Tripin 2019 - page 93

Appreciated the world over,
many cultures have allowed tea
to seep into their daily activities
celebrating the process and how
they drink it. China sees a cup of
tea as a meditation, the Japanese
tea ceremony considers each sip
an initiation and Morocco with
its ornate silver pots pours the
tea high above the cup to create
bubbles of joy. Following suit,
here we have a variety of ways we
approach the brew, each with a
little twist we’d like to call our own.
Drink it Plain
This might be seen as the
labourer’s style of tea. For one it’s
cheap, but I see it as the simplest
and most authentic way to enjoy a
cup of tea. The water is boiled and
poured over tea leaves to create a
strong vibrant brew (steeped for at
least 1-2 minutes). With a slightly
bitter taste it is accompanied by
a chunk of jaggery on the side.
Jaggery is a type of brown sugar
made from the sap of the coconut
flower, kithul (a similar palm tree)
flower or even from raw sugar
cane. Unprocessed this sap is
boiled down and allowed to set
in moulds, often coconut shells.
This unique natural sweetener
is not dropped into your cup.
Instead rather small bites are taken
between sips, allowing you to
really taste the unadulterated brew
while giving your palate a little
break in-between.
With Milk
Here we have the potent counterpart
to the truly ‘British’ cuppa tea.
Most definitely the local’s preferred
choice, and served in most homes
and road-side shops, this strong
brew is transformed by heaping
teaspoons of powdered milk and
sugar. The more one likes you, the
more sugar is added. So, when you
do take a sip of what seems more
like syrup, take it as a compliment.
Or to avoid being complimented,
always remember to ask for less
sugar.
A little Ginger
This spicy alternative is highly
welcomed after a meal or as a pick-
me-up towards the end of the day.
Ginger marries perfectly with the tea
to create a golden brew leaving a
warm aftertaste. The black tea leaves
are brewed with crushed ginger
and sugar or jaggery is optional. If
you don’t see this on the menu, you
might try your luck and ask for it.
Spiced with Cardamom
Ceylon spices have a reputation of
their own and cardamom is one that
thrives in our tropical paradise. The
light green pods are split open and
the flavourful grains are crushed and
brewed together with the tea leaves.
A little milk and sugar or honey
makes this brew easily one of my
favourites and the distinct flavour is
hard to match.
With Condensed Milk
‘Tin Kiri’ or tinned milk is the street
term for sweetened condensed milk.
A couple of spoonfuls can transform
a strong brewed black tea into what
seems more like a dessert. With a
slightly thicker consistency this drink
comes closer to a hot chocolate then
the plain tea you started with.
Traditional High Tea
The British ‘High Tea’ is also
celebrated in elite settings. This late
afternoon snack can seem more like
a meal with a wide array of finger
foods including mini sandwiches,
pastries and cakes. Make sure you
set aside a generous amount of time
so you can be sure to savour the
experience. Most five star hotels lay
out an impressive spread for High
Tea, but call in advance since this
activity is growing in popularity.
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