A Cupful Of Me-Time

I savour a cup of tea more than I do a cup of filter coffee, in spite of my South Indian roots, much to the surprise of many relatives who come to know of this fact about me for the first-ever time.

A cup of chai somehow means a lot more to me than just a morning or afternoon drink. It means a bit of sunshine in a cup; it means waking up my senses and giving my body a good start to face whatever lies ahead in the day. It is a signal to my brain that night has ended and the day has started, or that afternoon has ended and it is time to start winding down my batteries in preparation for the evening and night. It means me-time, as rare as it is getting these days – time to savour the liquid as it runs down my throat and enters my belly, warm, warming me up too a little at a time. It means time for reflection; time for relaxation; a break in the routine. Of course, these same purposes could well be served by a cup of coffee too, but I prefer chai any day.

I cannot, just cannot, for the life of me, gulp down my tea in a minute and rush to whatever task is waiting for me. I need to drink it in mouthfuls, small ones, feeling each one of it course down through me. It is not a good idea to interrupt me while I am doing this, too, for you might encounter a very grouchy me in that case!

That said, not just any chai will do. I need my chai to be perfectly prepared – an almost full glass of milk, about a quarter of a glass of water boiled together with just over a teaspoon of tea powder, two teaspoons of sugar, and a hint of home-made masala, all boiled together twice and strained well. No fancy cups and saucers or mugs for me; I want the tea in our old well-worn, steel davara and tumbler. Only specific brands of tea powder, with no extra herbs and roots added. No tea leaves or dust for me either.

Tea made by anyone else, even my Amma, is not the same as the tea made by me. I don’t prefer drinking tea anywhere outside either, for the very same reason, though I have liked the tea at a couple of roadside shacks in Ahmedabad (much to the chagrin of Amma!). There have been times when I have rushed home from outings just so I can make tea at home and have it in peace. I don’t like having my cuppa after 5.30 in the evening so, whenever we are out, we either find tea that satisfies me or we rush home so I can have it before evening sets in. Strange? That’s me.

If that makes me sound like an addict, let me hasten to assure you that I am not. As much as I love my masala chai, I can do without it for at least a few days at a stretch. I did without for most days of my pregnancy, thanks to a protein drink that my gynecologist had asked me to use instead.

The OH was recently reported to be saying of me: ‘Whenever we go out, she never asks me to buy her this and that. All she asks for is a decent cup of tea in the afternoon.’ Someone is surely thanking his stars for getting a fuss-free wife, but can’t fret enough at all the fuss she makes over tea.

Tea or coffee? What does the trick for you? How do you like your cuppa?

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30 thoughts on “A Cupful Of Me-Time

  1. This post is so similar to one I wrote ages ago, when I was new to the blog world. I am too lazy to dig it out now. I am a chai person at heart but filter coffee has seduced me way too often nowadays. When out, finding a good filter coffee is relatively easier than hunting for a decent cup of chai. That may have been my reason for the recent switch. But while at home, its always chai. Sometimes with elaichi, sometimes crushed ginger and sometimes a little masala.

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  2. Coffee in the morning, masala chai in the evening. My husband makes a very good cup of tea–ginger, cardamom, clove, cinnamon–yumm!

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  3. Really enjoyed reading this TGND- I love my filter coffee, just love it. But, like you- I am not addicted to it, can be without it if necessary.
    And again like you, I need some quiet with my coffee.
    There are many who drink their coffee on the go, I, however am not one of them πŸ˜€ I need to sit and rasichufy it for 15 minutes which causes many a trouble when I am trying to rush through morning cooking. Also G2 tells me the rate at which I drink my coffee, its a wonder its not stone cold!

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  4. This is one of the very few posts where we can find an image in a post. Nice!…I had wished for a long time that you will post few pics of all the books that you write about. It is even more strong when you write about books that are unknown to me πŸ™‚

    Keeping writing and post more pics too

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  5. I really enjoy your posts. I have been reading your blog for quite sometime but this is the first time I am commenting here.I can so connect to this feeling.Without my cup of tea the day just feels so incomplete. Cheers to chai

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  6. It’s coffee for me.. and I need it in the morning to wake me up..on way to work a quick stop to pick my latte with 2 sugar has become a routine for the last 10+ years now…

    How are you doing happy new year to you and family

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  7. Totally relate with this! I enjoy my cup of chai over coffee any day, need to savour it and in fact wake up 1/2 hr earlier than I need to every morning just for this! And yes, I prefer my cup of tea to almost anyone else’s- very difficult to satisfy me πŸ™‚ Though I like mine honey-coloured, boiled just one with a 1/2 tsp of sugar and little milk…the colour needs to be just right! What a pleasure ur post was to read πŸ™‚

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  8. I am a recent coffee lover. I never had anything until I started working in Bangalore. Only after getting married, I was properly introduced to coffee by the husband. These days, its just one cup in the evening. Just like you, I only like the cuppa that I make at home. S has started making coffee that tastes same as mine. So on days, he brings me a hot cuppa – I just love it πŸ™‚ Except for green tea, I dont drink tea at all.

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  9. I’m a coffee person. I need my cup of coffee in the morning, to wake up:) I rarely have coffee after that, but I can’t miss my morning cuppa and be human.

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      1. Tea… it has to be tea. My husband drinks neither. Ours is a typical arranged marriage. I specifically told him that I love having tea twice or thrice a day (I like having it in the morning, afternoon and sometimes after dinner) and he should not expect me to change.

        He still teases me that I was only concerned about tea and had no other questions…. Like you, I do not like tea anywhere else. I liked it at some road side “dhabas” in Punjab, but that is about it.

        The tea has to be boiled twice with half a cup of water twice, some sugar and cardamom (fennel, ajwain and cinnamon in winters). To this I add one cup of milk and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes… Ah, just writing about it has made me crave tea..

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