We are blessed with one life which deserves to be well lived. Do you wake up to liveliness
PROJECT: COOKING TEA
How lively are you in the first few minutes after a long night's sleep? Presenting to you, my morning routine where I discover liveliness every single day. It's not the yoga or the mediation, just the simplicity of enjoying the complexities of brewing tea and indulging in it.
One of the most celebrated beverages, tea, has evolved along with humans. It has always been around-back in the royal courtyards where the kings ruled, when countries where being formed-colonising or being colonised, united or divided, when new discoveries and inventions bloomed in human minds, industries sprang up from humble ideas and communication advanced from letters to unseen lasers. Today, it stands, after numerous amendments and experimentations- your morning sunshine, the closing gala of a family brunch, her excuse to take a break from the gruelling desk job or even, one of the factors that could make up or break up his date.
However, for most of the crowd- it's the morning sunshine. And I am no exception. The morning cup of tea is a meticulous daily ritual-brewed to perfection and revered to the last sip.
It starts with the ideal tea cup-the white ceramic tea cup with the most convenient handle and a sleek rim, so that tea doesn't slip away between the cup and the lip. I pour into it cold milk from the fridge, just up to the right proportion-neither a drop less nor one more. I fill the remaining space by adding hot boiling water from the kettle and pour the melange into our esteemed 'tea saucepan' reserved only for this. Then, I add another cup of boiling water, but from another of the same ideal tea cup. The reason you ask-the tea cups crack and break into pieces as they are too delicate to handle the staggering difference in temperature between the cold milk and the boiling water. Then I light up the gas stove and wait for the first bubble of boil to escape into the air. It's 'the time' to throw in some tea dust. Again, a very very precise measurement, using my own instincts. Tea dust sets in and brewing begins. Exactly thirteen minutes-all approximations ruled out.
In the meantime, I peel out the almonds that I had soaked the previous night-just so that we may get our dose of proteins on an empty stomach. Ticks the 11th minute and it's time to tend to the brewing pot. I add the appropriate quantity of sugar-neither a drop less nor one more. The 12th minute is for the tea cups. I pour into it the remaining hot water from the kettle to warm them up; so that they keep the tea hot enough by the time we devour our almond and take the first sip. Empty the tea cup. The thirteenth minute rolls in. Off goes the flame, almonds peeled and the tea is in the cup. I take it out to the hall. There we are- my dad, myself, the almonds, the piping hot tea and the morning silence. We quickly munch on the soaked almonds. We reach out for our cup of tea and my heart starts racing. I don't need the caffeine.
We take the first sip. The temperature is just right-neither a degree less nor one more. 'Perfect tea bete' my dad claims and my day has already gone far too well. My morning cup of tea is a beautiful tale, a sweet painstaking technique, evolving into perfection by the ticking minutes, clenching the heart with suspense before the climax and relished in serenity - almost like a soul celebrating liveliness.