It is, undoubtedly, important to inculcate culture. In a cultured teetotalers world, tea occupies the same position as a glassful of wine. Aroma, texture, age, dearness, they all add to the flavour of the wine one sips. Much like that, teas come in a variety of flavours and distinctions. I have friends, two that i know personally, who take a lot of delight in brewing their own cuppa of Twinings Earl Grey, among others. I know this for a fact as i have often sat with them and watched them immersed in the delicate process. In fact, on those occasions they have brewed me a complimentary cuppa too. Today i came across this little doodle (below) and that made me think a little deeper about my truck with tea.
As a result of my brooding i came to the tepid realization that despite appreciating all that anti-oxidants do to my cells and despite liking, nay, needing that steaming cup of milk brought to a bubbling boil with sugar, water and tea leaves, i don’t actually understand tea. Especially the herbal/ black/ green, no-milk and sugar sort. I’ve often sat in the company of my teaweed friends and attempted to appreciate their generous favours. I’ve sipped and supped and hummed and aahed at all the right moments and i know them to perfection. The first sip, for instance, needs to be savoured with a look of orgasmic bliss on one’s face. The next should be quicker, followed by a smile and a nod at your friend, the teaweed. The third sip is where you must leave the tea in a little longer, stirring it in your mouth with your tongue, absorbing the tannins; you must choose your next step wisely, for it is where the teaweed shall look to you for your comments on the flavour, aroma, etc of the tea. I, for one, shake my head from side to side, pursing my lips in that way you do when you are unable to believe your good fortune at being the honoured sipper of that wonderful beverage nothing less than amrit itself. Now, let me assure you, this hypocricy is not a product of invidious malice, though the teaweeds amongst you are undoubtedly outraged at my revelation. This little pantomime is merely a byproduct of years of straining hard to appreciate the tinctures, textures and tones of tea, and, as is obvious to you by now, just as many years of failing to do so. Believe it or not, when we began to venture into the murky world of non-milky teas, i was just as eager as the others. Gradually, i realized my taste-buds were to tea what dogs are to colour and Louise Braille was to (umm) everything.
Recently, though, i’ve found myself at the making end of the household’s evening cuppa. What’s weird is that it’s turned out that i brew a mean cup of tea! The flavour, aroma and enshamalada are all that make the perfect cuppa, from what i hear. Unfortunately, i hate it. I prefer sugar in hot water to the perfect cup of tea that i make. I’ll tell you how i like my tea: milky, masaledaar, with lots of elaichi and dalcheeni in it, a reasonable amount of sugar and a plateful of Parle-G biscuits to go with it.
So much for high couture, i clearly like my tea desi.
Signing off, and in the spirit of teaweedity,
oolong, till we meet next!