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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

6 conquerors of the world, 1 conqueror of my memories, & a thank you to our new tea mate: "A Woman Made of Dust"


My tea for the day: Stash Premium fusion green and white tea. Though it may not be the best green/white tea, I still find it quite soothing especially while sipping it in my new dorm bathed in the afternoon sun. But this time, I drank it at night after coming from an on-campus event. What tea would you like to have now?

The other day, a new "tea mate" who calls herself 'A Woman Made of Dust' left a sweet comment on my first post and suggested a book for us tea mates called: A History of the World in 6 Glasses, by Tom Standage. Thank you again sister tea mate ;-) (lol too many links in one sentence!)

After reading both editorial reviews on and our new sister tea mate's description of the book, I decided to add it on my wishlist in my Amazon account. In a nutshell, the book is about how each culture has its own signature drink that has shaped other cultures and world history in general. The 6 drinks are: *tea*, coffee, wine, beer, spirits, and cola. Maybe if I get to read the book myself, it could be a potential topic for a future post...I'm kinda curious about whether tea is the greatest world conqueror of the six drinks!! :-p

However, of the six drinks, tea is definitely the greatest conqueror of my own memories. Tea brings back good memories of sleep-overs at my grandmother's place when me and my brother were little kids. I remember how in every breakfast with grandma, we always had to have a glass or cup of Lipton tea. Grandma would always advise us about the benefits of drinking a cup of tea once a day.

Tea also brings back memories of one of my favorite traditional Gulf Arabic foods called khoboz wa mehyawa (translated as bread and mehyawa, which is also known as meshawa in some Gulf Arab on the link to know what it is; it doesn't have a name in the English language. I'm honestly surprised that I was even able to find it on Wikipedia!!!).

Bread and mehyawa is ideal to have while sipping red tea or tea with milk (especially chai karak also known as chai haleeb which is made by black tea leaves, cardamom pods, boiled milk...and lots of sugar! This tea is a staple in the Gulf region of the Arab world). Mehyawa is typically homemade. Sometimes people add melted butter and/or eggs along with the mehyawa on the bread (which can either be Iranian bread, khoboz irgag (which is a kind of thin crunchy flat bread found in Gulf Arab countries), or khemeer).

I once shared bread and mehyawa with one of my American friends here in Boston, and she LOVED it...I'm sure she must've finished the rest of the bread I gave her by now...

Eventually, tea reminds me of my grandmother's cooking, especially the desserts that she, and many other mothers and grandmothers from the Gulf, would make during Ramadan. Such desserts, I think, would require a separate post in order to describe each for you tea mates. I may share some recepies if I ever attempt to make them myself.

Although the Arab world is the cradle of coffee, I rarely drank it back home in Dubai. I would only have coffee once every two weeks. I would only have Arabic coffee when we had guests at my grandmother's or when we visited relatives during Eid (which is twice a year).

However, when I first came to America last year, I drank more coffee between classes. Noticing the habit building up, I now drink it once in a blue moon and try to drink more tea instead. America is also where I "discovered" bubble tea (lol) and learned more about the different varieties of tea, especially through my brother's Japanese room mate. *Sigh* transitioning to America even effects the simplest spheres of one's life...

From your Tea Mate,
Reema B. :-)

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