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22 May

What does one have to do for a decent cup of tea these days?

Editor’s Note

Here’s the irony of the day. Chai dhabas and chai walas have been trending on all social media channels for the longest time; we see so many ads of the perfectly brewed cup of tea on TV and yet…here’s the flip side, it has become almost impossible to have a good cup of tea at home. I have one cup of tea a day, always in the morning, and it opens my eyes and keeps me going all day. That’s a good thing because it means I don’t crave tea all day long during Ramazan. But it’s catastrophic when that one cup of tea starts to resemble dish-cleaning water. Case in point: the quality of tea bags available has dropped to a level called dismal.

I was always a Lipton Yellow Label loyalist. It guaranteed me a good cup of morning tea, which I usually brew myself so I can vouch for their consistency. But then Yellow Label tea bags started losing their punch and I just couldn’t get that dark honey toned liquid that I used to. It would be a pale, diluted honey appearance at best. I then switched to Tapal and began enjoying their round tea bags, which did manage to pack a punch, although the look wasn’t half as appealing. The kehwa is darker for Tapal. But it was strong and tasted good. This week those tea bags were out of stock and I had to pick up the regular Tapal tea bags, which again, gave me tea that was more dish-water than a cuppa cha.

I usually brew my tea bag in a mug, covering it with clay cup-lids that I bought in China. My morning tea-making routine used to be quick, efficient and perfect: fill electric kettle with fresh water, add tea bag and sugar to cup, cover after adding boiling water, add milk and voila, perfection was achieved with either Everyday (which I understand is unhealthy) or Milk Pak doodh. Sadly, such is not the case anymore. I began brewing my tea in a tea-pot when the tea bags started weakening but to no avail. I’m still not getting a good cup of tea and it’s frustrating me.

Open to advice and recommendations.

Aamna Haider Isani

The author is Editor-in-Chief at Something Haute as well as Editor at Instep, The News. Full time writer, critic with a love for words and an intolerance for typos.