If we were having coffee I’d be talking of tea #International Tea Day

If we were having coffee I’d be talking of tea #International Tea Day

If we were having coffee together..

I’d tell you that I’m not really a coffee person at all. It’s tea that floats my boat. When I wake up in the morning, after I put the children to bed, when I want to hang out with friends, even when I’m bored – it’s a hot cup of tea I reach out for.

Coffee is a little like a chic new friend – the one whose company I enjoy when I’m in the right mood, the one I like to hang out with at restaurants and cafes, the one I like to have around with a plateful of large chocolate chip cookies, a trifle overpriced but delicious.

Coffee, to me, is like a chic new friend while tea is an age-old chum. Click To Tweet

Tea, on the other hand is a familiar childhood chum. Our friendship began long ago, when my grandmom first spiked my milk with it, behind my mother’s back. I don’t know if it was the tea or the thrill of having outsmarted my mother but the glass of milk went down in a single breath. Many more followed over the years.

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you of the long dark nights when exam anxiety hung upon me like an ominous cloud. It was the hot mug of ginger tea that sat by my side reassuringly, keeping the sleep monster at bay.

I’d tell you of long days at work when the daily deadline loomed close and the right words eluded me. That tiny glass of kadak cutting chai the canteen boy got me was enough to rejuvenate my creativity.

Oh and how I could I not tell you about the kullhad-wali railway platform chai? I’d tell you of freezing mornings, as I sat bundled up on my berth, with daggers in my throat from the perpetual infection that dogged me through winter. As the train would chug into Delhi station, there really wasn’t any sound sweeter than that of ‘Chaaaeee Garam’. A sip from that kullhad felt as deliciously warm as my mother’s hug, the one I had just left behind.

If we were having coffee

I’d tell you I wasn’t quire sure I liked this new trend of tea going hip – changing colour from a comfortable familiar brown to black and white, green and yellow. I’d wonder why it should feel the need to move from dhabas and canteens to insanely overpriced, stupidly urban tea lounges and tea rooms.

We’d wonder together, you and I.

Perhaps it just got tired of being slotted as the poor roadside cousin of Starbucks and Barista, I’d muse. Perhaps it was its quest for respect, because sometimes being loved isn’t enough. You’d laugh at me for getting sentimental about a cup of tea and I’d laugh along too.

But it’s true, I’d insist I wouldn’t spare a glance for the Chai Lattes as long as I’d have my hot cup of ginger cardamom tea with a couple of rusks. And I’d ask you your favourite chai memory. Was it on a cool rainy day or a hot summer evening that you fell in love with it?

Linking up with Shilpa of Metanoia and Bellybytes from Mumbai on a High for #FlavoursomeTuesdays

18 Replies to “If we were having coffee I’d be talking of tea #International Tea Day”

  1. I love your story how your grandma prepared your tea, it brings good memories on my childhood. I didn’t like tea when I was young but I am very happy that me and my partner discovered the amazing tea world. It is a world of endless tastes and aromas and we can pick whatever tea we want in some moment to make us happier and relaxed.

  2. We have more in common than I realized. I do love coffee, but it’s the cup of steaming hot ginger-cardamom tea that truly has my heart. There are times when I can do without the ginger and the cardamom, but I still prefer the traditional chai over the more fancy green teas and chai lattes. Actually I hate green tea and chai lattes.

    Oh and I love your analogy. It’s perfect.

  3. Do you know I don’t drink coffee? Never got around to getting to like it. It’s always been tea for me 🙂 And the ginger and lemon teas in the night, while studying. Oh those were the best!

    Mom used to make a flask of tea and keep it on the table so I would drink through the night and I confess I may have gotten addicted to it then. I went from half milk chai to almost no milk chai soon after marriage. Such a sea change but I can’t have it any other way now.

    Your post is like a warm, comforting cup of tea. There, you just got the best compliment 😉

  4. Ah! Loved this post. Ginger tea, Black tea, cutting chai, kulhad wali chai, green tea, organic tulsi and mulethi, or regular Assam Tea, I love them all equally without any partiality, as if they were all my children! 😀 Tea is the elixir of life! I live for it, so I totally get your point. I used to have coffee earlier but have now become a hardcore tea addict. Nothing else will work to wake me up, get me going or make me write, get on with my plans for the day other than my steaming cuppa! I’m so glad I read your post today. Cheered me up, beyond any doubt! 🙂

  5. Oh yess a tea does it for me every time too and I agree with you on it being overpriced and ridiculous in these fancy cafes…. Not a fan of those and I love a home brewed cuppa esp when its brewed by me!!! From one chaiholic to another – cheers!!!

  6. How lovely–both your post and your image(ry) of tea! As much as I am a coffee lover, I have plenty of chai-memories, too! And fortunately, these days, I am glad to have my phone camera to capture those memories to keep them from fading.

  7. I only occasionally like coffee, and prefer it iced, thank you. But I despise tea. All tea. My husband loves iced tea. I wrinkle my nose just smelling it. I’m rather sure this goes back to my extremely abusive grandmother and her love of tea, but I don’t know for certain. All I know is the smell alone makes me ill. I’ll just have water. 🙂

    1. Despise tea! That’s sad. I’d have said you don’t know what you’re missing but that bit about your grand mom kind of makes things clearer. Never mind then – enjoy your coffee. Or water.

  8. aha love how you define coffee as a chic new friend and chai as a chum. I am a fan of both chai and coffee. Just gulped three cups of chai since the morning. I am very particular of the kind of chai I drink and quality. The best one are always from the tapdi in India. No wonder, I love spending time in coffee shop with this chic friend, reading and relaxing, even writing poetry.

  9. Ahh I’m not a coffee person. And Chai for me is only to dip biscuits and eat. But if I had to choose between both it would definitely be the chai. And the fondest memory is of my grandmom making chai and mixing it with plain poha, malai and sugar. Oh how much I loved it!

    1. Chai mixed with poha! That’s the first I’ve heard of this. We used to mix milk with poha and sugar. As for dipping biscuits in tea, I tried so hard to not let the kids get into that habit and yet it remains our secret indulgence.

  10. I love coffee. Tea and I have never gotten along well. In fact, we just did not try getting acquainted with each other! I can prepare a good cup of tea, but I frankly have no idea how the perfect cup of tea should taste!
    I liked how senti you can get about your fav chai. I get senti about my coffee, too! And, I prefer the coffee I make for myself. The costly Starbucks stuff won’t even find its way to my table! For me, a chilled mug of milk, two and a half spoons of sugar and a spoonful of coffee stirred thoroughly makes for me the coffee I like! And, I prefer making my own coffee, for none can make it as perfect as I do!

    1. After a long long time I realised there IS no perfect cup of tea, or coffee, for that matter. Some like just a dash of milk, some like all milk, some like a grain of sugar some like two teaspoonfuls. To each his own, is how it works.

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