The tea was dark and strong. I thought about the sloping hills of tea gardens, women picking up leaves, and then the process of how they finally got to the cup.
This is not about tea.
How does milk mix with it – how dark is dark? Does colour change taste?
I especially like it in restaurants when they ask, “Milk?” and I say, “Just a dot.” I like it when that dot spreads out and then as the spoon stirs it settles in to change the shade of the brew. Does it feel empowered or does it feel lost? I imagine milk holding its own.
Then, they ask, “Sugar?” and I say, “Just a bit.” If it is granules, then half a teaspoon; if it is cubes, then I take one and before it melts I scoop it out and eat the soggy mess. It makes no sense? I am not cutting out on sugar; I am saving the taste of tea. Did I say saving and not savouring? For me, savouring is saving…the tongue is invested with flavours and the swish of silken liquid.
This is not about tea. It is about mornings. Come to think of it, it is about nights. Nights getting over and alarm clocks ringing and the snooze option giving you time to fake night some more.
“Are you a morning person?” they ask. I don’t know. I am a person at most times of the day and night and if it means I am at my best in the mornings then it does not work in such a manner for me. I am not a slave of Time or seasons. Or taste.
This is not about tea. I add some coffee powder to it or dried ginger or mint leaves or honey. I don’t like it too hot, although I love watching the steam rise and encircle the air. I tend not to hold a cup or mug with my finger nestled in its handle. I hold it with my palm as though to touch it through the porcelain.
I come to the table and the sun casts a shadow. I see the vision of the morning in its dark contours.