11 June 2008

From the leaf to the cup

Chai ..not hot and steaming, but cold and icy is refreshing in this hot and sultry weather. Last night when lightning struck and thunders lashed and the warm breeze blew across we were sipping cold chai. A healthy alternative to cool ones senses both physically and spiritually. The drink of the gods has been transformed in many ways , added with accessories such as lavender, hibiscus, cardamom, ginger, and many others but the drink has always soothed me in its original form...

In a cup of hot water drop in the tea leaves. Let it take its time to pour the scent of the fragrant leaves in water.The tea leaves performs a dance and unleashes its magic when it surrenders to water. The leaves crushed, it is left for us to sip and enjoy.. add ice for cold tea or drink it hot during winter.

I learnt to make tea from a man who was born among the tea plantations in Munnar and who learnt to make tea from the men and women picking tea leaves. My affinity to drink tea started when I first drank it with freshly made tea leaves which he had bought from the tea plantations. Now corporations have found a market for tea among health drinkers and spas and sold in cafes with names such as chai latte ( tea leaves or is it tea concentrate in milk overboiled with some froth) and packaged in aluminimum foiled cans with preservatives.
Japanese have revered the same, by having a formal cermony while tea lovers have their own party around - The Tea party. ..for it keeps the conversation flowing and the party going. It uplifts the spirits and soothes the soul. Tea .. it is meant to be ..pure, simple and personified.


Vinod_Sharma said...

Since you used the word "chai" for tea, I must add that in India, tea most loved by heavy tea drinkers, from labourers to truckers to, well, chai lovers like me chai is best when it is "kadak", nearest but inadequate translation being "strong".

That chai is more invigorating and refreshing and awakening than any sophisticated concoction of tea. Of course, there are many varieties of tea as are the ways of making a good cup or glass or big mug of tea.

Anrosh said...

May that is what is called " cutting" in bombay and is a mood lifter. Cold or hot chai truly does its job.

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