Cultural differences

Your Chai, My tea

11:28 PM

How do you like your tea?

I'm a tea junkie and fanatic, I never really liked coffee unless it's a heavily doctored cappuccino or latte with tons of sugar and possibly added flavour, but I like my tea black, without sugar and enjoy different flavours and type depending my mood and the time of the day.
In Switzerland if you opened my kitchen cabinets you would find over 20 different types of tea, from green to black, pure and flower flavored, herbal teas, tea bags and leaves, all nicely sorted in labeled tin boxes, I had teas for when I was down, morning teas, evening teas, relaxing infusions, energy boost ones, winter tea, summer one...and special mugs too.
Being the tea lover that I am I of course tried Indian style chai, and I can say it is not really my favourite, pretty much like coffee to like it it has to be heavily spiced and sweetened, I can't down it bland, and my guess is that it has to do with the milk, because one of the reason I hate coffee is because of the coffee cream they sell in Switzerland, I tried black coffee, but you need to have a very good variety of beans to make it enjoyable otherwise I find the taste bitter.

DH likes chai, with ginger, milk and no sugar and I have difficulty keeping that type of brew down. Whenever I can i will opt for a black tea instead of a milk one, and certainly not first thing in the morning, I guess my brain is too sleepy to really deal with the complex taste of tea-sugar-spice and milk, or maybe it is my stomach that just isn't ready for it, but even as an afternoon tea it will not be my first choice.
These days I generally kick start my day with or Assam tea or Darjeeling when I wake up, have a second cup around 11am at which point it could even be an Earl Grey as the bergamot in it churn my stomach if drank too early. In the afternoon I switch to green tea and these days it is Jasmine green tea, one or two cup depending the day, and by 8am or after dinner I'm on fruit infusions to help me transition to sleep mode.

Some of my friends and DH pointed that my tea craze must be European, but the funny thing is that many of my friend sand family in Switzerland are coffee addicts, and I tend to stand up with my leafy fetish, my boss back in Geneva even asked me a few time if I was sick or having an upset for indulging in a cup of dark tea or verveine infusion, I told him that I actually liked the taste of tea better than coffee but like many he was a bit puzzled.

Here in India I would not be odd proclaiming myself a tea drinker, because people drink it a lot in this "chai nation" but I stand up for persisting in enjoying it in it's most simple form. Here I'm not "sick" I'm simply European, and what is in my cup and what is in DH's and how we kick start our day is very intercultural indeed.

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