I love tea. I loooove tea. I can’t get enough of tea. I’m addicted to tea. I’m seriously just talking about tea. You know Chai (tea). I’m a tea drinker. Coffee naaah! I love the aroma of freshly brewed tea with lotsa milk and one teaspoon of sugar. Oh sweet, sweet tea! Tea just makes me happy and excited to wake up in the morning. Surprising how you can have small habits that you have that can get you throughout the day. My tea brand has always been Ketepa Kenyan Tea, the tea leaves are just fragrant and fresh unlike any other I have tasted. I have tried other brands but maybe it’s just loyalty or the fact that I have been drinking Ketepa Tea ever since I was little and could legally drink tea! Hehe that’s just to say ever since I could eat solid food after I was born.
I guess I get that tea drinking habit from my late mum, she could drink you down the table with her tea. She loved tea and would drink it any time of day, whether it was hot or raining you’d find her with a Thermos Flask and those huge mugs indulging in her chosen addictive substance of choice. Whether the tea had milk or not, I was always available, she’d drink before dinner and if there was some left in the flask she would drink before going to bed. See? I come from a generation of great tea drinkers. Here! Here!
The best part of taking tea is that even scientists agree that tea is healthier than coffee which gives you a high then nose dive into bottomless craving. You can literally take 10 cups of tea and not have the extreme high and extreme low that you would get from drinking coffee.
Drinking tea has been a part of the African more so Kenyan bonding ritual. Hardly would you go to any Kenyan Home and not be greeted with tea before anything else. The traditions is still ongoing and we grew up knowing that whenever guest came visiting, tea is the one thing that would welcome them warmly. For us in the Western region it’s usually accompanied by Roasted Peanuts (Njugu), Roasted Sesame Seeds (SimSim) and Mandazis. How I used to look forward to receiving guests because you knew tea and escort (any snack accompanying the tea) will be waiting for you after the guests have left the home.
Tea just brings people together like the sudden falling of rain on a summer season. I have grown with tea my entire life and I have never gotten bored with it, in fact I guess as I grew older I started knowing the real delicious taste of tea. There is just something about taking tea with friends and family that makes you to feel like you belong. It’s a special feeling that just bonds everyone partaking of that tea.
Tea does not have to be boring, you can flavor it with spices to give it that kick that you want. The evolution of tea has made it such that manufacturers make tea leaves with flavor. I like Melvins Flavored teas, it comes with Vanilla, Caramel, Lemon, Ginger, Tangawizi and even Tea Marsala Flavors. If I am having plain tea (Sturungi) I usually flavor it with lemon squeezed in it then honey drizzled into the hot steaming mug. For milk tea, nothing beats Cardamon (Iliki) flavored tea. Just writing makes me want to pour myself another cup of tea. Of course how would I be writing about tea if I am not indulging in my favorite substance?
Tea drinking is usually associated with Luhyas from Western region and as such I am representing the tea drinking region. We always have a joke for anyone who comes from this region and does not like or enjoy tea. We say that (wewe si mluhya kamili) you are not an original Luhya.
I just simply love tea. We have two categories of tea (Chai mrefu/Chai ya kukaa chini and Chai fupi/Chai ya kukaa kwa stool) Literally translates to Long tea (Tea that is too diluted with water, not enough milk) and short tea (tea that has a lot of milk, more milk than water). See how serious I take my tea drinking. Cooking tea if you can believe has an art of cooking. Its not just putting water, tea leaves and milk in a pot and letting it boil. Believe it or not I have been served with uncooked tea! (chai mbichi) And tea can also burn by the way. Making tea has been a secret that has been passed down from one generation to the other in our family and I hope to keep that tradition of preparing the best tea to share with family and friends.
So the Luhya in me will not stop taking Tea as long as the people to share with my extra-large mug of tea are there. Tea rocks, who wouldn’t love to sit down with a warm cuppa-tea with friends and family and catching up on the day’s or even month’s events amidst laughter and precious moments. That reminds me, I need a refill for my third cup of Ginger Tea.
Live in Burgundy Moments