What say you, will that do?
Well, you may ask me what is this tea ceremony and how do I know about this? So let me begin to tell you that I just attended a talk by noted tea connoisseur ‘Radhika Batra’ who educated me on how to soothe my senses by refreshing and aromatic tea ceremony.
Did I tell you that I am regular at Nature Basket and I seem to be shopping for all my groceries from this store that includes sauces n cheese n those exotic stuff. So, this month my shopping coincided with this talk-show on tea ceremony and I walked into the wine section of this store, where normally all that food talk takes place.
The table was laden with fancy teacups and tea-kettles, different types of tea jars and bottles of spices like rosemary leaves, thyme and cloves, lime and cinnamons.
Now normally when people visit me, I just give them a Indian cutting chai, a black variety cooked on the gas with milk and sugar and the conversation is never about tea, I mean what can we discuss about ordinary tea making? We have been having our cup of tea from childhood with no extra fuss except to crib sometimes about the quantity of milk or sugar..
Every country has its own traditions and customs in serving tea Like for example:
The samovar, a symbol of tradition, is used to brew tea in Russia. At the base of the samovar, a charcoal fire burns, and a metal pipe runs up inside the container to heat the water. Tea leaves are infused in a concentrated form in a small teapot that rests on top of the samovar. Water dispensed from the copper vessel is mixed with the strong tea to create a hearty drink that is often served with sugar cubes that are held in the mouth while drinking. In Iran and Turkey, the Russian samovar is used for special occasions and holidays.But this time I have decided to make some fuss over you if you visit me. I will have a tea ceremony with you and that means we will have the ritual of tea five times a day, yes! You heard me right, it’s a tea ceremony remember?
Early morning we can have ‘Longjing Chinese Green’ tea. All we need is hot water and patience. Just one teaspoon of green tea with hot water, and we keep it for brewing for five minutes and it’s done. This tea I always order in the Chinese restaurant after meals; it washes down the grease form the food. But when you visit me, we shall have this green tea to start the day.
Now you may ask me what is this Longjing tea? This is one of the purest and most popular green tea mainly from the mountain lakes of Hangzhou in China. These pan fried leaves give out a pale yellow liqueur and as you sip it, you get a slightly sweet cherry blossom aroma.
At noon we shall have mid-morning blue, a Darjeeling Black tea. We shall brew one spoon of black tea with lemon and cloves. If you like thyme or rosemary flavors, we could do that too. Black tea is best brewed in a kettle instead of on stove. Since these are plantation fresh, the same leaves can be brewed twice. I could even flavor this black tea with tulsi and ginger or cardamom and cinnamon.
After lunch around 2 pm, we could have mid-eastern infusion, a ‘Barush Flower’ tea.. This will not contain any real tea leaves but it will be made from the potpourri of flowers and herbs. I love this tea because of the sweet aroma of different flowers. Hhmmmn..deep breath..Nirvana! This middle-eastern flower blend is bedecked with colorful flecks of dried flower petals of Rose, Chyrusanthanam, Marigold, jasmine.
During evening we could have oolong Shanghai style, the champagne of tea. We could swirl this with cinnamon sticks or Vanilla pods to get that fragrant whiff. You will love the toasty sweetness.
And late evening we could have the fruity lovers’ tea, which is simply from mixture of fresh and dried fruits.
Imagine the VIP treatment you will get if you visit me on the days when I am in that mood of hosting a tea ceremony…you can enjoy the tea all day but just let me win each game of scrabble, one after the other, without getting annoyed each time you lose….hehehehe….want to come?