TEA TO AN INDIAN
How comforting is, a cup of tea to an Indian ? Well we can never get enough of it. Although tea was first introduced in India by the British, we Indians take our tea very seriously. India is the world's largest producer of tea and most of the production takes place in West Bengal and Assam.
In my hometown, Howrah, there are tea shops in every corner of the road. It attracts folks of all age group. The young, the old and the middle aged. The tea shop is also the center for all types of discussions. Politics, everyday life, wife's bad cooked food, good looking passerby are some of the most common topics. In these shops you will never get a very status defined biscuits, they are mostly made local and has its own rustic charm. They are made to dunk into the tea, so it softens up a bit, but not too much that it falls to the bottom of the cup.
The uniqueness of tea in West Bengal is the earthen pot the tea is served in. We call them " bhar". The musky earthy flavour of the bhar combines with the rich creaminess of the tea to give a taste of heaven.
|A Hot Cup of Tea in Bhar|
In our home, tea compliments every mood and occasion. Bed tea, breakfast tea, brunch tea, evening tea, come home tired tea, healthy tea, glowing skin tea....you just have to pick and choose. We also serve our guest with hot masala tea and deep fried snacks. Its one of the best combinations you can ever treat your guest with. The rich and creamy beverage, brimming with depth and flavour can only get better when served with proper dishes to go with it. One thing with masala tea, do not combine it with sandwiches, its the worst combination ever. anything fried or deep fried is always preferable.
My dad's students' dad owns a tea shop and hence from time to time we get small token of tea packages to sooth our nerves. The varieties of tea flavours not only calms our mind, but reassures us that we are here for all your mood swings and all your special occasions. Trust us! No wonder I get all panicked when there is no tea in the house.
Even when I am in office and working, my brain stops when the chaiwala doesn't give me a cup of tea. The concept of tea and work go hand-in-hand for all Indians. If you want us to work, give us a cup of tea!
Also very exciting for tea lovers, there is a new brand of Indian Tea, which is about to launch itself very soon, called "Norben". Few months back, I recieved samples of the different types of tea they are planning to launch. What caught my eye, was "Instant Tea". You simple have to pour it in a cup of hot water and you're done. Its best when you are travelling, but at home I prefer to actually make tea, absorbing every each of aroma, touch and sight which is blissful to the mind.