Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The bonding over a steaming cup of tea...

I have always seen people bond over a smoke and a drink, but for me, a steaming cup of tea works wonders...

But if you think, its as simple as it sounds, you are mistaken. The tea has to be made the right way, my way, probably the only way, is what i would say.

The right way is to heat the water and just as it starts to boil, add tea leaves and take the pan off the heat. This ensures that oxygen is not boiled out of the water, ensuring the oxygenation of the tannin in the tea leaves, which comes about by brewing it (of course off the heat) for about 5 minutes and voila....

One wrong step and it all becomes a royal mess, that I would prefer to throw down the drain.

Now coming to the element of bonding over tea, or dare I say the right kind of tea, just happens. In Neeti's and my family, it is the trigger - its like a war cry to say "chai ho jaye", and the anticipation of a conquest over the cup of tea begins. This invariably happens every night after dinner, providing the right trigger to stay up a while and talk about the happenings of the day.

I still remember the day my folks and I visited Neeti's place for the first time before our marriage. After an hour or so, when we moved out, the first thing I told my folks was that I loved their tea!!! And my folks nodded in agreement, laying the foundation for our marriage.

Mauritius, where we had gone for our honeymoon, is known for its boutique vanilla teas. Our resort had nothing but vanilla flavoured tea all over. And both of us had to struggle with the Creole and French speaking staff just to get a few tea bags of Assam tea. Wherever we go now, one of the standard gifts we usually get for our families are tea gift packs.

Tea has taken to several extremes. On weekends, when we are out in the market and Neeti starts checking out some nick-knacks, I can barely control my patience for half an hour after which extreme boredom sets in, and I am forced to let out the war cry of "Chai ho jaye"!!! And Neeti, like a fellow "drinking partner" gets so tempted that she winds up within the next 15-20 minutes, after which we either head home or to the nearest Barista or Cafe Coffee Day.

One such hangout for us used to be the Cocos outlet at Lokhandwala market. It charmed us with the quality of its tea and its colourful ambiance. But as real estate markets had their way, high rents forced them to move out. And old does indeed make way for the new.... we have now started patronising Coffee World with a similar zeal.

And just as I want to write more, I hear Neeti making the war cry of "chai ho jaye" - it's time to go...

1 comment:

benita said...

had no idea u like tea as much as i do..and bk in AGH, rashmi's and my mess bills were always the highest..and it was always becoz of tea!!!........and since a glass was not enough..i always asked for -"do chai lekin ek glass mein!!!".. nothing nothing like chai.........i cud go on and onnnnnnnn

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