While I have written several blogposts on coffee, I realised that there aren’t that many on tea ! The reality is I love tea and a cup of tea is what I make every single day … coffee is at best twice a week, unless we have guests. When I was a baby, our neighbour (I owe my life to this lady), would take me to their house to give me a bath and feed me some tea, milk etc because my wonderful Mother was inexperienced in taking care of babies. Amma felt that she will drown me if she tried giving me a bath :):).
All through my growing years, I only drank tea and strangely enough, I was in love with instant coffee like Nescafe. Today I wouldn’t deign to touch Nescafe or Bru.. would rather go without having coffee than have instant coffee. Then I got married into a family that drank only coffee and tea was an occasional evening thing. My mother-in-law told me that Krishnan only likes coffee and doesn’t like tea at all 🙂 and guess where he was working when I met him ? Lipton !!! Hahahaha.
My fondest memory of my mother-in-law are the times that she would come and stay with us in Delhi/Gurgaon and I would come home really late those days from my mid-morning shift. She would be reading late into the night till nearly 12 or 1 and she and I will have a cup of tea at that time. Special memories. Slowly but steadily, I converted Krishnan into having tea and to some extent my mother-in-law too. I also got converted to drinking only “filter” coffee and then added all my special conditions to it.
I only use Wagh Bakri tea – theirs is the best packaged tea today in India. I buy a smaller pack of their spiced tea and mix it with their regular tea. The lockdown inspired me to try and make my own tea masala and I am very happy with the result !! Here’s my Chai masala mix – 1 TSP of Pepper, 1 TBSP each of Dry ginger (powdered), Elaichi (cardamom) and Laung (Clove). Add a small stick of cinnamon otherwise it overpowers the rest of the ingredients. There is no need to separate the cardamom seeds, just use them whole with the shell. Dry grind them in a mixer grinder and you have a really strong tea masala mix. It will also be a tiny batch so that it stays fresh.
Enjoy a good cup of tea !