February 12, 2019

Chai and I - a love story! #SuperBloggerChallenge #Instacuppa

My relationship with tea goes back a long way. I think it was the Madhatter's tea party that first got me all curious. I must have been barely seven then. That was a time and age when children my age were forbidden from touching any kind of adult beverage. However, even as a child, I was always the curious sort and an early introduction to books had only managed to fuel this sense of wonder and curiosity in me.
I would watch the adults sipping on their cups of tea, while I listlessly nursed my glass of milk, sulking at the unfair privilege age allowed them.
Alice was allowed to attend a tea-party. Then why wasn't I? I had raised the argument with my father once. "Because we are not mad hatters," he had laughed at his own joke. I was being clearly outwitted.

Until one day, I decided enough was enough. I was clearly missing out on something. I couldn't wait until I was a grown up to quench my thirst for this forbidden beverage. It would take me ages to get there. And so, with dogged determination, I did what every manipulative seven year old would do in times of emergency; I tried throwing a silent tantrum.
I stayed mum all day, refusing to talk to anyone until my demands were met. I pushed away my glass of hot milk and with animated gestures insisted that I was served what everybody else was having. After several futile attempts at dissuading me, my mother finally gave in and agreed to offer me a sip from her cup, on the lone condition that I'd finish drinking my milk later.
I grinned. The silent tantrum had worked. The negotiation was done! I promised I would drain my glass of milk to the last drop if only she'd allow me to have a few sips. Although I was aware that it was clearly my mother who had got better part of the deal, I knew beggars couldn't be choosers. Besides I was afraid they would adjust themselves to my silence (and God forbid, even begin to enjoy it) had I to push my luck.

For a good many months, I obediently settled for sips of my mother's tea as part of our negotiation...until one day, curiosity (that was until then my forte) got the better of her, and she stealthily entered into the kitchen just in time to see me draining my glass of milk in the sink. My secret was out!
She stared at me in silence. My mind was already coming up with excuses. I knew my life was over. My mother would lecture me on the hungry kids of Somalia, her favorite topic, when I refused to eat the veggies on my plate. She would take away all my books and distribute them among my cousins. Or perhaps she would forbid me from having another drop of tea. Before she could say anything, I went in full drama-queen mode. I started to over-explain. I bawled. I protested. I told her I couldn't let the milk ruin the taste in my mouth...not when I was being allowed just a few precious sips of the chai I so craved.

She was still staring at me. And then she laughed. "We have a tea-junkie in the house" she told my father, narrating my shenanigans later that evening. They both chortled as I stood there, staring at them with my best puppy dog expression, hoping I had convinced them into allowing me to make the grand 'doodh to chai' switch-over.

The next day onward, I was given my own cup of tea. And that is how my journey with tea started...

While the other adults in my extended family frowned at my parent's decision to allow me what I wanted (tea over milk, to be precise), I acted eternally indebted to them, much to the point of suspicion, until I was completely sure they weren't going to change their mind.

As I grew up, I started thinking of myself as a tea connoisseur of sorts. No matter where I went, I could not make myself leave the place without trying the tea there. Hitherto, I have enjoyed various varieties, namely lemongrass tea, iced tea, kulhad chai, butter tea, tandoor chai, Darjeeling tea, Assam tea, oolong variety, and some other herbal infusions.

Thinking about it, I can say that my preferences too changed dramatically over the years.
During my childhood or pre-teen years, I loved the more milky, extra sugary type of tea. I guess this had more to do with the tea-drinker adult image that I was so fascinated with. During my adolescent  years, it was masala chai that became my favorite. Perhaps the spice level of that chai was more in tune with my feisty teenage years. Somewhere during medical school, my choice of tea changed again. Late night cramming for exams and a hectic schedule meant me downing cups of black tea to keep me up and about.
Cut to present day, I am me, more mature and level headed (or so I like to believe), much more concerned about my health and fitness than I was years ago. I am still a tea lover nevertheless. But over the last few years, my choice of tea has changed once again, this time to a more soothing cup of green tea.

When I first started having green tea, around three years ago, it took me a while to get adjusted to its characteristic 'grassy' flavour. But soon enough, it had found its way into my routine. Green tea, is not just more soothing and relaxing, but also possesses a lot of health benefits.
Allow me to elaborate...

What made me opt for green tea?

Green tea is loaded with healthy nutrients. It is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins.

  1. Oral health: Green tea helps maintain good oral health. The catechins in green tea inhibit certain bacteria responsible for bad breath. Also killing off the bacteria reduces the risk of plaque formation and cavities. 
  2. Green tea possesses around 30-40 mgs of caffeine (much lesser than in coffee). Hence green tea provides you with stable energy without the risk of risk of muscle tremors. It also increases your concentration span and helps you stay focused. 
  3. Green tea increases good cholesterol (HDL) and reduces bad cholesterol (LDL)
  4. It helps regulate hypertension by lowering blood pressure.
  5. Studies show that the catechins present in green tea decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and Parkinsonism. 
  6. L-theanine present in green tea helps you stay relaxed without being drowsy. 
  7. The large amounts of antioxidants in green tea reduce the risk of cancer.
  8. Green tea increases metabolism and promotes burning down of fats. Hence helps control weight gain.
  9. Research shows that green tea decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and also increases longevity. 
Ergo, green tea is literally the elixir of life. Of course all the above benefits are based on correlation and should be supplemented with healthy eating and fitness habits. One cannot be reckless in all their habits and expect a miracle out of green tea alone. 

