Tea is an experience; its a journey! Every sip is a reminiscent of good times with friends and family, it is a pause to savor the joyous moments and hope for the better ones to follow.

Chai biscuit
Chai with Cookies

My love for this beverage goes way back in time when I was a kid. My grandma would allow my siblings and I to dunk cookies in her hot spicy tea latte called chai. So when it was time for tea, we would line up close to her, and get turns to dunk cookies. That was my first taste of tea, and then as I grew up, I got hooked on it.

During my college days, my friends and I would spice up the tasteless and bland canteen chai on our electric burner.  After a long day of classes, we would sit in the common corridor with our cups of spiced-up chai, curled up on our chairs, indulging in equally spicy chatter. We shared jokes, whined and listened to music. All horror stories and love affairs found their way into those chai moments. After the session of haunted stories, we would be nervous to go to the common toilets alone, so we huddled and walked together. When I look back, chai was the medium for us to bond and to share our experiences.

I grew up drinking tea but as luck would have it, I married a man who was absolutely indifferent to the concept of  ‘enjoying tea’; except when he was down with cold. Thus my dreams of sharing a cup of this magical potion with my better half were shattered. Thesaurus has a name for the person who does not drink alcohol- ‘Teetotaler‘, but what do you call a person who does not take tea?  I suppose, he was TeaVoid. With time, my affinity for tea must have influenced him and now, not only is he willing to try different kinds of tea, but makes one of the most flavorful spicy chai. We share a special tea-bond! (Jackpot here!)

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Few of my favorites from Organic India and Pukka

Over the years, I have tried array of teas- green, white, oolong, black, and herbal teas. I enjoy them all, though I have my favorites. To me the entire process of drinking tea is meditative, from selection of the right kind of tea to match my disposition and to brew it perfectly such that every sip offers the harmony and rhythm I desire.

Besides the store brought packets I like to brew my own tea. Here is a recipe for one of my herbal teas-I find this tea calming and additionally the herbs in the tea provide anti-oxidants and digestive benefits.

  1. Grind a pod of cardamom,1/4 tsp ginger root and a clove in a mortar pestle; and add them to a cup of boiling water.
  2. Add 1/4 tea spoon of black tea (optional), and cover the pan and switch off the stove.
  3. After 3 minutes, strain the tea into your cup and enjoy the warm sip.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp honey, if desired.

The spice measurements listed are only to get you started. I would recommend you play with your taste buds and add or eliminate spices based on the flavors you rejoice. You can add fennel or rose buds for little bit of sweetness, cinnamon for the spicy autumn fragrance, milk for creamy texture; the possibilities are endless to create your own cuppa mojo.

Please share your favorite tea recipes, and I would love to ‘tea-xplore’.

Chai Time Photo credit: Meanest Indian / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Chai with Cookies Photo credit: lorises / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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