We had a tea factory where CTC dust tea was produced from tea leaves collected locally. Fresh tea from the manufacturing process was taken for making those perfect cups of tea.
Like most people in Kerala, we drink tea with milk and sugar added. The perfect tea of those days stopped when my father had to close down the factory when rubber replaced tea as a plantation in the locality.
Ever since I have been looking for that perfect tea. The taste of tea in local tea stalls is better than the tea bags that are marketed now, but a distant second to the perfect tea we had at home.
A few years back, we were tourists in Sri Lanka and were taken to a tea tour in Nuveralia where I was thrilled to see the tea factory exactly like the one we had. And as a school boy, I used to insist on starting the factory chain process.
That was starting two giant metallic wheels using a car steering like starter. After switching on, turn the steering 90 degrees clockwise and count 30. Then turn the steering a further 90 degrees and the process is all set.
The best thing in Nuveralia was the complimentary cup of tea from the factory and that was the perfect cup of tea.
Now I am still in the research to reproduce the magic. I am using CTC powder tea from the top rated Kerala tea company but the tea is not coming closer to those perfect ones.
Perhaps the toned milk is to be replaced with fresh cow milk. Perfect cup of those days used milk from the cows we had at our land. Can we trust the packaged milk branded as fresh cow milk!
Process adopted by me is:- Boil the slightly diluted milk and add CTC premium grade tea dust to the boiled milk. Stir well and cover the vessel for 5 minutes away from fire. Pour into a cup through a strainer and add sugar as required.
If anyone can suggest a better method to get that perfect cup, I will be greatly obliged.
By the way, there’s a magic tea with fantastic taste in Paragon restaurant in lulu mall, Kochi. It’s called ‘Biriyani Chai’. Magical because the tea and milk/ cream are separated at an acute angle in a long v shaped glass. You have to mix the two before drinking.
Ask for Biriyani Tea if you visit any of the Calicut Paragon outlets in Calicut, Kochi or Dubai.
And if I manage to make the perfect cup, come for a cup of tea……