Monday, March 24, 2008

Tea Leaves and A Cup

Although small with 10 narrow and long cubicles, my kitchen pantry is never empty. But then, even if I have the whole cupboard, it will also be filled up. From shiitake to rice bin, all purpose flour to cumin powder, cans of soups and bottles of sauces and coffee to hot cocoa, sometimes I have no idea on what is in there and before I waste my dollars on duplicates and expired goods rot, I ransacked the entire shelves today.

I am not sure how my relatives and friends got the impression that I am a tea enthusiast as I get all these vacumn packed black and green tea from everyone and there are almost 10 unopened bags. It must have been the gulping of pots and pots of hot tea when I am having dim sum at average restaurants to wash down the MSG flavor that led my Hong Kong relatives to think that I drink and eat tea! Even my mom brought over the tea she bought from her China trip and probably she heard that it was slimming and thought I need it !!!

Indeed, I drink tea alot! But not lately as I tend to feed on instant coffee and cannot wait for the tea leaves to bloom and brew. Some people drink tea and complain it gives them insomnia but me, I sleep like a log after a cup or even a pot. If coffee has 'Starbucks', then my tea leaves supplies can accomodate my imaginery 'MoonBrew' tea shop! Curry doesn't drink it as he prefers milk (how weird for a grown man!!!!) and certainly not the kids and Missy E might think I am feeding her grass juice with all the leaves floating!

The aroma of black tea such as Pu Erh gives a warm feeling and I like it during cold days. Infact the tea itself gives rise to many arts....choosing the best teapot and cups to techniques of brewing and serving are part of the life of tea. I like brewed Chinese tea better than English teabags as I find a soaking paper pouch in the cup impedes my enjoyment of the sipping and savouring of hot tea. I don't find floating tea leaves to be of such obstruction though and I sometimes chew some to absorb more anti-oxidants. As spring approaches, green tea is more of my taste as it has a grassy smell with cooling effect. The lightness of its color and subtleness of its taste makes the senses and tastebuds refreshed. The other tea that I like is the English Earl Grey... with cream it feels like drinking silk perfumed with citrus! How coquettish!

With Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks coffee being the obvious choices here, I am influenced by the need to consume coffee too but during my evenings when I am down and all curled up in my pajamas and big sofa, I will reach out for my tea corner MoonBrew for a calm and relaxing cup to end the day.

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