The Tea Story
Guest article by A Delhizen who loves the fact that she belong to the capital city. A friend of hers, described ‘Delhizen’ as ‘City-Buddhist philosophy of effortlessness’.
Let me start by asking what gives a perfect start to your morning? Shakes off the slumber effect? Warms up you on a cold day and refreshes you after long hours at work? All those tea-drinkers can raise their hands, sit back easy in their chairs and unwind till I tell you the secret behind that perfect cuppa!
Before we recognized the value of those leaves that grew in our backyard, the English had docked on out ports to export the plant which changed colors when immersed in hot water. Indian spices and herbs like green Cardamom, Black pepper, Cinnamon, Fennel, Basil, Mint, Ginger sweetened with Jaggery, the natural form of sugar created some amazing fusions.
Making tea is an art which I acquired at a young age, simply because my dearest dad loved his ‘glass’ of garam cha. Every girl when she is little has one purpose in life to win over her father and tea is sure shot way! The skill got refined as I grew and my fame of making good tea spread far and wide in my family. Of course this also made me realize I should stop my sojourns in the kitchen else requests of making umpteen cups of tea will soon turn into dishing out meals.
So, how do you like your tea? Without milk, little milk or lots of it? Hint of sugar or spoon of honey? Everyone has their own preferences. Me? I like mine with exactly 3 tea spoons of milk, spoonful of sugar, brewed with Tulsi leaves and a hint of ginger extract.
There is also a trick to find out if it’s prepared just the way I like it without tasting it. Wondering how? Most of you would say obviously the colour and I will say no, the secret is in its aroma. I raise the cup to my nose before it touches my lips. The aroma tells me if it’s under boiled or over brewed, is too milky and if it has the right proportion of Tulsi- Adrak.
My ideal cuppa is called the truck driver di cha, because it’s strong enough to hit the senses and sweet enough to keep the insulin in my body busy. Now, you can measure the amount of sugar and milk that has to go in the tea but how do you add the tea leaves, with a spoon? Never do that again. Let your fingers do the magic. They know exactly how much to take, and this is something a spoon can’t do!
The tea story just gets bigger and magical. Experiment with Gourmet teas infused with natural extracts of flowers and fruits. Leave instant ice tea mixes out of your kitchen, pick-up Strawberry, Mango, Orange, Cherries fusions available in the market. Brew them with a little bit of honey or sugar, don’t strain the tea and keep it in the fridge to chill. Add ice cubes and voila! Here’s your own tall glass of Fruity Ice Tea not just flavored sugary water.
The Tea trivia
India is one of the largest tea producers in the world with each region offering exclusive flavors. If Darjeeling tea has acquired the status of ”Champagne of Teas” then Nilgiri hills in the South produces some of the finest black teas.
The Silver Tips- One of the most expensive teas in the world grown exclusively in Darjeeling. It is plucked on a full moon night only.
Gourmet flavors are prepared with blending choicest of spices, dehydrated fruits with fine quality Teas. Some must try flavors include, mango, orange, strawberry, Apple, Jasmine and Earl Grey (tea infused with Bergamot oil)
White-A rare and delicate tea, it is known for its strong anti oxidant qualities.