Multiple way of making tea a superb drink
On a rainy day
I bring a kettle to the sink and fill it with fresh water from the tap.
When the kettle is filled enough, put it on top of the two-burner metallic grey gas stove. Switch on the fire.
Meanwhile, I took dried crushed peppermint tea leaves into a teapot.
The kettle whistles.
Quickly, switch off the fire.
I grabbed the handle of the kettle and poured the boiling water into the teapot.
Let the tea leaves infuse in the water. Stirred with a metal spoon.
Slowly the tea leaves swirled to the bottom. I waited a few minutes and poured it into a cup.
A nice cup of tea was prepared.
I prefer to drink tea as it is. It does not need to add sugar. After all, it already has a natural taste.
As I drink the tea, feeling the sweet taste in my taste bud, run down the throat, stimulating the whole body into refreshing mode.
The original way of drinking tea
The tea was initially brought to Malaya by Admiral Cheng Ho and their entourage from China.
They started the tea culture in Malacca as palace guests when introducing the drinks to locals.
China has six types of tea in their country namely green tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, black tea, dark tea and white tea to drink as it is.
Besides that, in the earlier time, they associate drinking tea with a sense of spiritual connection.
Thus, they do not want to add any extra ingredients to their tea.
Fast forward, Malaysia tea is planted in Cameron Highlands and Sabah.
The tea is planted in these two places as it has a humid climate that makes it suitable for planting and growing the tree.
The process of plucking the tea leaves is important as it requires a skilled worker to know when the tea can be harvested.
The young, small green leaves are high-quality leaves that are gathered by them.
While mature, large leaves used machines.
Essentially after it is selected, the water from the tea leaves is removed through a withering process.
Consequently, the rolling process took place where it was crushed.
Traditionally they used the heel of the hand to crush the leaves. But nowadays machines are being utilized for the process.
After the rolling, proceed by the fermentation process.
Fermentation is a process whereby the tea is exposed to oxygen to give it a natural brown colour, a nice fragrance and flavour.
The final step is firing where it stopped the fermentation process. From here the tea leaves turn from brown to black.
Different kinds of tea
From this process, a different type of tea is being produced such as green tea, black tea and oolong tea.
The process also produces small pieces of leaves which are called “fannings” that go into tea bags.
Tea is also named for the region where they grow such as Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka and Darjeeling Tea from east of India.
Other than that, scented tea like Earl Grey is flavoured with bergamot essential oil.
One way tea is flavoured is by coating the finished tea with extracts, essential oils or flavouring agents during or after the firing process.
The way Malaysian interact with tea
Teh Tarik or pulled tea is a famous way of how Malaysian interact with their cup of tea.
Preparing it is easy by mixing tea with creamy white condensed milk.
However, it needs skill and technique to pull the tea.
The tea is being pulled back and forth between two stainless steel pitchers until the tea becomes frothier.
It is so nice that the higher your pull, many bubbles will appear on the drinks.
Teh Tarik drinks best at the Mamak stall or local hawker stall with friends while watching a football match in the night.
Previously Mamak stalls were open 24 hours a day.
It was a common sight to see a group of young men hanging out with their friends with a glass of Teh Tarik in their hands.
Bubble milk tea
Now, bubble milk tea is a sensation and a new way of drinking tea.
Bubble milk tea is made from black tea, milk, sugar and tapioca balls.
It was based on two cultures, British and China. However, bubble milk tea is identified to have originated from Taiwan.
In 1987, Lin Hinhui, a manager of a Taiwanese dessert shop accidentally threw tapioca balls into their milk tea. Hence, bubble milk tea is formed.
Now, tea is not only drunk by the older generation but it is also enjoy by teenagers and young adults.
Despite it being famous with different kinds of menu topping being offered, I only prefer to drink either with grass jelly or tapioca balls.
Bubble milk tea is considered a privilege for me, and I only drink occasionally once or twice a year.
On the occasion when there is a family member’s birthday, or my brother returns home I will grab this drink together with them.
Since it has been introduced, tea is a common drink for everyone.
The tea can be drunk as it is or can be flavoured, therefore people can have it at any time of the day.