x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

The secret to making a good cuppa

Sreedhar Akkarol, one of The National’s resident tea experts who serves hundreds of cups of tea a week, says the best tea comes from Darjeeling, Northern India, and the secret to making a good cuppa is simply “knowing what people want”.

Sreedhar Akkarol, one of The National’s resident tea experts who serves hundreds of cups of tea a week, says the best tea comes from Darjeeling, Northern India, and the secret to making a good cuppa is simply “knowing what people want”.

Lipton Yellow Label, he says, is very popular in his homeland, India, with “high officials”, but the favourite for most other people is masala tea, which is made with strong loose black tea (ideally from Darjeeling), masala powder and a slice of fresh ginger – or a dash of ginger powder – depending on taste.

“I read in a newspaper black tea is preventive for cancer and heart attack, so it is very good to drink.”

Lipton tea, he says, is cheaper in the UAE than it is in India, maybe to take into account shipping costs.

When he returns home to Kerala for holiday, he “has tea every morning with my mum, my wife and my two children”, usually made by his mother.

But when guests visit, his family rely on Sreedhar’s expertise to make the best cup of tea in the house.