If someone asks you what tea would you like to have? You would think what kind of question was that? There is only one type of tea (chai).
Then my friend you probably have not met a Kashmiri yet!
When you say tea, you have to name it, Lipton, Kahwa or Sheer/ Noon?
While Lipton is the regular tea you get in stalls, Kahwa and Sheer are a specialty from Kashmir. While Sheer chai makes use of milk and salt in its preparation Kahwa does not.
Kahwa has been derived from an Arabic word ‘Qahwah’ which means exciting the spirit and mostly used to refer to a brew of beans.
Kahwa tea is available as leaves and mostly people recognize it as green tea. It is prepared by infusing it with crushed cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and saffron along with sugar (if you like) in a special brass kettle known as Samovar, with a central cavity to place hot coals and a space for all these ingredients to boil.
Since childhood, sipping to cup of Kahwa at least once on a regular day was a routine and if it is winters, then having it like water would do no harm to a Kashmiri at least.
It excites me to find a Kahwa stall at marriages these days with a king size Samovar and Kahwa being served in a Khos.
Khos is a brass cup with no handles. Yes, it does get hot as you pour Kahwa over crushed almonds in it, but then holding it with a hand towel is an art too. I am such a big fan of this presentation that I got a Samovar and a pair of Khos for myself too. (See pic)
The taste of Kahwa is embedded within me. Be it a bad day or a bad throat, all I need is a cup of Kahwa to rejuvenate my senses. When I was single, my mother used to take care of this need of mine, but after getting married, the mere of thought of her being away used to haunt me like anything.
Moving abroad after marriage was another big change in my life.
The day I reached, I was jet lagged, the weather was terribly cold, and this only added to my headache. I wanted to make myself some Kahwa but soon realized I got none from India. I gave up and went to sleep.
In a while I felt like smelling potpourri and in a minute or so my husband came to me with hot piping Kahwa. On asking I got to know that my mom had already informed him of my weakness and he had purchased the whole Kahwa kit before I came. Those emotions cannot be described in words, so I wont waste my time explaining. All I can say is, that fragrance, the warmth of that cup and the treat of kahwa to my taste buds did nothing but made me feel at home!
Buy yourself a Kahwa combo here, follow the recipe, and create moments for life!
Do you have any memories with Kahwa? Share them with the world in the comments section below!