However, every time I traveled, I was rudely reminded of how good things in life are often either overpriced or simply unavailable. The cafes en route would either roll their eyes when I ordered green tea or came up with an exorbitantly priced pitcher of some ambiguous green-tea brand. So when I read about the vacuum insulated tea infuser bottle by #Instacuppa, I immediately made up my mind and placed my order at Amazon. 
With advanced temperature control, this double wall vacuum insulated design helps keep both hot for 1 hours and cold up to 24 hours. Also the vacuum insulted thermos travel mug is the perfect travel companion for those who want to have their regular green tea-fix even on the go, and be spared of judgmental looks and hole in the wallet.
The infuser bottle can be used not just to create infusions of green tea, but also to prepare infusions of coffee, fruits etc. Detach the steel infuser, and it can be used as a simple water bottle too.

How to prepare green tea using infuser bottle?

Of course, it is no rocket science.
  1. Firstly, detach the infuser basket from the bottle.
  2. Separate the long infuser from the short strainer.
  3. Add one tbsp of loose leaf green tea in the bottle
  4. Cover the infuser with the short strainer.
  5. Put the infuser back in the bottle.
  6. Add hot water to the bottle until it reaches just below the strainer level.
    1. Cover the bottle and let it stand (infuse) for four minutes or more. The colour of the water changes almost instantly.
    2. For faster infusion, flip bottle upside down for a few times. 
    3. After four minutes, your tea infusion is ready. 
    4. Pull the strainer and infuser off the bottle and sip on your freshly brewed green tea straight from the bottle.
    And that, my friends, is how I prepare a perfect cup of green tea. 
    I normally prefer to add a dash of lemon in my green tea. Lemon aids in the absorption of some of the nutrients in the green tea. 

    So that's it, folks. Now that you all have read a slice of my love story and are privy to the secret of my energy (nope! it has never been a chocolate milk-drink that the ad mad world leads us Indians into believing), I will end this post by rephrasing a popular scrapbook line that most of us would fondly remember scribbling in each other's scrapbooks as kids.

    "Drink hot coffee green tea. Drink green tea. Burn your tongue and remember me!"


    “Note: This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2019 conducted byHealthwealthbridge.comAllaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2019 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused.”


    Sindhu Vinod Narayan said...

    That's a nice incident to share that you are a tea lover. And great write up about instacuppa product as well.

    Pragnya Mishra said...

    What a love story? My teen niece will claim that's her story for now. We have tea and she glares her cup of milk.

    Vidhya Thakkar said...

    It's a beautiful post!! Loved itt.. #Superbloggerchallenge

    Siddhi said...

    Very informative post. Loved reading it ❣️

    anupriya said...

    My God! Your shenanigans with tea are really laugh worthy. You parents were really generous. I cant fathom myself doing that to my boys. Good list of benefits you have put down.

    Anonymous said...

    Especially revealing, look forth to returning.

    Novemberschild said...

    Wonderful post!
    I share the same kind of love with my coffee

    Aritra said...

    I loved the way u have expressed yourself and narrated your love story with the beverage. Also you have shared great information. #superbloggerchallenge

    Jai said...

    Loved reading about how you switched from milk to tea. My twelve-year-old daughter drank tea in the school canteen with her friends and came home and made demands for tea on a regular basis. So we give her tea now. Nice article and the list of health benefits are also very useful

    Jai said...

    My twelve-year-old daughter drank tea in school with friends unknown to us. Finally one day she demanded her cuppa of the brew. So now we give her tea. I really loved reading the story of how you made the switch from milk to tea. And the listing of health benefits of Green tea is also useful. Great post.

    "Anny" The Anurag said...

    Ha ha ha that so cool
    Loved the post

    Penelope Potty Snooper said...

    Hey I remembered my own childhood days when I religiously poured my milk down the drain . I wonder if I was lactose intolerant ? But I’m more of a coffee drinker though and like my tea either sweet and boiled or light and lemony. As for green tea , I’m afraid I get severe acidity so have stopped drinking it despite the fancy cup from China!

    Pri said...

    @ Sindhu
    Thanks Sindhu. Do visit again! :)

    Pri said...

    @ Pragnya
    Hahaha...I sense an chai-afficionado in the making! Keep a watch on the sink ;)

    Pri said...

    @ Vidhya
    Thanks Vidhya. Do visit me again! :)

    Pri said...

    Thank you. Do visit again! :)

    Pri said...

    @ anupriya
    In my defense, I only asked for tea. Play stations and iPhones weren't around back then. Nowadays parents have to be more careful about agreeing to their kids demands. You can never know what you can be tricked into buying. :D
    Thanks for visiting my space. Do drop by again!

    Pri said...

    @ Anonymous
    Thanks :)

    Pri said...

    @ Novemberschild
    Somewhere in between, I had a 'coffee addiction' phase too. But the caffeine was too much for me, and I couldn't stand decaf!
    Green tea is much safer and healthier. Been on it since the last three years now :)

    Pri said...

    @ Astra_tales to tell
    Thanks for dropping by. Do visit my space again! :)

    Pri said...

    @ Jai
    That's a good decision you have made. Trust me, I haven't turned out that bad myself! :D

    Pri said...

    @ Anny
    Thanks Anurag. I'm glad my post got you laughing. :D
    Do visit again!

    Pri said...

    @ Bellybytes
    Oh...I can understand. :( Acidity, if severe, is quite a problem to deal with. But doesn't coffee cause you acidity? Or do you have it decaf??

    Kanu said...

    I loved the way you have described your story and tantrums for Tea and I have to admit that many of the green tea benefits on your list were new to me.👍👍