I couldn’t help falling in love with tea...
Where did my tea journey begin? Many years ago and many cups ago. I possibly had my first sip earlier than I care to admit but tea was not just a drink in our house, it was so much more. It was the beginning of a day full of untold adventures and the end of wonderful evenings with the people we love. It was the liquid gold that ran through our veins, over which we shared stories and laughter. Anyone who came to see us never left without having a cup, no matter what time of day.
I remember my grandmother and then my mother, making our traditional spiced tea or ‘masala chai’ using our family recipe that had been perfected through generations. And our tea really did taste the best.
The spices were meticulously prepared by hand and every few months, they would be measured out, carefully ground, lovingly combined and put in pretty little jars so that were always on hand for a cup of tea. This was no small task but always a welcome one in my eyes as I adored the aroma of fragrant spices. A melange of rich cinnamon, aromatic cardamom, warming cloves, refreshing ginger and earthy black pepper filled the house. A taste sensation like no other.
When it was time for tea, the traditional way to make it is by boiling water in a pan, adding loose leaf black tea, a generous measure of the rich spices and letting this bubble away. Then milk is added (we were also generous with this). It is simmered further, poured through a strainer and served, usually with a sprinkling of sugar.
I would hold a hot, steaming cup of ‘chai’ and take in the sweet scent before having the first, satisfying sip. It’s special because it’s so well balanced and with this being my introduction to tea, it’s no surprise that it is a love affair that will last forever.
To this day, the aroma of cinnamon, cardamom or cloves transports me to my safe place.
Through the years I have made jars of tea with this spice recipe for friends and I am lucky enough to be able to share it now. Our quest to ensure we have the perfect tea leaves is obsessive and our fine Assam and Darjeeling teas make an exception and authentic tea, just like my very first cup.
What you get is the most awesome and aromatic hot drink. It’s a real joy to drink and a privilege to share. If you are a seasoned ‘chai’ drinker, you will appreciate the superior taste and if you are new to spiced tea, it’s always a good idea to start with the very best!
So go on….spice up your cup today. And once you have, we’d love to know what you think.