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Chai Pe Charcha

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The Navhind Times |  GOA |  20-07-2016

Chai pe charcha

If you are cold,
tea will worm you,
If you are heated, it will cool you,
If you are depressed,
it will cheer you
If you are excited,
it will calm you
-William Gallstone

Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, second only to water. With India being one of the largest exporters and one of the largest consumers of the beverage as well, it was about time that we celebrated tea in all its various moods and avatars. TE-A-ME teas are part of the Madhu Jayanti International limited, which are one of the leading exporters of tea in India for over the past 7 decades. Ina bid to revamp the image of tea as a `lifestyle drink` as well as to appeal to the aspirational and young population of India, TE-A-ME has launched 20 flavours of the brew, which include spiced teas for the Indian palate like the masala or ginger tea, to the much in demand green teas such as honey lemon green or the Kashmir inspired Kahwa. Their range also includes flower and leaf infusions such as apple mint, peppermint and tulsi. With such a wide variety to choose from, India head, TE-A-ME teas, Sunil Parikh is positive that no matter What your mood or preference is, they would have a tea flavour especially suited to your needs.
Tea connoisseur Ravi Kidwai from Kolkata who has almost 40 years of experience tasting teas shared his knowledge and enthusiasm for the elixir of his choice. While brewing some exotic flavours of tea such as the mango and the blueberry, Kidwai shared interesting anecdotes on the popularity of tea across different nations. He spoke of a man who owns a tea tasting room in Prague who has dedicated kettles to brew each different type of tea, and he says the secret lies in never washing the pot, so that the flavours form a tea patina which underlines and accentuates the flavour of the brewed tea. He spoke of the different grades of tea and of how a tea taster helps differentiate a good tea from a great one by
years of experience and what he called the `palate memory`. He felt that the ubiquitous and popular roadside tea stalls in India had been instrumental in positioning tea as a `poor man`s` drink, and that the addition of milk and sugar overshadows the finer nuances of the tea and thus reducing it to a `tasteless stew`. He was quick to caution against the rising trend of positioning green tea and other teas as `health drinks`. "Tea is to be savoured and enjoyed for its taste and by labelling it as medicinal or a health drink we are pushing tea into a place where I don`t think tea wants to be. Tea does not aspire to be a medication." His personi-fication of his favourite drink showed his love for his craft. When asked which tea was his favourite he said the `Darjeeling tea` which he shares a fond bond with for over 4 decades. Tea popularity is slowly on the rise; it is now not only used as a drink, but also as an added flavour to hookahs and to smoke meats while barbequing. And in popular reality food show, tea was even used to make an earl grey inspired dessert by the winning participant. Speaking about the popularity of coffee shops across India, Parikh pointed out that it was the smell of roasting coffee beans that was used to draw in the crowds; however tea too is not to be left behind in its powers to draw people. He shared the experience of TE-A-ME preparing a special blueberry flavoured tea for a baker that was used to enhance the experience of his clients while they savoured the blueberry muffins at his
bakery. The great news is that now Goans too can take on this sensorial tour of different smells, flavours and tastes of the to TE-A-ME teas at the cafe in Vivanta by Taj Panaji, which is to launch the TE-A-ME flavour station.

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