Wednesday, 3 December 2008

More tea, sir?

As in Britain, or at least, England, when you make a social visit in Kenya, you will be offered a cup of tea. Now, the Kenyans are justly proud of their tea, most of which is grown in the western highlands around Kericho.

Which begs the question, why, when they can produce such wonderful tea, do they slaughter it in their preparation of it for drinking?

Tea is served from a Thermos, with a lot of milk and sugar already added. Now, I like tea with a dash of milk and a slight sprinkling of sugar, so I find that tea, as served to me in Kenya is a little too sweet and a little too milky.

In a café in Kisii, I ordered coffee while my two companions had tea. I was not surprised to see the waiter approach the table with a Thermos, but I was surprised when my coffee was served. I was given a pot of hot water, a cup and a tin of Nescafe - do it yourself coffee.

Now, this wasn't a greasy Joe café, this was THE place to be in Kisii!

OK, so I traversed the country to a small village on the coast, not far from Malindi, to spend some time with my to-be significant other and the children. As Sig. other was working, it was my job to get the kids ready for school and make sure they had breakfast before they left. This second was a bit of a trial as they were very keen to get to school (Kenyan kids love school - how refreshing!).

Ian (6 years) usually takes tea with his breakfast. Not thinking straight, I made it with a tea bag in the cup with the usual splash of milk.

"What is this? This is not tea!"

I apologised and offered to make him tea à la Kenyan.

No, Baba, I like this, but what is it?"

"It is English tea. Tea, the way we make it in England."

"I like English tea. You take me to England. Now!"

My Sig.Other also liked my version of tea, although I guess that she will have reverted to the Thermos method while I am not there.

I was not so lucky when I got to Nairobi. Since the PEV, my host's house was (over?) full and making special tea for the mzungu was a task too far.

I did, however persuade the little café next to the office to bring me a tea bag, a pot of hot water and a little milk - so refreshing.

1 comment:

Wamuhu Mwaura said...

I'm smiling from ear to ear reading this.