It’s little known fact, but my husband courted me over tea. We’d sit at his mom’s kitchen table covered in a red and white checked table cloth and brew tea and talk until all hours of the night. He with his Cincinnati Bengals mug and I with a white Corelle mug with blue trim. The tea? Your standard Lipton original. It didn’t matter. As with all tea moments, it’s more about who you’re with, not what you’re sipping.
So, I’m always a little sentimental when we have a quiet, spontaneous tea moment at our own kitchen table these days. On a rare occasion, Edie is dropped off at daycare, and we have 20 or 30 minutes before our respective work days begin. On this particular occasion, I told him I was going to try a sample of Chai that had been sent to me. He has always liked Chai, so he said he’d join me in the taste test.
The Chai in question was Tipu’s Authentic Indian Chai. Specifically, their new Instant Black Chai. I have to admit, I don’t have much experience with Chai. If offered a choice, I always fall back on a black breakfast tea blend rather than chai. For me, this was a fun change of pace. I used hot milk, as the directions recommended, and stirred in a teaspoon of the instant chai. I was tempted to use the Cincinnati Bengals mug (which made the journey to California with us). The Chai is unsweetened, so I added some sweetener to each mug.
The first sip is always my favorite. Spicy and creamy, the Chai was perfect for an overcast, slightly misty October morning. Gene was an instant fan. As it turned out, he had just run out of coffee and decided that this could become a welcome replacement because it felt substantial and filling, the way coffee can be. High praise, indeed. Our only challenge was the idea of heating milk, if we were to indulge every day. We don’t have a milk steamer or an espresso machine, so it’s either boiling it in a pan on the stove or warming it in our mugs in the microwave.
Our solution came with our experiment the following morning. I put the kettle on and made the Chai using boiling water, leaving plenty of room for milk. I poured a generous glug of milk into each mug and stirred in the chai. The results was very satisfying in every way. Perhaps the brew was not as creamy as using pure milk, but it had enough. And the ritual of the tea kettle can be retained. Win-win.
I think we may have found our bridge between my morning tea and his morning coffee. Morning Chai. Thank you Tipu’s!
An International Tea Moment now has a Facebook Fan Page! Tell me you “Like” me at http://www.facebook.com/TeaMoment.