Where did I stay in Makaibari?
During my ten days in Makaibari I stayed with a host family, in a separate guest room/house, as part of the village home stay program. The experience was delightful.
I ate all the same meals as the rest of the family. Lunch and dinner was usually rice, dal, and a selection of cooked vegetables with occasional meat. Breakfast was flat breads, honey, an egg, or porridge.
Staying for such a long time gave me the opportunity to see what village life was like. Having come from my suburban and city experiences this was a very significant change and a welcome experience.
And each day when I came back from trekking around the factory and tea fields, Shila brought me a pot of Makaibari tea and cookies.
Much love and thanks to the Lama family for their hospitality during my stay. The photo here is of them standing in their newly opened shop, next to their home and along the main road in Makaibari.
Read more about the home stay program at Makaibari.
9:08 am • 18 June 2013 • 1 note
Plucked leaves resting and wilting in the enormous ventilated troughs at Makaibari. They’ll sit overnight before being sent to the rolling machines.
4:37 am • 18 June 2013 • 5 notes
Tea in Berlin. Fresh peppermint leaves immersed in hot water, served in a Russian tea style glass. Sehr gut!
4:30 pm • 16 June 2013 • 8 notes
Chai is: spices + black tea + milk + sugar + water
People love to love chai. After my month in India I experienced chai in the north and the south, mostly made fresh, but also sometimes from instant powder (on an flight).
What are the spices in chai?
Cardamom is primary. Then cloves and cinnamon (the bark in the photo). Ginger is an optional addition too.
Each person makes chai in their own way with different ratios, resulting in a great range of flavors.
What is the tea in chai?
It’s black tea, produced domestically in India. Generally CTC-grade (crush, tear, curl) tea which simply means the tea that has gone through a process to shred it and make it into graduals resulting in a very inexpressive and very dark, strong brew.
How do I make chai?
Get the best quality spices you can. Break them up with a mortar and pestle. Get a dusty black tea and sugar. Experiment with ratios. Throw it all together with mostly milk and a splash of water. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes. Strain and enjoy.
5:26 am • 13 June 2013 • 6 notes
Pho, a beer, and a tiny glass of water.
We’re really spoiled in California. You ask for water and you’re given a large glass and unlimited, automatic no-questions-asked refills.
Getting a glass of water in Europe is more complicated. The default is a bottle of mineral water, with or without gas, for a few Euros.
Ask for tap (table) water and you’ll get a funny look and a tiny glass. The cost is zero but don’t expect any automatic refills.
1:05 am • 10 June 2013 • 7 notes
Paper & Tea in Berlin
I’ve had my eyes on Paper & Tea for the past few months. Yesterday I trekked over there and had an excellent visit with the staff. We tried several teas and I shared stories of my recent tea tour in India while we sipped Makaibari Silver Tips.
Paper & Tea sells around 60 teas, a well focused range of types and origins, in their beautifully minimalist shop. The eyes are naturally drawn to samples of teas displayed in glass petri type dishes.
Their shop is located at Bleibtreustraße 4 in Charlottenburg.
They also sell a nice selection of printed paper goods and cards, but I was distracted the whole time by the tea.
5:09 am • 9 June 2013 • 9 notes
Thin layer of minerals
The water in Berlin is much harder thanks to a rich mineral content. Most water here comes from the ground, whereas I’m used to rain water in the Bay Area.
After sitting overnight a thin layer formed on top of this cup of oolong. The slightest movement will cause fractures on the surface.
4:59 am • 9 June 2013 • 5 notes
I’ve flown to more destinations recently than any other via Zürich airport: San Francisco countless times plus Berlin, Delhi, Istanbul, Copenhagen. And this airport is always a nice experience.
10:37 pm • 6 June 2013 • 2 notes
My first day at Makaibari: shoving my face in a tea bush. May 10, 2013
1:00 am • 6 June 2013 • 3 notes
Tasting two Darjeelings with my brother in Zürich.
Nice to be back after an amazing and productive time in India. Lots of stories and photos to share. Stay tuned.
12:04 am • 6 June 2013 • 2 notes
Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
What did I do on my last day in Delhi? Yes, I went to the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets. Checkout their vintage website, it’s full of funny information.
6:51 am • 3 June 2013 • 3 notes
Other people photographing and posing at the Taj Mahal.
8:04 am • 2 June 2013 • 2 notes