Friday, July 28, 2006

Tea

I love tea.

My idea of bliss, is to curl up with family/friends, and have a nice long chat over a hot cup of tea.

When I say I want to drink tea, it is very rarely for just the tea itself. It is for the entire ritual - taking a break, preparing the tea, sitting comfortably and drinking it with somebody, enjoying their company. In fact, when I am alone, I have tea only when it is absolutely necessary -- just to get rid of a mild headache, or just to drive away the vestiges of sleepiness.

I like my tea with just a teaspoonful of milk, and just a touch of sugar. Honey and jaggery are interesting substitutes too! For a change, I love ginger tea, especially when I have a cold or a sore throat.

The Sundays of my childhood was full of lemon tea, made oh-so-perfectly by my father. Just that little lemony tang, and the fragrance of tea, and sugar enough to please a child's palate. Papa, why don't you make lemon tea any more?

In fact, it was my dad who taught me to prepare tea. I followed his instructions to the T(ea). And it always was fantastic!

As I grew older, my tastes called for lesser milk and lesser sugar. But the process still remained the same. Then my aunts taught me a tasty new alternative - brewing tea - just like the oh-so-propah English. Just add those tea leaves into hot water, wait, and drink. Wowie! And this tastes best without sugar or milk.

The best tea I have had out of home are at Darjeeling, right inside a tea garden, and at Kemmannugundi, though this one was very milky and sugary. (I have no doubt that the places had a lot to do with it, though!)

When I am slightly hungry, I love dipping a biscuit into the tea and eating the soft, squidgy result. This is an art in itself; you hold the biscuit in the tea for just that right amount of time - to make it soft, but not long enough such that it lands into the teacup and forms a gooey residue.

I love trying out varieties of tea. Darjeeling, Assam, Earl Grey, Lemon, and that yummy Chocolatey Sikkim tea that my uncle brewed for us the other day - wow!

So, imagine the effect that a tea bar would have on me! That's my latest post on Metroblogging Bangalore - hop over and have a look. In fact, if you browse a bit at MB, you will discover some fab eating joints for you to try out. Bon appetit!

33 comments:

Anu said...

Ha! Tea, and isnt it just apt that I get to comment first? For me, Tea = relaxation. First it was a chance to get away from studies and in later years, a chance to get the nieces away from theirs to sit with me for a chat!
Oh I have caught the Vikky bug. I want to write a post of my own on this!

rash_mi said...

"Chai" -- I love it esp. masala chai and lemon tea. And that too on a rainy day with some pakoras, nothing like it !

And yes, Infintea is a great place for tea lovers.

Deppe said...

I have a friend who will be thrilled to hear about Infinitea, if he doesn't already know about it. This guy is such a tea-freak that his nickname in college was Chaikovsky.

Anonymous said...

Ri Shruthi,
Nim mail ID kodthira ? Metroblogging bagge nanna kelavu vayakthika vichara/suggestions nimge helbekittu.

Praveen

Anonymous said...

Kshamisi,

Nan mail ID bpraveen@yahoo.com

Shruthi said...

Anu: Ahhh couldn't hope for a better first commenter :D
Ohhhoooo so all your tea ruses were just to get us away from studies, ha? Grrrr!! [Pssst... Thank you! ;)]
I am sure your tea post will be fantastic!

Rashmi: Welcome to my blog! :) Ahhh Tea with pakoras on a rainy day!... yummm!

Deppe: Chaikovsky :))))) ROFL!! Now why didn't I think of that? That would be a great name for Anu above :D
Do tell him about Infinitea... though, if he is from Bangalore or Mumbai, he will for sure know about it.

Praveen: Nimge sadhyadalle mail maadthini.

Vijay said...

For me Tea is something only for the afternoon (abhyasa).. but have to start my day with Coffee.

Maybe thats because most places here (read restaurants) make better coffee than tea.

Maverick said...

i used to love tea too, but gradually n unknowingly the love shifted onto coffee. Have u ever had an iced ginger tea? i just had it day before yesterday in starbucks n vow!!!! it's gr8.

Shruthi said...

Vijay: For me, it's always been tea over coffee. But after eating Dosa or Idly, I feel the urge to have coffee, and not tea! :)

Maverick: Of course! I love Iced Ginger Tea! For that matter, I like Iced Tea with any flavour!

Shyam said...

I dont like tea but I drink it everyday at work because I dislike coffee (the watery horrible English kind) even more! :) I do like the masala chai you get in the little tea stalls in Kodaikanal, though.

Inder said...

i realize that i have stopped taking tea completely...

tea is so refreshing... tea and biscuits are divine in the middle of work. i prefer brittania biscuits dipped in tea than marie :)

Shruthi said...

Shyam: Ha ha! The lesser of the two evils, huh? :D
Yeahhhh the chais in little grubby glasses on roadsides in hill stations are yum - and a mom's nightmare too :D

Inder: Yup I like Glucose biscuits - Parle G, or Tiger. Those are the best with tea :)

travel plaza said...

Oh! You've made me want to go and make myself a cuppa chai now!! Like you, I don't usually drink tea alone...love the company that goes with it. And parle G with tea..mmmm..

Nirwa said...

I like tea with ginger, fresh mint leaves, lemon grass and few leaves of tulsi.. wonderful WONDERFUL herbal tea! And I am pretty good at making it..

And yeah, great for sore throat and cold.. !

Viky said...

Nan ginger-tea ginta na?

But I did not like the way the Tea ads are coming on TV...the "definitely not a Tea drinker" ads. They are a tad over the line.

maLeli kardidd tinDi jote tea ginta enu illa biDi....

Supremus said...

