Everyone has a morning ritual story that remain vivid in our mind, no matter where we are or how much time has passed. For some, it might be the aroma of coffee, or maybe the sound of eggs sizzling on the stove while it is being fried ‘bull’s eye’ style. For me, it will always be the sight of smoke coming out of a transparent tea glass, or sometimes even a steel mug that my mother and my grandmother still love to have their morning tea in.
While the sight takes me back to that time and age, I was never one for drinking tea or coffee at a young age of 5 or 6. Perhaps it was because my brother, who I idolized (and still do, for that matter) didn’t like it. The only time tea was a necessity was when it was Ramadan and a cup of tea could subside fasting related thirst and headaches through the day. At the time, the only tea I knew was the classic Indian chaai – equal parts of milk and water, a heap full of tea leaf and a scary amount of sugar in every cup.
As I grew up, things changed as was natural. My reintroduction to tea was born out of necessity yet again; an endless flow of tea and coffee kept me company through many sleepless nights during the time of the higher secondary exams. With a need for keeping a handle on my weight and the fear of inheriting diabetes, I had learnt to skip the sugar and slowly learned to readjust my palate to the flavors of these drinks and that is perhaps when things changed. The subtle notes of flavor in a cup of tea became something that I truly savored amidst piles of probability, vector and organic chemistry. My answer to those unprecedented bouts of raging stress was always found at the bottom of those tea glasses.
As a self proclaimed tea addict, I started drinking at the ripe age of 17 and haven’t stopped since. Every time it rains I’ll have a cup of tea, or I might have one because it didn’t rain even thought it was expected, or I’ll just have a cup of tea just because. As other tea lovers would agree, the love for tea is one that could give grand romances a run for their money.
In the past few years, I’ve read, drank and learnt as much as I can about tea and various forms of it. I’ve found many new forms and flavors of it. From cranberry- apple and orange- cinnamon fruit infused tea to hibiscus- licorice or even mulberry tea- drinking, no, experiencing tea has become something that truly gives me joy. For some, it might be in collecting stamps or scrap booking but tea has become my hobby of sorts. A day does not truly end for me without having a cup of tea; especially the process of making a cup of infused tea has become a daily ceremony.
There are moments of absolute and simple joys in every one’s life – the way a random baby smiles at you for no reason, your mother sneaking you a piece of dessert only because she knows its your favorite, or the laughter in your father’s face when he teases your mother about an inside joke from 30 years ago. Those are moments that we often look back on and wish “I wish I could bottle the way I feel now and carry it around with me as a talisman”. A cup of tea that I enjoy at the end of a day, no matter how grueling the day was – makes me feel as if I do carry that talisman of unadulterated joy around.
For every single person who has asked me what the big deal is about tea and why I obsess over it, this is the story of my eternal affair with tea and tea like infusions.
Are you a tea lover? Leave a comment and let me know how and when did you become one?
If you are not, give me your reason for denying yourself this absolute pleasure! 😀