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Editor’s Note

Here’s the irony of the day. Chai dhabas and chai walas have been trending on all social media channels for the longest time; we see so many ads of the perfectly brewed cup of tea on TV and yet…here’s the flip side, it has become almost impossible to have a good cup of tea at home. I have one cup of tea a day, always in the morning, and it opens my eyes and keeps me going all day. That’s a good thing because it means I don’t crave tea all day long during Ramazan. But it’s catastrophic when that one cup of tea starts to resemble dish-cleaning water. Case in point: the quality of tea bags available has dropped to a level called dismal.

I was always a Lipton Yellow Label loyalist. It guaranteed me a good cup of morning tea, which I usually brew myself so I can vouch for their consistency. But then Yellow Label tea bags started losing their punch and I just couldn’t get that dark honey toned liquid that I used to. It would be a pale, diluted honey appearance at best. I then switched to Tapal and began enjoying their round tea bags, which did manage to pack a punch, although the look wasn’t half as appealing. The kehwa is darker for Tapal. But it was strong and tasted good. This week those tea bags were out of stock and I had to pick up the regular Tapal tea bags, which again, gave me tea that was more dish-water than a cuppa cha.

I usually brew my tea bag in a mug, covering it with clay cup-lids that I bought in China. My morning tea-making routine used to be quick, efficient and perfect: fill electric kettle with fresh water, add tea bag and sugar to cup, cover after adding boiling water, add milk and voila, perfection was achieved with either Everyday (which I understand is unhealthy) or Milk Pak doodh. Sadly, such is not the case anymore. I began brewing my tea in a tea-pot when the tea bags started weakening but to no avail. I’m still not getting a good cup of tea and it’s frustrating me.

Open to advice and recommendations.