Like father, like daughter! Yes, thats true, my 8 year old daughter is so used to seeing me sniffing, slurping and spitting tea – now tasting of Darjeeling Tea has to be done collectively with her most of the time. When ever I take her out to a particular Darjeeling Tea garden she sees me inspecting the tea leaves and its new shoots, hugging the nearby trees, lying on the soft grass, clicking photos etc. – and I guess the behavioral traits got air borne and contagious which can well be observed in her developed actions whenever she is on such locations.
She is no doubt, A TEA LOVER, not because of all the ‘goody goody tea talks’ she has heard which seems going around the world, but by nature and the environment she is plunged into! Many tea lovers have opted for tea due to tea’s health benefits, which is good, but in my daughter’s case its just plain and simple – fun! I really adore what she is experiencing, because she loves tea without any reason – this I believe (personally) is a true Tea Appreciation! Its like loving someone unconditionally! I too love tea, but when compared, I fall short in front of her love for tea because, apart from my personal Darjeeling Tea consumption habit or addiction I may say, I have plenty of reasons to love and be interested in tea – for instance my Darjeeling tea business.
Whenever she is out in the fields, surrounded by hundreds of Darjeeling Tea bushes, I customarily find her resonating and murmuring with the humming birds, playing with the mist and fog that gently caresses her face, re-aligning her hair that got swayed by the sweet-whistling breeze, observing in all directions as far as her eyes can reach trying to find the object of her interest, which she finally finds – in short, she gets lost in her own world. Guess this is how a pure soul gets a flawless blend with nature. And I guess this is how nature stirs all the characteristics in a new leaf giving us the prized Darjeeling Tea.
When in a Darjeeling Tea plantation, she is most of the time looking for tea flowers and tea fruits. Collecting tea fruits in her bag is the best thing she likes doing – after her return back home, these collected tea fruits are subjected to her own experimentation eg. she puts them one in hot and the other in cold water and tries to find the color difference of the so called brew. Some are subjected to the inner soil hoping for them to sprout into a full fledged tea bush of her own. The collection becomes her prized possession and she broadcasts to the world specially her granny, literally by making her count the no. of tea fruits she has collected.
Whenever new Darjeeling Tea comes for a tasting purpose, she is the first one to be ready with her own small notebook or piece of paper where she usually scribbles her tea tasting notes. Finding those associated tea flavors hidden amongst the complex undertones of numerous other flavors, is fun and challenging for her – the find makes her ecstatic and joyous (the find is however not always accurate, but comes more amalgamated with her imagination). In fact Darjeeling Tea tasting is not a simple ceremony even for the most experienced tea tasters, but guess this is how it starts and I am here witnessing the history of the initial phase of a tea taster’s life. But what she becomes in future rests with her own decision :)
Amongst numerous Darjeeling Teas I have stocked, irrespective of her knowledge, she likes consuming only the organic Darjeeling Tea varieties – Does this mean her taste buds are refining and getting trained? Well, I have to observe that in the near future. Her favorite grade is however the clonal varieties and she likes both Darjeeling First Flush and Second Flush Darjeeling teas, but dislikes the astringent characteristics present in a First Flush – by this time she has already come to know that brewing for a little lesser time can hide the pungent characteristics and as a result, she brews for about 2 minutes with the help of her special stop watch. Her favorite is Arya Pearl, an organic Darjeeling white tea from Arya Tea Estate. Apart from Darjeeling Teas, she adores some formosa oolongs and her favorite being oriental beauty – the one she had, very much resembled Arya Ruby in appearance, another jewel from Arya Tea Estate. The trickery didn’t work when I gave her Ruby and told her that it was oriental beauty – she said, “Papa, yo ta arkai chiya jastai lagyo ta” meaning “this tea seems so different and like another tea” – not that she didn’t like the Ruby, but found it to be different – the tiny brain had olfactory conflictions.
Thats it for today! Thanks for reading folks! Though this is somewhat personal, but surely “TEA”, I thought why not share it and its DONE. Do keep on checking! Happy Tea Sipping!