For as long as I can remember, tea has always been a part of my life.
Perhaps my love for tea was first cultivated when I was still young, back when Uncle Chris and Aunty Cynthia lived with us and I was barely eight years old.
I’d watch Uncle Chris prepare his daily mug of tea, piping hot with its swirls of wispy steam, and with the addition of just a bit of milk, it’d transform into a delicious pale brown.
On the other hand, Aunty Cynthia made her daily coffee fix the way Italians took theirs – black as coffee could be. Aunty Cynthia drank her coffee neat – without sugar or milk, and its harsh bitterness was too much for my young tender tongue.
Naturally, I gravitated towards Uncle Chris’ choice of beverage. At first, it was because I wanted to have a drink to call my own – I felt all grown-up and matured doing so.
Later, I eventually got used to tea, and I found myself always in good company with a pot of tea.
During school holidays Aunty Adeline would take my siblings and I, together with my cousins Shawn and Gracia, to the Shangri-La Hotel for its all-afternoon high-tea. During those luxurious high-tea sessions, we’d flip through the tea menu, which boasted all of 164 different types of teas. Each of us would order a pot of a different type of teas, so we could tea-taste.
Those were good old days that I recall with great fondness and wistful nostalgia.
Now that I’m all grown up, tea still plays a large part of my life. In every café or restaurant I visit, tea is my default option, apart from still water.
There’s something greatly comforting about a pot of warm tea, a couple of biscuits, and a good book to spend an entire afternoon on, especially if it’s chillingly cold outside.
Even in a hot climate like that of Singapore, where I grew up in, tea is all the more refreshing, especially if drank with crushed ice, a couple of lemon wedges, perfumed with fresh mint and slightly sweetened with honey.
This is pure comfort to me.
- 1 liter of boiling water
- 1 English Breakfast teabag
- 4 teaspoons of honey (or more, depending on how sweet you like your tea)
- 1 large lemon, sliced into 5-6 even wedges
- 2 stalks of fresh mint
- Bring 1 litre of water to a boil.
- Once water starts boiling, remove from kettle/pot and pour into a glass jug.
- Place the teabag in the hot water for a few minutes, just until the color is a light caramel brown, then remove the teabag.
- Stir in the honey while tea is still hot, and drop the lemon wedges in the tea, pressing the wedges with a spoon to squeeze a bit of the juice out.
- Place two stalks of fresh mint in the tea and wait until it cools slightly.
- Tea can be served hot/warm during autumn and winter, or with crushed ice during spring/summer (or really, at any temperature you like).