Sipping Memories: Brewing some of the Best Tea Moments of My Life

Sipping Memories: Brewing some of the Best Tea Moments of My Life

Tea has a way of capturing moments- those fleeting instances that make us smile, pause, or reflect. It's not just a beverage; it's a storyteller, an empathetic listener, and an enchanting wanderer. With each sip, I'm transported to a different time, a different place, or a different version of myself. It's a gentle nudge, a warm embrace, or a lively companion, depending on the moment and the brew. 

Sometimes, these are not mere stories but vignettes of warmth, adventure, and wisdom. From the scorching heat of my birthplace, Jodhpur, to all the way in Chandigarh where I grew up until my current residence in the bustling city of Gurugram, tea has never left my side. From unexpected encounters in far-off places to quirky everyday tea rituals with friends, I can’t help but relish all these tea episodes that are more than just distant memories. 

Do you remember your first tea escapade?

The unusual event of tasting the first cup of chai from your parents’ cup that burnt your tongue and yet you tried again. The fresh scent of cardamom coupled with mountain air that made you hold the cup a little firmer. The incessant laughter of your best friend echoing in your living room as you chugged the last sip from the cup. 

While I was sipping my Kingcha Premium Tea and engaging my palette in flavourful memory lane, I realized that these moments, which are often unacknowledged leave a profound impression on our experiences. So, I thought of sitting down, penning down my thoughts, and diving into the memories that revolved around my favourite beverage, tea. 

The Tea Effect: Early Years

Like many people, my love affair with tea began at home. I still vividly remember the comforting aroma of my mom's kitchen, a thick cloud of earthy fragrance, and the smell of masala chai bubbling in the air. However, as a kid, I was forbidden from drinking too much tea because of a silly old myth that it would make my skin darker. Still, being a stubborn brat, I persisted, and my mother came up with a clever way to introduce the flavour of tea in my regular glass of milk. She would add some elaichi (cardamom) to the milk and strain the milk through a strainer that contained a small amount of tea residue. This produced a tinge of flavour and a delightful fragrance in the bland milk, and I used to devour the whole glass in one go!  

As time passed, this milk cum tea drinking ritual made me realize how much I loved this unique beverage. 

The Tea Undertaking: Sophomore Years

This is perhaps one of the fondest memories I have of tea where I felt like a British princess. Two decades ago, a peculiar ritual came into being that has since become an inseparable part of me- being served tea in the cozy comfort of my bed. It was a practice that felt straight out of an English novel- with a kettle, a delicate teacup, and a stainer, I would pour in the tea and sip on the aromatic brew with a sense of both nostalgia and excitement. Any deviation from this ritual would lead to a tantrum from my end. This tradition even extended to the numerous relatives I visited alone, becoming a legacy altogether for everyone to be a part of!

The Quirky Tea Moments: Simple College Days

College life is notorious for its quirky rituals, and nevertheless, I had a fair share of them. The most striking tea ritual from my college days – A simple Chai Tapri, on the Gehri- route of Chandigarh, basking in the aroma of strong black tea that was kept boiling for hours in large containers. Our day was not complete without gathering around the tapri and spending hours on serious discussions and silly banters.

Now, when I think about that moment, I understand that tea was not just tea, it was a symbol of camaraderie and friendship. The place became a magnet for everyone in college and all it took was a phone call to drop everything and meet for Chai and Sutta! 

The Travel Buddy Called Tea

Travel and Tea are inseparable no matter where you are in the world. Like a loyal companion, tea has journeyed with me to every corner of India. From the pristine hills of Kashmir to the vibrant streets of Chennai, I have savoured a cup of chai from every locale. 

When I visited London, I had to experience the traditional English Breakfast Tea at Harrods. Although it is one of my most cherished memories along with trying various types of white teas and flower teas in the U.S., the feeling of our homeland chai can never be replicated elsewhere. A particular tea called Kesar Chai found at a roadside Dhaba in Nagaur, Rajasthan, along the Jodhpur highway steals my heart away every time. This tea, with its unique flavors, became a frequent source of refreshment during our multiple journeys on this route. Surprisingly, Chennai, a city traditionally associated with coffee, turned out to be a hidden gem for tea enthusiasts, offering a delightful chai experience.

In these encounters, where tea was steeped in unfamiliar ways, I found humility. Each sip from these various places taught me that the world of tea is as diverse as the land it hails from, and with each tasting, I humbly expanded my appreciation for this beloved brew.

5 pm Tea Drinking Ritual

Life moved on and so did I with a cup of tea in my hand. Every evening at 5 pm for nearly a decade, I would visit my dearest friend at her cozy home for a cherished tea ritual. Her tea-brewing skills were unmatched, and her ginger tea was magical. She would grate a generous amount of ginger in boiling water and together, we would add milk and sugar in the pan, transforming the tea into a creamy concoction. But the jewel in the crown was the tea leaves which she added in the end before turning off the stove and covering the pan for exactly seven minutes. Each cup of that unique brew would make time stand still as we engaged in countless banter and lived in the moment!

Through every cup, every sip, and every unexpected twist in the tea leaves, I've learned that tea, like life itself, is a tapestry woven with diverse experiences. And more than experiences, tea has permanently etched in us countless memories as we grow up and reminisce our life’s journey. 

Here, I hold the cup in my hand with subtle eagerness rodding down the memory lane, hoping you dive into yours as well while reading this blog, however small or grand so that we can come together and celebrate tea as an enchanting storyteller and time-traveller. 

Do you have a particular favourite tea memory? We would love to hear it so please do share in the comment below!

- Aditi Bhandari

As the founder member of KingCha, I take immense joy in sharing my personal experiences of tea and its place in my life. To each and everyone, a cup of tea is a personal story which some like to share and while some like to live. As much as I recall, tea has held some of my favourite moments in life.  

King Cha is most thankful to its subscribers for joining our King Cha FraterniTEA to explore the vast world of tea and share with us their knowledge and experiences.


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