This was a wonderful space to hang out in and share our thoughts! But now we've all moved on and simply left our memories behind :-) ...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

T(e)antalizing Topic of my choice(AmitL)

Oh,wow…being selected BUFer of the week’s such a thrill, I haven’t got over it yet. So, here goes a post of my choice. Hope you like it:

Do you remember the song(Inane lyrics, but, still…grin..translated to the best of my abilities for Keshi)

Ek Garam Chai ki Pyaali Ho(Let there be one warm cuppa tea)
Koi Usko Pilaane Waali Ho ( A lady around to help me drink it(ea))
Chaahe Gori Ho Ya Kaali Ho(Let her be white or black)
Seene Se Lagaane Waali Ho( She should be capable of hugging me)

(Crazy, says Keshi-wait till you hear some other songs of this sort from Bollywood, Keshi)

So, anyway, I thought it’s high time that I shared my experiences with my favourite drink- tea. So, here goes an educational, yet funny look at cha cha cha.

Does anyone really dislike tea? That warm,tasty,ubiquitous ‘cuppa cha’. In Dubai,be it 0530 AM, or 1130 PM, I/ you can see people proudly clutching that thermocole glass filled with chai in one hand, the second hand on their waist- I guess it probably gives them a sense of having conquered the world, and they feel that they are holding it’s most prized possession in their hands.

Remember the song’ Main aur meri cha(a)i aksar yeh baatein karte hain(Me and my tea-we often talk..)…ok,ok, that’s not the song…that song is ‘mein aur meri tanhaai aksar..…’

Some drink with a slurp(I tried,to see what pleasure a slurp of tea gives, but, couldn’t-how can you slurp when you are using a thermocole glass and not using a saucer?),some drink it in one gulp,some take their time,perhaps more than lunchtime,and enjoy every sip. The standard variety of tea available here is bifurcated into dip-dip/Lipton, Suleimani (Tea without milk), saada(Plain) which is the regular tea. (I’m not mentioning the with/without sugar variety).

Then, of course, you can go into a restaurant and try out green tea, herbal tea, etc. And, there’s the supermarkets, where you get a further variety of teas to suit all tastes, including rose tea, lemon tea, chocolate tea(UGH), et al.
In our office, I see Green, Mint, Camomile, Four Red Fruits(Yes, that’s the name), Earl Grey. (There’s also around 10 varieties of coffee, which seems to be quite popular Down Under, but that’s a post for another day(I work in an Aussie Co’s Dubai branch))

And, don’t forget the various brands, from Lipton to Brooke Bond to Twinings to ?? In fact, here’s a link for tea varieties. LOL…it says there’s something called Chai Tea as well. It says ‘Chai, pronounced with a long "i" as in the word tie, is the actual word for tea in many countries. Chai tea is quickly becoming extremely popular in the West as people are becoming exposed to it as lattes in coffee and tea houses. ‘And, there’s a recipe for making chai latte, too.

Tea gardens: I’ve seen only the ones in Kerala, and they were awesome, to say the least. See pic on left- Munnar tea estates.

That’s as far as Dubai is concerned. Gujarat(India) is, of course, is another unique case.

Tea here is:
- Normal, with milk and sugar OR plain with milk n sugar OR Golden(named so due to the colour) OR Masala Chai usually served at most of the tea larris.(See typical pic)
- Served in cups and saucers, so that people can come closer together, by sharing a cuppa(Doesn’t matter if they’re rich) drinks from the cup, the other slurps(And, I really mean SLUUUURRRRRPPPs) from the saucer.
- Drunk in different positions, besides the traditional sitting at table. It could be drunk sitting on the ‘jhoola’ (Swing) which is traditional in Gujarati families. Or, sitting on the ground, in a squatting position(Most workmen sit that way). Or, sitting with a stick in one hand(Like our building watchmen in Baroda do). Or, sitting in lotus position with the feet tucked in. Or, standing(When at the roadside dhaaba, on way to work from one city to another, with an abject lack of time).
- Used as a common medium to ‘relate’ while striking many office deals, during day or night.Like, "Let's settle it over a cup of tea".

I also love to drink tea from the railway station, which comes in an earthen mug, lovingly called a ‘kullarh’. Thanks to our Honble Railway Minister, this mug is back in vogue.

As for me, tea always used to be a favorite for me, right from school days, but, I'm now down to just a max of two cups a day.(Couldn’t relate much to coffee, somehow). Mornings always begin with a cuppa (!/2 a cuppa without sugar, in these days of dieting ). There was a time when I would begin the day with a small kettle(around 4-5 cups) full of tea. (ARGHHH- Can’t imagine how I did it, now). Of course, I haven’t really experimented with chai,nee,tea much…except for the regular variety. Probably because the taste of the other teas is usually bitter-er than the regular Lipton-types.
Still on teas, there’s a leisure website called’’.

There’s also the famous gesture from shopkeepers in Baroda,when they ask you if you’d like some tea. They shout ‘Do Chai laana(Bring two teas), and wave their fingers in a ‘V’ sign, to and fro. What it really means is ‘Do chai mat laana’(Don’t bring two cups of tea)- this customer is just passing time. So, you're kept waiting for the tea which never comes.One of my cousin's couldn't believe it,and I had to prove it to him in one of Baroda's best garment shops.

There’s some suggested funny phrases I found on a website, related to tea, which go thusly:
- Tea Bag(n): To dip your nutsack into someone else’s mouth... in a tea making process
Did you tea bag your girlfriend while she was asleep.
- Tea Bag(n): The bag you use to make your tea... not something perverted at all
I made tea with a tea bag this morning... (Nee,this wasn’t an ‘A’joke...LOL).

