It has to be just right. The first sip of chai that you take in between your lips. The making is a ritual. A pot filled to the brim with water. When the bubbles rise all over the surface that’s when you pour in sugar. No more than three spoons. Any more and it will be syrup, any less – it will lag the kick you need. Fresh grated ginger is put in next. Let it boil until all of it is concentrated to a consistency that is thicker than water. Then you pour in milk till the tea in the pot turns a slight orange as it turns homogeneous with the liquid in the pot. Now you bring it to a boil and pour in your perfect cup of chai. Warning – the milk has to be boiled first, it cannot be poured in raw.
There you have it. Your first cup of morning chai. I do this ritually everyday and fall in love again with every cup that I take for the day. It’s a good thing to look forward to as I turn in for the day at night. The hot liquid sliding down your throat feels as warm as lover’s caress. If you are too impatient it can leave you scalded. The high you get as it enters your system can last throughout the day. You can never tell apart the ingredients that went in making it as it goes down your belly.
Whole stories and novels happen while you are drinking this innocuous sounding tea. But there is magic in it. People open up their closed existence. It can be a weapon and also a peace offering. Your maid will tell you all the latest’s happenings in your society for your offer of a simple cup of tea. It can also be offered by your enemies to pry out your latest secrets.
So you see, for all its simplicity tea isn’t simple. It is a complex brew and can be as personal as the person making or offering it. It can change from an peace offering to a weapon in the blink of an eye. It would never do to under estimate the power of tea. It has healing properties. It has soothing properties. It can soothe inflamed pride and heal a weary soul.