FEATURE| THE NOSTALGIA OF A NICE CUP OF TEA

Teatime- a word that invokes so many nostalgic memories, while also carrying with it the promise of another little social do right around the corner. I write this from the subcontinental (read: classic) perspective where tea means exactly that, and is not in fact a culinary codeword for another meal…like dinner perhaps! 😄

Having lived in a country, nigh upon 6 years now, which is known for its magnificent tea plantations, I came here expecting to be swept off my feet with supremely flavourful tea served with as much fanfare. But oh, the lost pleasure of the perfect cup of tea! Not only has the stately beverage been woefully overshadowed by its more robust cousin, the sinewy coffee, but the genteel art of tea making itself has been all but sabotaged by our time-constrained lifestyles.

Tepid tea, (whatever happened to tea-cosies?) just this side of being too anaemic or too vigorous, is the norm at most places. Tea brewing is a lost art that even tea timers haven’t been able to revive (those aging relics that lie there, unused, taunting tea drinkers; and then fading a little more into oblivion as they realise the futility of their efforts). Tea strainers are further dying remains of the classic tea trolley. So, even potentially good cups of tea will quickly take on a bizarre, almost bovine experience as one chews the leaves along with each sip.

The silver lining in all this post modern annihilation of the elegant art of tea making is the teatime legacy my sisters and I have carried into our lives. Having grown up in a home where tea and the accompanying panoply was the norm, this has been a delightful happenstance. Teatime at home consisted of lavish spreads of everything from pastries and sandwiches to biscuits and dahi bhallas*. And of course it meant steaming pots upon pots of Kenyan tea laced ever so delicately with earl grey. It became an affair, synonymous with togetherness, laughter and chatter. A time for capricious banter and tender confidences- a caffeine-warmed embrace of the ebb and flow of our lives. And at the centre of this lovely intimacy was Momsy, the gracious matriarch who made this teatime magic happen.

In conclusion, of all the tea connoisseurs/ growers/ curators of the experience on the island, I ask that you breathe fresh life into this exquisite tradition. It is the assured panacea to many a dreadful day, of which sadly, we have all seen our fair share lately. In the words of Bernard-Paul Heroux, “There is no trouble so great or so grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea”; the “nice” there being replete with all manner of ambrosial and soul and spirit uplifting possibilities.

*Dahi Bhalla: a savoury, yogurt-based snack indigenous to the subcontinent.

Published by Mahvash K. M.

A wandering “desi” and a corporate chicken who’s flown the proverbial coop is what I currently am. Have chosen the sultry island of Sri Lanka for my wandering/ experiential activities. Writing something- anything really, has been on the bucket list for a great old while. Finally putting some pixel energy behind the cause! This blog is about a wide gamut of stories, opinions, ideas, characters, storms in teacups, extraterrestrials, food for the soul (and some not so much), space (of the cosmic and personal varieties), cutting edge psychoanalytic analyses, and sunsets (Dysania-struck so probably no sunrises!) – all presented to you from a wide array of coffee shops across my modest globe-trotting sojourns. Here’s to enjoying the ride together! https://www.facebook.com/Mahvash.Moht/

5 thoughts on “FEATURE| THE NOSTALGIA OF A NICE CUP OF TEA

  1. Thanks for a trip down memory lane. In addition to the stand 11 am and 5 pm daily chai and snacks, no visit was complete without chai.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Accompanying panoply was ‘to die for’ at Aunty’s tea table ❤️❤️❤️ Loved reading this especially as current work hours have killed the possibility of this daily destressor😔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Completely agree with you. Today’s ubiquitous tea bag is a symptom of the demise of that wonderful ceremony. Great if a reverse revolution could start at street boutique level by using proper tea leaf. Better for the environment as well to do away with the bag.
    Someone should get a popular celebrity to start a movement.

    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our lives continue to be plagued by short cuts. The teabag is one such detour from what was once a family oriented and gracious tradition. Quick, dubious mugs of tea on the go. Alas!

      Like

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