What’s in a cup of tea???

Tea is an essential part of our lives, part of all our rituals, functions, office conferences and whatever one can think of . All the major decisions, national, international or at home are taken over a cup of tea. From ‘Mummy ne Teri mujhe Chai per bulaya hai to come let’s have tea to Chai per charcha( tete-a-tete over tea), tea is there for all occasions (though there may be ‘Many a slip between the cup and the lip’). From early morning till one hits the bed at night, tea is there playing the ‘filler, rejuvenator’ role in it’s different flavours. Some can’t leave the bed in the morning without a cup of tea, while for others it is the instant medication for headache or works as a stress buster, providing the just needed break from the work station. It serves as a stimulant, when everything else seems to be failing, igniting the mind when required the most, during decision making. Tea is not bound by region, season or religion. “It is loved in all regions of the world and consumed in all seasons and weather conditions. It will not be wrong to say that Tea is one common factor which unites the world. Many a friendships, relationships have flourished over a cup of tea. Meeting over a cup of tea still remains the best way to ‘break the ice’.Unlike wine or beer, it can be indulged in anywhere, anytime.

There are so many flavours and styles of brewing ; what one likes may not be someone else’s cup of tea. Everyone has their own favourite type (black, green, with milk, peppermint, spicy and so on) and like it brewed their own way. A cup of tea is what the mind and body crave for and if not brewed to perfection can just mar the mood and spoil the day. The aroma released as hot water is poured over tea leaves is just awesome and refreshes the mood and sets the mind on fire.

I have been a fan of tea since a very young age and have had the good fortune of travelling through best of the tea gardens located in the North East and southern regions of the country. The variety available is mind boggling, white, black, green and what not . After trying different flavours and types, I finally decided that simple plain black, brewed my way, was my cup of tea.

After a long period of hit and trial I found my perfect way of brewing the tea . Hot water (not boiling, just short of it) poured over tea leaves (tea bag) and let it brew for two minutes. I do not like too tea too hot or cold ; just about hot tastes the best for me, so I let it rest in the cup for about five minutes before taking a sip. The crockery used too plays a major role in adding the right flavour and the taste. Porcelain is the best for me, preferring a colourful cup in the morning to an elegant white bone china (maybe gold rimmed) in the office. Some prefer it in the “Desi Kulhad” (Baked clay cup) which adds it’s own aroma to tea and now there are Tea joints serving baked tea too.

My day starts and ends with a cup of black tea. A hot cup of tea works as a stimulant in the morning and when taken before hitting the bed helps in releasing all the stress accumulated over the day; certainly works for me.

“Friends, to enjoy tea, brew it your own way, do not leave it to others (whenever you can help it)”