Tag Archives: coffee

How do you Chai?(Tea)

3 May

When I read the title of a book called, ‘Coffee, Tea or Me’, the first thought that crossed my mind was, may be it is a debate between tea aficionados or coffee addicts. But the book was completely different. Ha ha, well since then, this topic has been brewing in my mind, that how do you prefer to make tea? Honestly, I would have indulged in a long debate on handling tea and its contents. But as time has passed, we are not reserved anymore about certain methods, like tea should be made in this specific way, there are so many flavors, so many new experiments with tea or coffee and so many beverages that are now easily available. Well I am a fan of Chai Tea Latte myself. But in olden times in India, people say it was one of the tests that the bride-to-be was secretly given, to make tea, if you passed the test, you were supposed to be shortlisted as an eligible wife. He he. Sure, I get it, tea is THAT important. Tea is definitely something that can uplift my mood and I am sure a coffee lover can relate to the feeling as well. However, coffee is not my department. I have had long chats on tea with friends and family. And the last conversation I remember with my dad before he passed away was he told me to buy Orange Pekoe tea leaves and make tea. So let me share my method of making basic English tea that my dad taught me and his update as well with tea.

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Tea served with paniyaram or appe and green chutney

Tip: Remember, more ‘tea-dust’ in the tea, the stronger it is. Do not leave the tea for long. The longer you leave the tea the stronger the taste. Too long is also not good for health. Generally the sugar and tea leaves are to be used in same quantity so if the tea mixture is too strong, use as many teaspoons as the servings. If the tea leaves are light use one teaspoon more to the entire servings. Sweeter the sugar, lesser quantity should be used.

For eg: If the number of people to serve are 6, stronger the tea use 6 teaspoons or even less, lighter the tea, use 7 teaspoons or 8 teaspoons.

If fine sugar is used it is already too sweet so use 6 teaspoons in this instance, if crystalized sugar is used  use 7 teaspoons.

Pour just about the amount of milk that will make the color of the tea change from darkest brown into a medium caramel color, like they will describe ‘tan’ in foundations . Ha ha.

All you need:

Servings : 2

  1. Tea leaves (loose) 3 teaspoons
  2. Sugar in crystal form 3 teaspoons (if fine sugar is used reduce one teaspoon)
  3. Water : Use 1/3rd cup of water per serving
  4. Milk as required (I prefer boiled hot milk because if the milk is raw,you can taste the raw milk in tea)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. In a deep vessel pour 1/3rd of a the cup of water used for measurement.
  2. Add sugar. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Let the water boil.
  4. Add tea leaves and remove the vessel off the heat and keep it covered.
  5. Steep the leaves until they settle at the bottom. Do not uncover the lid many times just to check. Leave it for a while.
  6. Uncover, strain the leaves through a strainer dividing equally in two cups.
  7. Pour milk only as required. Do not overpower the milk or else it will be too milky, do not pour very less or it will be too strong.

Update: So my dad told me smaller the tea leaves stronger the tea, meaning more dust stronger tea, so I buy loose Orange Pekoe tea leaves that are not the strongest of tea leaves. So for example I have to make myself some tea, I will need 1/3rd cup of water, 2 teaspoons of crystalized sugar and 2 teaspoons of tealeaves. Earlier I would use one teaspoon for one cup of tea. That’s just the update of my own method of making tea.

P.S: There are many methods and flavors of tea. Many people just put all ingredients together and boil it until the tea becomes darker. Some also add ginger to their tea for medicinal or health benefits. Some add even more spices like cardamom, saffron, etc. Some people just boil the water sugar and tea first and then add milk and boil it further. Some people prefer cold milk in their tea. Some people use sugar cubes and boil ingredients without sugar and add it later. To each his own. Happy Tea lovin’!

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Chai from a local tea stall

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