Not my cup of tea

Tea is a daily fix for many. My maternal aunt is one of them and loves to offer tea whenever she can. She offered me tea the other day even though I had refused the drink for the nth time. She took a swipe at me, saying I had relinquished “everything” and that I had become “unsocial”.

Unsocial? Really?

Yeah, tea has become part of our social acts. But I wonder how accepting a cup of tea for the sake of keeping other person happy – that is to say socialising – makes sense. Would not it be a better idea if we focus on knowing each other better to decipher the beauty in our diverse tastes and preferences?

Some people get offended when I deny their offer to drink tea, especially at their homes. It is counted as a basic courtesy in our country.

I particularly detest the flavour of CTC tea. I bet my maternal aunt does know that the tea she usually offers me is CTC. I may not drink tea but I definitely keep abreast of the types of nation’s staple drink – its colour, texture and most importantly the quality.

Tea leaves contain caffeine, a mood-enhancing drug infamous for rendering anxiety, depression and stress.

During my recent visit to Jhapa, one of the tea-producing regions in the country, I stumbled upon a Nepali youth

pursuing studies on tea in China. He told me the problem “is not just with caffeine but also with the way tea is commonly prepared” in Nepali households. He observed how instead of brewing, Nepalis generally boil this aromatic beverage, destroying all its medicinal properties.

Nepalis grow probably the best tea in the world, but they seem to be unaware of how it should be prepared to serve as a drink.

Most of the Nepalis start their day with a cuppa, which they believe boosts their performance throughout the day. However, the implication of caffeine on mental health cannot be overlooked. I think this staple drink is making people more anxious. Usually, in my workshop on breath, I ask people to close their eyes and focus on the breath, but rarely can people keep calm while doing so. Somewhere, is tea by and large contributing to our anxiety?

Nonetheless, there is no dearth of tea aficionados, who will not only link tea with socialisation but also count the benefits of the drink. The debate still continues whether tea is good or bad. But I for one will drink tea when pigs fly!