Saturday, July 4, 2009

To drink or not to drink...

Tamilians cannot make tea. Take it from me. I can brew an almost perfect filter coffee that makes maamis go besh and look upon me as a potential son in law, but I cannot for the life of me make tea that might impress a Malyalee, a Maharashtrian or a martian for that matter ( No offense to Malayalees, Maharashtrians, or martians for that matter).

My philosophies for making tea are rather hasty as I have come to realize but my habits have steeped in and I am unable to change them. Making tea for me means boiling an inordinate amount of water and throwing in tea powder, sugar, milk, ginger or any other spice that strikes my fancy and then let the unholy concoction bubble for as long I am willing to wait. My tea drinking friends consider this nothing short of blasphemous and I am often looked down upon for this alone.

My shortcomings with regards to tea were discovered by chance. On a rainy afternoon in damp Syracuse, friends unexpectedly dropped in and a spirited evening of conversations followed. Wanting beverages to revive flailing spirits tea was called for and I in all good earnest volunteered. Later on I received heapfuls of curses; someone even accused me of trying to thwart the pleasant evening with my mean coffee drinking agendas.

There are few things better than a good cup of coffee, filter or otherwise and a strong flavourful cup of tea is one of them. Tea drains away blues in the rains. And yes I am quite aware that rhyming is not one of my stronger skills. At home we follow the good Indian tradition of stuffing our guests silly with food and drink. Coffee is passed around ubiquitously, propelling late night caffeine driven card games with unusual amounts of calculations defeating the mathematically challenged.

Last week I went to a friend’s home. “Im sorry there’s no tea or coffee” she said exasperated, her hair forming tense ringlets near her temple. “Beer is in the fridge though, chalega?” A better time was never had before.


kusublakki said...

Nothing beats filter coffee...and I envy you for having the luxury of drinking all kinds of coffee right now :)

Masala chai is good too, but its only good with pakoras :)

maxdavinci said...

H5000 or zingaro?

Idling in Top Gear said...

Dude, perhaps you should have tried English tea as opposed to our local chai. Can't screw Earl Grey. Pass on just a cup of piping hot water + tea bag. :)

vitruvian said...

hey!! thats not fair! i'm a tam and i can make good chai! and just btw a couple of maharashtrians have been impressed by my chai and pohe!

And then there are the awsome combinations of chai-pakoda and chai-sutta!

but am incorrigibly a coffee drinker...filter or otherwise..

beer...chalega kya...daudega!!

rads said...

See, my respect for you doubles as you have graciously admitted in public that you suck at making tea. It's okay. Coffee's better.

tea is complicated. I like it though, and true to the fact that there are more than 2 ingredients involved, the results are not precise always.

Gradwolf said...

I can make good tea. :p

But I don't understand the coffee craze. I can enjoy it sporadically after a breakfast of Idli Vada etc. but not daily at home.

O prefer tea. And over that, I prefer hot chocolate.


Yes, am chamathu :p

Chiju said...

Coffee rocks!

Tea.. can never replace coffee...

Beer! Way to go! :)

swatimala said...

amazing...only u can make a mundane topic like ta or coffee so interesting

Karthikk said...

Fact 1: Even tamilians make excellent tea

Fact 2: Nothing, nothing actually can ever beat a good cup of filter coffee

Strong objections on the above points

Liberal said...

filter coffee is the best, and some coffees in NYC are pretty good too, I can never develop a soft corner for tea though...surprisingly madrasi in that regard!
Beer always chalega!

Nandini Vishwanath said...

I love filter coffee too! And tea too :D

I will teach you to make good strong chai ok?

chocoliciousgal said...

hold it holddd it...whaddya mean "tamilians" cannot make tea.... :P ....just 'coz u cant.... :D...

Ranju said...

I love both filter coffee and tea!!!

Back home in India, if there was no tea or coffee, my mom would ask 'badam milk chalega?'

maami said...

I had the terrible mixed tea, having not known better with cardamom, ginger, milk and works before marriage. Made me hate the beverage until I discovered kettles, tea pots, Darjeeling leaf and a spot of milk thanks to my mother in law. (Moothiram maadiri, Amma says, but hey I can't have that boiling lactose broth that passes for tea in Tamil and Punjabi homes.)
@Idling, Early Grey is a favourite of mine too.

buddy said...

@kusublakki: its raining here..perfect for chai pakora

@max: kfisher :D

@idling: true..but no kick in it

@vitruvian: i withdraw my statement then. but you are hardly a tam :P

@rads: tea is complex. coffee is awesome. period

@gradwolf: hot chocolate is onw thing that can give coffee a run for its money

@chiju: amen

@swatimala: thanks!

@karthikk: but you make excellent coffee!

@liberal: again, amen

@nandini: cant hurt to learn to make tea i guess..thanks

@chocoliciousgal: err..ok ok

@ranju: hot badam milk is really good!

@maami: LOL. you must teach me the whole tea leaf-kettle routine. i need it.

RukmaniRam said...

i resent your opening statement.

But otherwise your post quite makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I have never been a tea person before, and I have been as famous as you for my tea-brewing skills! Mother-in-law literally begs me to not make tea for her! :)
But off late, I have caught this fancy for green tea, and since its relatively simple to make, it suits me!

Anonymous said...

I'm not much of a tea drinker at ALL, I've just never had a tea that I have enjoyed!

I don't mind coffee every now and then. I once had filter coffee in India, it was so good!

Maybe its because us Tamilians just dont make good tea :P Next time, I'm having tea in Mars.