Chai and an epiphany!
I’m a Chaha fiend.
That’s what they call chai where I live. Here’s the glorious equation in one line:
Tea leaves extract + milk and sugar = Thank you my colonial overlords!
I live with my parents (what do you mean “why?!” I’m a 34 year old Indian male). Here’s how tea is made in my house (sigh… fine my "parents’ house” but it belongs to me—and me alone—because I just have one sister, so...).
Anyway, in my house, my mother/father make six cups of tea decoction every morning. This decoction is then converted into chai all day, as and when needed, so that it tastes "freshhHhhHhHH" every time.
Here’s how they make it, in my house:
You take 6 cups of water (chai cups, so 120ml x 6). Add a little extra water to boil away.
Add an inch or two of ginger, that has been crushed to its soul.
Let this boil, till the ginger writhes in pain (4-7 minutes)
Turn off the flame. Add 7 spoons of tea powder to the 6 cups of liquid—the extra spoon is for that ‘zing’—and we’ll come back to this.
Cover it and let it steep for 5 to 30mins.
Strain it. You have your chai decoction.
Now for the actual chai:
To make one cup of chai, you fill a chai cup with 25% milk and 75% decoction. Add a ton of sugar, if you are not a pussy… like I am. Heat it to your liking and voila— garam chai is 'nicely ready'…ah!
Rinse, repeat all day, till you can never sleep again ever.
On rare occasions, I make chai decoction, like I did today morning. I followed the recipe and added only 6 spoons of tea powder instead of seven. I don’t know why I did that, but it just ‘fit better’ overall—6 cups of decoction, 6 spoons of tea powder—no extra seventh spoon hanging around in my imagination, seeking my attention and distracting me.
As I stood there watching the water boil and the ginger beg for mercy, I had a sudden realisation—
So 1 spoon of tea powder saved per day meant 6 spoons saved per week. Since 6 spoons make a day’s chai, we get a whole 'extra' day, every week. And there are 52 weeks in a year—you know where this is going. So we would get nearly 2 full months of chai every year, for ‘free’. All this, just by adding one spoon less every day. Wow. Consistency yields results?!
Mind-Equal-To-Blown the whole square.
And to top it all, when I made chai from this decoction, there was no ‘zing’ missing. Probably because that little seventh spoon, gets divided into 8 cups of chai. And that turns out to be, but a few granules of chai powder every cup.
Thanks for the epiphany basic-six-standard-arithmetic! I’m sure I can do fine with a little less ‘zing’ in life.
Also, I need to zing my ass into my own home.