The curious case of the tea strainer….

 The importance of the tea strainer cannot be overstated to the teetotaller. Anyone who starts her day with a cup of tea will surely understand what I am talking about. Ironically, I don’t. It intrigues me how missing that first cup of tea in the morning could cripple your day or make you cranky in the morning.

I am hardly a paragon of abstinence; my kitchen never had a tea strainer. This was first pointed out to me by my elder brother who came visiting a few months back. I could sense the exasperation in his voice when he could not find one in my kitchen. Necessity is the mother of all inventions and his need was so urgent that he resorted to using a nylon mesh bag to strain his tea into a mug. Thankfully, I had a mug! All my life, I have never been so unabashed in my admiration and respect for anyone but my brother; therefore, I decided that there must be more to drinking tea than meets the eye. So, after he left for Delhi, I began to drink tea first thing every morning in office. Just to satiate my curiosity. And stopped doing it just as suddenly as I had started. Nothing happened.

My parents drink up to four cups of tea every day. My mother drinks tea just after lunch – beats me why. Ma and papa spent some time with me at my place last year. It never struck me that they had to manage without a strainer while I was away in office the whole day. That I own an immodest vacuum cleaner but not a humble tea strainer is nothing short of an idiosyncrasy. For the teetotaller and the non teetotaller. For me, it’s perfectly logical.

Or was.

Until the other morning, when I had this sudden craving for a cup of tea. I poured a spoonful of broke bond tea hastily into a saucepan of boiling water. Then it occurred to me that I did not have a strainer. Like I had written a complete event handler program but did not have the server access to run it. But I was desperate. I tried the sedimentation method and poured the tea gingerly into a cup. No sooner did I drink it than I realised that motes were floating in my beverage – my sedimentation stunt had flopped miserably. The nylon mesh bag looked at me invitingly. I picked it up and attempted to strain my tea. The tea formed rivulets, flowing in all directions – down my thighs, on my shirt, on the kitchen slab, on the chopping board, into the sink and what have you. An unassuming trickle found its way into the tea cup and I drank it lustily. The kitchen was a veritable mess.

I am wont to learning things the hard way. More often than not, when it is too late. Like in my engineering days, I used to invariably find out the night before my exam that I should have bothered to take notes in class. Help lay a painful score kilometres away because I did not stay in the hostel. I really should have bothered to buy a tea strainer earlier. I felt immensely guilty about putting my parents and my brother through the agony of having to make do without a tea strainer. It is as bad as giving someone tooth paste and taking away her tooth brush.

I bought a tea strainer last week.

My parents are coming over in a few weeks from now. Hopefully, my brother will be here too. A stitch in time will save three or is it four (if I were to include the penitent sinner 😉 )?

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7 Responses to “The curious case of the tea strainer….”

  1. *Teetotaler

  2. The interval between your blog posts is too long a wait for your readers.
    I didn’t understand this tea fixation either, till I got addicted to tea and ‘muri’ during late nights before exams. A caffeine fix and comfort drink. And during night duties at the hospital, I used to take a break around 3am to have tea and samosas at a nearby tea-stall.
    you churn out a good post about a tea-strainer (or the lack of it). Good 🙂

  3. Anil Prabhu Says:

    As a tea addict myself, this is really nostalgic to me..
    Miss those days when I used to wake up early in the morning and the aroma of my Mom’s tea made my whole day.. (not to mention minimum 3 or 4 more cups throughout the day !!)
    But Now..
    Tea has to wait till at least till Ten o clock :
    Till I reach office..
    reach my desk..
    unlock my PC..
    check mails..
    lock my PC again..
    say Hi and give a pretentious smile to whoever passes by me on the way to pantry..
    And finally my first cup of tea for the day..
    And I am totally charged !! Bring it on !!

    nevertheless..
    This “Long Awaited” blog was as refreshing as that early morning cup of tea..
    Awesome come back from the hiatus Snata !!
    Keep it coming !! \m/

  4. Awesome write-up..ur attention to detail….n ur expressions hav immense fluidity…the fact that i can imagine the entire flow of events in my head…beautiful…no words.

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