I am a tea addict - my day doesnt begin without a tea. If I dont have tea right out of bed in the morning, the whole day is screwed more or less - it is that bad an addiction hehehe :D

There is tea. And there are other milky drinks :D

S

Sameer said...

I love tea and I love making tea. my favorite ingredients are a couple of cardamoms and a small piece of cinnamon stick. Add them to the tea powder with a spot of milk and sugar.. that makes heavenly tea!

Sachin said...

Hey Shruthi!! The only time I've had tea at a hill station was during my honeymoon in the north. We were staying at this small hill station called Kausani right in the foothills of the Himalayas. In fact, some of the more famous peaks of the Himalayas were clearly visible from our hotel room. Well, there is a huge tea graden at Kausani itself (Kausani Tea Garden, Uttaranchal) where we stopped our car at for a small walk. Right outside the garden proper, there was this small outlet selling all the variety of tea leaves, powders etc of different grades. Also, they had freshly brewed tea (normal, honey and lemon). Needless to say, we tried all the flavours and it really felt heavenly especially since it was December and it was biting cold there.

Other than that, at home, I really like that strong cup of tea with just a little milk. Come to think of it, I like a good cup of coffee too!!!

Just a q, Shruthi, is Kannada your mother tongue?

raj plus said...

Shruthi,I really liked the style and the gentle build-up you have given before introducing your readers to the tea bar. You followed a similar style in your earlier post - talking about Isha Yoga, etc before explaining what triggered the whole post. Lovely narrative style.

PRIDERA said...

I was introduced to tea very late ... only after marriage. But since then, I am a big tea fan. Somehow it just doesn't feel like a good start without a cup of tea every morning. And my hubby dear prepares the best tea I have had so far. Its the right combination of spices, sugar and milk. Just the way, I like it. I am yet to perfect that art myself.

Abhinav said...

I started enjoying Tea in college, our college shared one part of boundry with a Tea plantation, and since then i only like Assam Tea.
and yea dipping biscuit in a tea is an Art

Kishor Cariappa said...

I had a fetish for coffee and marie biscuits during my schooling days. Sadly, most of the 'Shanti Sagars' and 'Sukh Sagars' offer poorly prepared/flavoured tea.

anumita said...

Somehow tea is one thing I have never had inspite of growing up in the middle of tea gardens.

Shruthi said...

Travel Plaza: Ha, similar tastes, similar ideas, hmm??

Nirwa: Gimme your address! Good herbal tea, followed by that vanilla icecream and marie biscuit combo that you described in that other ice cream post!! :O

Viky: Ditto as above - address please :D Hmm... in what way are the ads over the line? Explain please!!
"MaLeli kardiddu" --- ROFL ;) you fry it in rain? :D -- OK ok I got what you meant - and I agree with you totally! The only thing is that nowadays fried stuff are a little ... mmm.... maDi!

Suyog: Ahaa! A true addict here! :D And that first cuppa followed by many more cuppas I am sure? :o

Sameer: Cinnamon! I haven't added that in a long time! Thank you thank you!


Sachin: Whoa!! That sounds heavenly! And I am sure that tasted fantastic too! :)) You know, even if you bring the same tea home and brew it yourself, it isn't that good. You know why? Because it is not flavoured with the air of the Himalayas! :)
And yes, my mother tongue is Kannada.

Shruthi said...

Raj plus: Thanks a ton! Coming from you, any compliment is a huge compliment, coz I enjoy your writing immensely :)
By the way, I see that you really pay attention to the style of writing. You had complimented me twice before - I would also appreciate brickbats. If I am doing anything wrong, could you let me know that too? Thanks in advance :)

Pridera: As long as hubby is doing it, don't bother to perfect the art -- my advice to you :D Muhahahaha!

Abhinav: Woww what a school! Oh yeah Assam tea is fantastic, in fact, I have some sachets in my drawer right now. Will go and have a cuppa right after I finish this :)

Kishor: Oh yeahhhh I never have tea in restaurants. They usually offer some terrible concoction. "Make your own tea" restaurants are fine, though!

Anumita: Whaaaaa? Now that's really strange, isn't it? And man, do I envy you! :) Which tea gardens, btw?

Raj said...

I love tea too. I like Assam n Earl Grey but Lemon is my fave. The only one i don#t like is Peppermint.

But I feel ashamed in saying that I've neer been to Infinitea in spite of living barely 10 mins away. I will try going there soon. :)

Shruthi said...

Raj: Tch, tch! Do make it there asap! i.e. After you get back of course ;)

mathew said...

ejactly..its always nice having tea with friends..especially early morning..without any hurry..wow..love it!!

Shruthi said...

zMathew: Lovely moments indeed!

Usha said...

Me loves tea too and yes, drinking tea is not just about swallowing a hot beverage but a total experience.
Loved this post too!

Shruthi said...

Usha: Glad to see that you feel the same! :) Thank you!
We have to meet at Infinitea once ;)

Viky said...

Over the line as in "the non tea drinker uses up the whole Hindi dictionary and yet is unable to propose, while the tea drinker winks and "rings" the lady".

Wonder what they were thinking of, when they approved the ad. Compared to that the TATA TEA - Na kahoge to pachtaoge is miles ahead.

maLe baruttiruvaga, maneli kuLitu, sooryakanthi eNNeyalli kardiro heerekai bonDa tinnodikkinta sukha bere illa. Ayta? *Killer look*

Shruthi said...

Viky: Ha ha! :))) OK OK!! And now you made me hungry early in the morning -- heerekayi bonDa!!! Aaah!!
Oh haven't seen the former ad - but I really like the TataTea ones :)

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