My day doesn't start off without a nice cup of fresh, aromatic Darjeeling infusion. Sometimes with a dash of milk. I just have to have it in the morning. It's a ritual in our home and it has been a family tradition since forever. My grandma would prepare the virgin tea for us early in the morning. Now, as I look back, I feel that it was her addiction that had made her woke up at dawn and prepare it for herself and others in the family. Family included parents, two sisters and me. My sisters never quite were into the tea tradition. Occasionally, however, during the times they used to get cold and cough they would drink therapeutic tea. It was prepared with lot of milk boiled with tea and ginger juliennes and other kitchen herbs, experimented with often, till the consistency got really thick and heavy. It felt good for the throat and filled our tummy. But the real tradition of Darjeeling tea, mostly endorsed by my mom, was something I got addicted to and cherish still today. In those days, only a few shops sold authentic Darjeeling Happy Valley tea and my mom would get it no matter what. The price was way too high still that shouldn't come in between when it comes to family tradition, should it! Those were the days when we had little worries, more fun time and lot more family time.
My sisters are married in different countries now. My grandma is no more and I still live with my parents and perhaps the only one who still religiously follow the tradition of drinking tea. My father is also an addict but in a different way. He drinks tea several times a day and wouldn't mind compromising with the quality and taste unlike me. My mom has to buy two different varieties of tea for us. We certainly do not share the same taste. The tea, I drink has a balanced richness and flavor and aroma of the perfect tea. It even claims to be very rich in anti oxidants. I found it to be refreshing with richness in aroma. A lot of other things that it is tagged with hardly bother me for I drink tea just for the love of it. It should be satisfying and lingering. Just that! The medicinal and anti-oxidant value adds to the health benefits and being kind of conscious, it certainly acts as an incentive.
Last year, when I went to Dubai, I searched for different variety and brands of world famous teas. I know, it's not the best of places to search for but I came across some really good ones and bought a few packs. Coming back home, as my mom was unpacking and reading the labels, she was laughing and laughing long. When I asked her, she showed me the label on the tin box. It neatly read ‘Made in India'! My mom looked so happy to have her belief validated and I had to agree with her this time. She is one smart woman I look really upto!