My Potion: Love in a cup
Hi! Did you think I forgot about you? Of course not! I know... I need to post more, but life and work caught up. But, I am here now and would love to share a cup of tea with you. What is that one thing you crave every morning? One thing without which you can't function? The older I am getting, the more dependent I'm becoming on my caffeine fix. I'd never thought that it would happen to me. And yet... here I am.
My love for cha or chai tea knows no bounds - black tea with milk, to be precise. My tea kettle has started to show slight scars of being overworked. I grew up on my parents' home-cooked, loose leaf tea, Doodh Cha, and it was a must-have every morning after breakfast and once every evening around snack-time. I didn’t realize I was dependent on it until later in my adult life. In fact, there was a time I used to wonder why people would say they can’t function without coffee every morning, because I can - just not without my tea. I love the authentic South Asian Doodh-Cha (black tea with milk). Now you might wonder, what’s in this tea that’s so special, or searching on Google for how to make cha or chai tea? Well, wander no more. Here's your answer. Nothing out of the ordinary really, but it does have its own recipe - the slightest change of which makes a noticeable difference, especially to a regular tea drinker like myself. Without further ado, I present to you my love potion.
I use a stovetop, stainless steel teapot for the gas stove. Mine doesn't whistle. If you prefer a whistling tea kettle, there are various options out there, and some tea kettles are made for all stovetops. Stainless steel makes it rust resistant, and you can simply put the kettle in the dishwasher for a thorough clean-up. You can hand-wash it as well, but it's harder to take off the tea stain that way. But see, I don't mind doing a little extra work to get my tea fix and sometimes even use a small, stovetop pot for a single serving.
Serving Size: 2 people
Tea Ingredients: Milk, Water, Sugar, Loose Leaf Tea
I always start with the milk. One cup of milk mixed in with one cup of water. Regardless of serving size, always add one extra cup of water to allow for evaporation.
Now that the water and milk is in the tea pot. Turn on the stove and set the heat to medium low. Let it cook for seven to eight mins until it comes to a boil.
As it begins to boil over, bring it down to simmer for another five minutes.
Add in one tablespoon of tea leaves and four teaspoons of sugar (2 for each cup).
I like extra sugar so adjust to your preference. Stir the mixture. Let it boil for 7-8 mins or until you see the liquid turning brown. If you like it stronger, just let it cook a little longer... until you see a darker brown.
While the tea is cooling down, take a moment to breathe in the aroma of your freshly brewed tea. Wala... Enjoy!
Now you know what my morning routine entails, and have also learned how to make the best cha *wink* But one question remained unanswered. You might still be wondering "I know the recipe, but what tea leaves do I use?"
I personally use the Wagh Bakri international premium blend black tea, and I couldn't rave about them enough even if I tried (This opinion is not sponsored. I'm just absolutely in love with this tea brand and quality, because nothing else compared!) The first time my dad bought one of the packets from the local indian store decades ago, I've been hooked ever since.
Care to share with me your morning routine or your favorite caffeine fix? I would love to hear all about it. Thank you so much for reading. I have some exciting news coming up and I can not wait to share it with you soon. Until then, stay toasty!
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Creative Direction: Nusfolio
Photography: Michelle Whitley
This post was first published in March, 2017 and has been updated since then.