Life is like a cup of tea …

It’s all in how you make it”

Compared to the past the world stands more connected today and with internet having done the miracle getting the finest Teas is just a press of a button away. But getting the best Teas is just half the story – the rest of the tale unfurls in its proper making. Every pack of your delightful Tea comes with a set of instructions specific to its properties, so the best thing to do would be to go through the rules patiently before you start. In general, for a cup of tea, water needs to be brought to a boil in a non-reactive container. On nearing boiling, the warm water is poured on a pre-warmed cup where the tea leaves (1-2 tea spoons or a tea bag) are steeped for 3-5 minutes for blacks i.e. more oxidized teas or 2-3 minutes for Greens/white i.e. less oxidized teas. Upon completion the brew is strained to make an excellent cup. If the liquor is black, hot milk and sugar may be added as per taste. Together with biscuits and cookies, milk tea/Chai makes a wonderful pairing. As water is the main constituent, sourcing good quality of it remains a priority. The most desired would be water with sufficient oxygen content i.e. natural filtered water or spring water. The target should be to avoid distilled or pre boiled water which has lost its oxygen. While the more oxidized black/oolongs open up in boiling water (about 100 degrees C) the preferred temperature for the less oxidized greens/white is the near boiling period (75-90 degrees C), say when it starts to whistle-

“ When I hear the wind in the pines and the rain in the cypress(i.e. the shooooo….)

I make haste to remove the bronze heating pot

With its bamboo cover from the heat

Then I wait for all sound to cease

A cup of this spring snow is superior to the finest milk”

Lo Tai Ching , eleventh century.

 Tea making is simple but needs to be done properly for one to enjoy it. Over the years, minds have been put in to make the process easy. In 1904 Tea and Coffee shop merchant Thomas Sullivan of New York came up with the idea of tea bag to make brewing convenient. As on today, we have a tea maker which is generally an electric kettle and strainer coupled together to make the process even more trouble free. But if one really wants to get that ultimate song of tea leaves – there can be nothing like loose tea leaves and preparing it over porcelain pots with patience. It’s about giving time, pulling that race within you down, cooling you – it’s about letting go, chatting with friends and relaxing . Kind of - you unwinding and the tea leaves unfurling – happens together – give it that time- time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. And then finally, when it is done, when the leaves have given their essence to the water and the water has taken their temper – your brew is thus made. Relax – have a cup of premium Tea.