Monday, July 15, 2024
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Tea and coffee tango

A hot cuppa is always welcome.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Of laughter, peace, and flavour both might claim. All limits are set by the drink itself and the resultant effect. True aficionados of both beverages swear their loyalties to whichever has cast a lasting spell on their taste buds and senses. Each beverage has a special standing in society. The ‘Chai pe charcha’ has elevated the humble drink to an intellectual level. The cup that cheers but not inebriates is the axiom for tea, yet coffee often mesmerises people with its aromatic fragrance and they then swear on the alertness on their finer senses.

My bond with coffee did not happen overnight. It was more like being drawn into the artistry of brewing rather than developing a taste for it.

Every morning, our eldest son followed a ritualistic routine of making a cup of coffee. I was enthralled with the whole process and its variants. I quickly learned about the many brewing methods used to make this beverage. The way the beans were ground made the difference. I won’t get into the details of them because there are a ton of specifications on the Internet. The process used to make the divine brew was also important once the grind was determined. I’m now adept at using the French Press, a rather no-nonsense apparatus. It needs no dexterity or force. The other common method used in our house is the AeroPress. This requires the fitting of the plunger, chamber, microfilter, and cap in the correct sequence. Although this adaption is touted as eco-friendly and simple, I am never at ease with it. Yet another seemingly easy method is the Hario V60 brew method. This did not exactly fit into my scheme of things as the process stretched a bit and the bliss in the brew lacked the right temperature. So much for the brewing.

The robusta world with pure caffeine I’m now experiencing has removed the myth of chicory being an integral part of coffee. It’s a lovely symphony we’ve created and I love the subtle fragrances and strong spell it’s casting on me.

I would be out of step if I didn’t confess my addiction to a daily cup of tea in the evenings. This juxtaposes the morning luxury with the comfortable contentment in the evening. The tea, though termed a common man’s drink, has now to its credit a variety of flavours and exotic combinations. I could boast of the many concoctions I’ve tried, but it would be sheer waste of words. What has now ensued is the perfect rhythm discovered in the simple art of making a nice cup of tea. It’s undeniable what magic this ‘nice cup of tea’ can weave. The arguments that ensue on what to add while the water boils are limitless. It’s all in these debates and banter that relationships are forged, sometimes it’s the ginger or cardamon that takes precedence while on occasion, whole spices are carefully added in the right proportion. Everyone in my family claims to be a professional when it comes to the sweetener! The jaggery takes over the sugar since it is sidelined as the ‘white poison’. I’ve forged my link with my daily dose of this wonderful beverage. It’s simply the addition or exclusion of milk. Tea in its simplicity and beauty can effortlessly put a spring in our steps. No wonder, it evokes sentiments and stories.

Endless are the sips and countless are the anecdotes that these two drinks can offer. Without noticing the rising crescendo that fades away as the music ends, the waltz keeps on, swaying to the quiet notes that play on my senses. If I linger with one for too long, I’m gently pulled by the other.

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