In praise of Indian Tea
In praise of Indian Tea*
M G Warrier
*Excerpted from mails sent/received
In Tamil Nadu, coffee reigns supreme although tea has made some inroad.
There was a time when coffee enjoyed unchallenged monopoly among the upper and middle echelons of society in Tamil Nadu. If tea was offered injudiciously, it would be construed as a veiled insult, abuse, snub, rebuff or affront.The quality of coffee served by a host (read hostess) will place the server in an upper rung on the social ladder. During the boy-meets-girl ritual of yore, the matter may not be taken forward even if the bride-to-be looked like an amalgam of the celestial lovelies Ramba, Urvasi, Menaka and Tilottama, due to the faux pas committed by the bride’s family in serving tea — never mind if it was brewed from top-drawer Darjeeling leaves that even Queen Elizabeth would have condescended to sip with royal grace.
The status of tea has undergone sea change in Tamil Nadu nowadays.Tea has now come up big, acquiring equal status. Hostesses ask the guests’ preference, ‘coffee or tea?’ without inviting ire; and also ask a supplementary, ‘with or without sugar?’, as depletion of bodily insulin has become a national shortage.
I think the Aiyyars and Aiyyangars are still the strong votaries of coffee.
In CO, RBI, endless meetings take place with a liberal dose of tea,Samosas and pastries.
In any institution, e.g. Reseve Bank Staff College, there is always a tea break, which while refreshing us with tea ,also gives us some time for small talk.
When we check in at a hotel, the first welcome drink is what else-----tea.
When next round of discussion be held for wage revision/pension updation, guess what would soothen the nerves of the Union/Assn leaders/Managemement?
What else, but TEA
Watch "One meter tea with the chaï master | Wayanad, Kerala, India" on YouTube
M G Warrier