Thursday, January 14, 2010

A good cup of tea

Small comforts are delightful. Because, usually they are easily obtained; such as crawling into a pair of cozy pajamas, hugging loved ones, watching a good movie wrapped in a blanket, reading a good book in a comfy chair, or having a cup of tea... There are many more of course, but let's focus on that good cup of tea today.

You ask, "why?", well my lovely, I say not only brewing a good cup can be therapuetic, but it is considered a form of art by some (just ask the Chinese, Japanese, English among many). But also a cup of tea can be so comforting, it is simple but delightful... And filled with memories, good chats or quiet times...

I drank tea as a child, long before it was "oh so " popular...Long before it became a "latte", or called "chai".
My mom and aunts would gather, and the first thing they would have was tea, it was ceremonial, not stuffy. When I was a little girl, my aunts would come over, or our neighbors, friends; after the greetings, and kisses on the cheeks; and pleasantries; my mom would rush into kitchen to boil the water for tea. Anticipation of the laughter filled conversation to start and hours filled with stories were so looked forward to, as the water bubbled and boiled. My mother would pull out her tea jar filled with good loose black tea.
She would dig in and pull a scoopful of tea, and another; then a bit more for good luck. She would pour the boiling water into the teapot, and set out her delicate tea glasses (yes they are called glasses, not cups as most of the world that are tea drinkers always uses delicate little handmade glasses to drink the amber liquid). Then she would ask me to bring the sugar, as she walked around the room to give her guests tea; I walked behind to offer sugar. And the women would start their stories, of husbands who are indifferent, the price of bread rising, children who are in school, summer vacations, neighbors, in-laws... There was an abundant supply of the wonderful stories, usually marked by bouts of laughter or stern advice giving sessions.

As they emptied their glasses, my mom would pour more tea, and I, more sugar. She would bring out little biscuits, and almost force feed her guests. If they were to be around near mealtime, then they were obligated to stay for dinner/lunch etc. So, the duty of preparing the table was for me under the strict directions of my mother. She is a great cook, and she would make sure everyone knew the taste of her cooking. She has a hugely generous heart, so she never complains about sharing, serving or waiting on her guests. After the meal, if the conversation is too deep, then there would be a second session of tea. More laughter and more stories.
So, tea has been a old friend to me, and I still look forward to sharing a cup with my mom, with you, family, friends.

Now, as it has been so popular, it is at every coffee house, and amazingly even at the local grocer's they have many varieties. Who would have thought? The medical journals are filled with its healing properties, and its bonding power. And, after all this talk, feel that I should write about how I make my perfect cuppa :)))

First feel the kettle with water (cold water works best) and put good tea (bag or loose) in a porcelain pot
Then pour the boiling water into the pot. Let it steep for few minutes.
Then, pick your favorite cup and fill it to top. Add honey, milk, sugar whatever you like, or enjoy it plain...

To many more happy cups of tea, with love ...

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