My Indian tea affair
My love for tea started when I was a teenager, possibly first time my parents felt i was eligible to consume a caffeinated beverage. Or going by the way we make tea in India (considering the sheer amount of milk a lot of Indian households put into our Chai Latte), it was more a mechanism to ensure milk consumption by a growing teenager. Whatever the reason, i was soon hooked or rather addicted to the most acclaimed beverage worldwide. The chaiwallahs near our colleges soon became a favourite hangout and we were mostly left with the dilemma of choosing between the cutting masala or the adrak/ elaichi varieties. Conversations have always been a natural byproduct of a good cup of tea whether it was about all the troubles of growing up or just about our infrastructural issues, just sharing notes on our political view point or sheer gossip. A good cup of tea has always been a conversation starter, a bond creator or just a catalyst of indigenous ideas. Most of us will agree, more so in India considering we assume that we have made huge contribution to the world of teas.
So interlinked is tea to any tea lovers life, there could be very conditional reasons to justify your tea consumption. “I cant wake up in the morning without my cup of tea” or “I definitely need a cup of tea to complete my breakfast” or just the ritualistic evening tea to wake you up from a blissful afternoon siesta. Sometimes, there is none. We really don't need a reason to have our cuppa. To the extent sometimes we even create moments - break from work tea, fresh air with tea, fatigue fighting tea, meeting someone over tea or just simply bored… so tea. For some, its hard to fathom waking up in the morning without a freshly steeped or brewed cup of tea. Its almost like driving around a car without cranking up the engine. You can hardly get the day right without getting the morning tea right. Thats the significance of morning tea. Simple, uncomplicated variety of tea does the job of setting the right amount of adrenaline rush to kickstart the day. Brought up in this country where tea is so intricately woven with our day to day lives, its hard to keep yourself away or rather not indulge in a cup of tea. Needless to say my love for tea has only enhanced, the repertoire of teas and taste buds evolved but what still remains is the same old charm of an effervescent beverage which is so integrated with our upbringing and Indian culture.
Tea by far is also synonymous to Indian hospitality. It is almost sacrosanct in a lot of Indian households to offer choice of beverage, mostly tea to any visiting guest, irrespective of the time or the agenda. The tea brewing backend of the Indian household is ever ready and geared to churn out tea which will probably put any International chain’s coffee making capabilities to shame. On an unusually busy day if there are more guests than usual, probably the pot never comes off the stove. There are even marquee households which are known to serve unique tasting teas which is quite openly the talk of the neighbourhood. Thats tea for us. So engraved in our ethos, our culture and the very spirit of existence.
For all the right reasons, it is almost always taken for granted that there will always be tea - wherever you are and whatever time of the day or night. Right from the neighbourhood chai stalls to the man delivering tea in canisters on his bike and right upto a plush five star hotel in the quintessential backyard of a central business district. It brings people of all echelons of society together and binds them with the flavour and aroma of this unique though simplistic beverage.
In India, we rejoice drinking our cup of tea in every possible form that we have created and even for the smallest reason that we choose to drink it. We celebrate tea!
Author - Nicky P.
I am an avid traveller, writer, dreamer and a drink connoisseur - my favourite being tea! I enjoy writing with my favourite cuppa. Writing sets me free. It helps me unravel various facets of new subjects and deep dive into a new realms of truth, knowledge and beyond. What better to write about the things you love! :)