Whew-this post has made me long for a cuppa tea,even though it's nearly 0900 PM...excuse me.Anybody wanna share?

What else? Am trying to think of more 't(e)a-ntalizing topics'.All I can say is If you liked this post idea, don’t ‘tea’se me, just say so in the comments. 'Tea'll next time, byee and cheers!


  1. can't imagine how chocolate tea wud taste like! :-S

    Earl Greyyyy yayyy thats English ;p ;p

    lolllll yeha ive heard this about Gujaratis as welll loll .. its so funny !! and the best part is .. working here in BOB, with 90% gujaratis .. i've started speaking gujarati and so has the only white guy at work too ... he greets me in the morning n asks "kem chho __ben?" LOL

    interesting .. am not very very fond of tea ... like the English tea .. made with tea bag and less milk at times or like herbal tea which has only got the essence but no taste as such ... but ive been making tea ever since i was in 4th standard lol !! so i can proudly say am the best tea-maker in my house lol

    nice post .. thoda hatke :)

  2. Amit this is a beau-TEA-ful post! :)

    tnxx for the translation there!

    **She should be capable of hugging me

    hehe cute. Thats very necessary isnt it?

    I like tea. Hello I come from the land of Tea...SRI LANKA. It's main export is TEA. The green green hills of Kandy (central SL) is one of the most beautiful places one should visit...Tea plantation is something Im proud abt SL. I like that Kerala pic.

    While I do drink tea, coffee is my first choice. My sis loves tea. She's the tea-hog LOL!

    When I do hv tea, I use 2 tea-bags (preferably English Breakfast) as I like my tea strong...and then after it's brewed, I add some milk into it..and 2 sugars. I like plain tea as well...when Im down with a sore-throat that is. Its soothing. From Herbal tea, I like Chamomile tea the best.

    Great post Amit...enjoyed reading abt ur tea habits :)


  3. Hi Amit,

    I handle the Tea category for my company, and was pleasantly surprised on reading this here. Infact I have just come back from a trip to our factory amidst the tea gardens as you have mentioned here.

    BTW, on a more business-business curiosity basis, which company provides your office with the 4 flavored Tea's that you just mentioned?

    LOONY: Madam, aap toh puuri angrez ho gayi hain!

  4. Keshi

    Yaaaaaaa ive been to Kandy .. its such a lovely place and the tea gardens n stuff :D :D and everything there!!

    how funny i add 2 tea bags too!! lol


    Ab ismein English hone ki baat kahaan se aayi ... i like havin English tea coz its light .. whereas the boiled one is kinda heavy which u can't hve all the time ( coz i drink tea cup bharke lol ).. even when i was in India i used to add tea bags whenever possible for my tea ( if and when I had it )

    where dya work??

  5. ya Allah!! Kya post hai... par gaana bhi waisa hai ...

    "Gharam Chai ki pyaali ho... koi usko peelane waali ho... chaahe gori ho yaa kaali ho... .. and so on.. dhinchaak :p"

    Amit Sir, ek aur baar nice post lekin humne toh chai peena 10years se leave kar diya ;)

    ab reading this post i sochta hu will start drinking again :p

  6. haha i cant go on without of a cup of tea per day...same wit my mom she loves my tea tho...:P but most of all i love those roadside stalls tht have cutting chai hehe man thats the best chai u can ever have! and omg the tea estates in munnar...the tata tea estates...ive been thr its so pretti :)

  7. Hi,Loon Gal...well,chocolate tea tastes nice,I believe..tried a bit long back.:)

    Nice to see that u've gotten the hang of Gujarati,too..saari vaat chhe,ben.:)

    hey,wow..u're the best teamaker in the house?*notes down*,for whenever we meet.:)hehe..cheers and thanks.

  8. Hi,Keshi...thanks for a beau-tea-ful comment.hehe...Ah,yes,you're from the land of tea,so,I'm sure you identify with most of the teas..I love Sri Lankan tea,just like our own Indian tea.

    nice to read about ur tea-choices.:)


  9. Hi,Aakash,wow...I never imagined there'd be a tea category handler amongst the BUFers..nice to know u.(When do we get discounts?grin)..and,wow..u visit Munnar's tea gardens regularly?I loved the place.

    Re. which co provides our co with the teas-I'll check...though,I do believe it's Lipton for most of them.

    Grin at ur comment to Loony.:)

  10. Hi,Loon Gal...nice to see replies to comments from u..and,hey,u've been to Kandy?did u do a post on it?(I remember Sri Lanka's places,from school geography days)

    LOL at ur reply to Aakash..I also love light tea,don't worry..even when I use tea leaves,I use more milk to make it light.

  11. Hi,Darsh..LOL..u sound like someone saying 'wah wah' at a mushairah..but,still, thanks*takes a small bow*..I'm so glad u're tempted to begin drinking tea again.:)Let us know when the first sip touches your lips.:)Cheers and thanks..

  12. by light i didnt mean the colour lol .. i like it strong ... but by light i meant the .. errm .. u know .. light n heavy foods lol ... u knw wht i mean rt ... like brown rice is lighter than white rice? that way!
    by drinkin the tea-bag tea u dun feel too full!

  13. Hi,Loon Gal..pardon me...hehe...I didn't get the 'light' meaning,even now.:)how can the teabag tea not leave you feeling too full???