photographer Michael H. Davies, who lives in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, a village of 1,400 only 20 kilometers from the Arctic Circle set out to frame the sunset in crystals that emerge instantly from boiling water tossed into a frigid sky.

Posing with a cup of tea in front of icebergs, polar bears, giant snow dunes, local landmarks and desolate tundra is a popular according to a Facebook post by Konfirmed Media.

“The photo shows local resident Markus Siivola throwing hot tea into the air as he bends backwards. In the –40 C weather, the tea freezes as soon as it’s tossed,” reports Konfirmed.

Davies said the whole photo shoot was planned after he saw a similar photo elsewhere and decided he could top it.

“I went through the science of it,” he said. “I figured, ‘OK, I need 40 below, I need calm winds, I need the sunset in the background so it lights up my fog when I film it.’”

Siivola prepared six thermos containers of boiling water, tossing in the tea as an afterthought.

“In each one we threw in a tea bag because we thought, if this doesn’t work, at least we can have a tea, because, as everybody knows, in Nunavut we go to great lengths to have tea somewhere strange, whether it’s in front of an iceberg, or on top of a mountain or in the middle of the tundra,” he said.

Domestic / International News, News
Dan Bolton

About Dan Bolton

Dan Bolton edits STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International. He was formerly editor and publisher of World Tea News and former editor and publisher of Tea Magazine and former editor-in-chief of Specialty Coffee Retailer. He is a beverage retail consultant and frequent speaker at industry seminars and conferences. His work has appeared in many beverage publications. He was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years prior to his career in magazines. Dan is the founding editor of Natural Food magazine and has led six publishing ventures since 1995. He lives in Winnipeg, Canada.