I drink tea largely thanks to the Jains—Professor and Mrs. V. K. Jain. Prof. Jain was my father’s colleague in the Indian Institute of Science.

Credit: Jaimi’s Viva Tea Cozy

We would visit with the Jain’s from time to time. And, Mrs Jain would, unfailingly, whip up her amazing British tea offering—hot tea and English biscuits. As a 10 year old, I recall thinking that she was one heck of a chef.

Since my parents only drank coffee, tea had this lovely scarcity value to it. The aroma was quite different, wonderful and inviting. During one of the visits, I was permitted to sip some tea. And, I was hooked for life. (Fortunately, Surekha is from Delhi. So. it all worked out ? )

Anyways, back to the story. Mrs. Jain would bring the tea in a pot covered by a tea cosy! It looked quaint. But, truth be told, I never really understood why one needed a cosy. Till this past week when Surekha discovered a cosy lying around the house and chose to put it to work. I was struck by the thermal efficiency of a simple piece of cloth. The tea remained warm for an extended period of time, and the number of times I had to reheat the tea dropped. Energy efficiency!

Pretty fascinating how simple designs can achieve wonderful outcomes! No microwave, thank you.

PS: If you want to brew your own masala chai, ping me. Thanks to covid, we’ve been experimenting and have a recipe for the adventurous.

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