Monday, 11 August 2014

A profusely heavenly cup of tea

As an avid tea drinker - and, I am referring to real, complex, piping hot tea with sugar and milk and maybe a touch of cardamom - I'm always looking for the perfect cup. I need tea to wake up and, get my mood aligned. I need a good strong cup of tea to get me going at my desk. I need a leisurely cup of tea after my meals. And, I need an extra delicious cup of tea while reading a book or watching TV. And, I especially need a loving cup if engaged in an absorbing conversation. 

Having said all that, I admit that I actually do not know how to make the real 'chai' by which I mean "mixed chai" made with loose tea, milk and sugar and spices in a saucepan as is properly made by desis all over the world. 

I have instead experimented  with tea bag chai. I have tried all kinds of tea bags and milk. 

While at university I was introduced to the idea of heating up milk almost to boiling point in the microwave, then adding boiled water, tea bag and sugar. It made for one strong and delicious cuppa! My first cousin, Roshi Apa, showed me this trick at her house. She was newly married and had just moved to London.

Later on, I discovered this amazing chai creamer called "Everyday!" This was when working at WFP in Islamabad. Our office staff who used to bring tea for everyone told me about it and, then of course, I bought it for the house too. It can make an ordinary tea bag cup quite quite delicious.

In Liberia, I experimented with adding Nido wala creamer having seen people use Nido all over the place.  It also added an amazing flavour.

As you can see a good cup of tea is all about getting the perfect creamer.

Recently, while on my long sojourn in Islamabad, I enjoyed tea from the chai walas while doing all my sight seeing. Did you know you can get an amazing cup of tea right outside the Japanese Park or the Pakistan Monument? 

The chai at Chaye Khana ironically is quite terrible. It seems it is re-heated, it is extremely bitter and lousy. 

The chai up in Shigar Fort Residence while I was visiting Baltistan was absolutely wonderful.   

So, here in Dubai, I have been introduced to the most incredible tea I have tasted in my life! It is the zafran tea at Filli's Cafe. Who knew? This tea is profusely heavenly: sweet, fragrant, rich and creamy. I can't have enough of it.  

What was Haresh's reaction? He can make it at home (like that character from "Goodness Gracious Me," the one who only needs "one small aubergine."). So, he's promised to make it tomorrow.

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