“When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”
The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
“The Russian word for tea is Chai, and I will always remember it. When I was in St.Petersburg, I found that tea was everywhere and seemed to be more favored than coffee. I spent my week in St.Petersburg during a very cold November, and every resturant was quick to offer tea. In Russia, they brew their tea thick and hot and pour it into small glasses. I had thought that England or India would have been the capitol of tea, but not so. The Russians thrive on it, and while viewing one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world in one of the most spectacular cities to be seen, with a cool chill moving across the sky, a drink of this Russian Chai completed everything.”
Want to make your own Chai?
Try this recipe:
Indian Spiced Tea
2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Generous dash or two ground cloves
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped (optional)
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1-1/2 Tbs. sugar
2 heaping tsp. black tea or 2 tea bags
Lightly crush the cardamom pods in a mortar, to release their fragrance. Alternately, you can crush them with a rolling pinâ€”but do it on a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, so itâ€™s easy to collect. Do not completely powder the cardamom, however, as this can discolor the tea.
In a saucepan, combine the spices, milk, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat (watch the pot carefully â€”boiling milk boils over more quickly than just about anything else you can cook), then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and tea and continue to simmer for about 1 minute longer, or until the tea has clearly released its color into the liquid.
Strain into cups and serve at once. Alternatively, you can let the strained tea cool to room temperature, then pour it over ice.
Serves 2. Enjoy.
~from the Chicago Mensa Site