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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A Toast to Tea

One of the first lessons I learnt during bouts of addictive reading was that a cup of hot brew was essential to appreciate the flavor of the book- whether Gothic romance , Sartre or Sharatchandra.
Tea was forbidden when I was growing up-the only brew we were ‘administered’ was the cure for all ills and a  palette’s nightmare- The  karha-guaranteed to drive the cold out of your head and every rational thought too -it flowed like lava down the throat and the fiery peppers in it made an active volcano out of your stomach .

Tea , defamed to be in the same league by scheming adults ,I  wouldn’t have touched with a bargepole.
Much  later, living in the foothills of Darjeeling  I was initiated to Tea under  circumstances beyond my control . An inveterate coffee addict till now, I found myself in the select coterie of tea-lovers talking about their Nilgiris, EarlGreys Temis , Lopchu and what have you with  the dreamy  reverence  I have seen only in the eyes of priests  when speaking about the gospel. Pressed ever so sweetly and stealthily by the hostess (and the absence of coffee) and shuddering at the anticipation  remembered from childhood days, I took that first sip. But Wait! Was this the gall that I had been driven away from? The outlawed   drink? It teased the taste buds, an unfamiliar taste-but a strange endearing aroma  that started to haunt me …

So just as you grow to like olives and dal and new people, I grew to like tea. I think it is a sign of true
maturity when you accept new things and don’t reject foods or ideas or even people outright even when they don’t fit your definitions which have started  losing their bite and fences as a matter of course.

What are your preferences and perspective about tea? s Want to share them  on this blog? Leave  a comment here. 


  1. Rinkoo, nicely put there. Tea for me works like the elixir of life. Rejuvenating, invigorating it throws out the weary me from within me. Prepares me for the stresses of life. Tea is a conversation starter, a pass time when there is nothing else to do, a heart warmer in winters and what not. Infact right now I am on board a train and am desperately waiting for the 'chaiwala'.

    I am no connoisseur of tea and can't tell the difference between a Silver Tulip or the Earlgrey... Having stayed in the Nilgiris as well as Assam I should have been able to ....but I just can't get over my fetish for the Masala Chai one has been drinking for ages. It was quite disheartening though to learn that 'cut turned and curled'(CTC)most of us in India love is actually the lowest grade and a byproduct of the actual tea making process. Well... who cares.

    ....here comes a hawker selling tomato soup at 9 in the morning ... Oh God ! pl send a 'chaiwala'

  2. welcome to the world of tea.its been years when I shifted from over boiled karah to tea-ti-lating green tea and since then trying my best to promote this heavenly taste among my friends.
    the effect of the new herbal green tea is visible in our physical and spiritual persona.this cuppa is my soul....mate and I am witnessing a whole new like minded generation shifting to this spiritual drink.

  3. @Vikas Raj Gupta

    Very well expressed Vikas.A chaiwalla is always welcome aboard ! Especially Kullhar chai!

  4. True Atima, even I have discovered the so-well-put!! tea-ti-lating green tea!

  5. HI Rinku vikas just sent me link of ur blog and I was amazed to see beautifully written blog..wow..probably Mrs choubey never allowed u to have tea but now u can make others also to taste it.wow Rinku...

  6. @urajguptaThanks a lot.I am glad you liked the post.Aunty is this your ID or uncle's?