Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good Morning!

Certain mornings begin in the most perfect way. Let me talk about one such morning. It was a morning when ‘Little Martha’ got stirred with ‘Darjeeling Tea’ along with the mild morning breeze.

‘Little Martha’ is a 2 minutes 7 seconds beauty from the 1972 album, Eat a Peach by The Allman Brothers Band. It’s also the last composition by the legendary Duanne Allman, the bandleader who died shortly after recording the track, because of a motorcycle accident. He was all of 24. Extremely unfortunate as the world would have got so many more beauties from him. Rolling Stone magazine names Duanne as number two on their list of the greatest guitarists of all time. Number one is anybody’s guess.

The song is an instrumental duet composed in the minimalist finger picking style, played on acoustic guitars by Duanne and band mate Dicky Betts. Its simple melody and fullness has always made me happy and craving for more. This morning was no different.

Leo Kottke, the famous acoustic guitarist rightly called it "the most perfect guitar song ever written."

To my extreme displeasure, Darjeeling Tea is not available in Colombo. Perhaps it’s on account of the country’s very own Ceylon Tea. Which is better is a subject suitable for another post.

So, my recent business trip to Delhi saw me carrying back packs of ‘First Flush’ Darjeeling Tea or ‘The Champagne of Teas’, which is its other name. And, this morning I woke up to the gentle pleasures of light color, aroma and taste of one of the finest creations of man. I cultivated my taste for tea because of my parents, specially my father’s deep interest in the subject.

The art and science of Darjeeling Tea is exquisite. Like single malts vary from each region of Scotland, Teas from each estate of Darjeeling has a unique taste, flavor and aroma to it. When properly brewed, any Darjeeling yields thin-bodied, light-colored liquor with a floral aroma. ‘First Flush’ is the first produce harvested in mid-March following spring rains. Then you have ‘In Between’, ‘Second Flush’, ‘Monsoon’ and ‘Autumnal Flush’. For me, First Flush works the best, especially as the first tea in the morning. To know more on the subject you can go go here.

The mild morning breeze is always beautiful.

So, this morning, the three element came together to create that perfect start.

ps: above is a painting called 'Morning Tea' by Margaret Olley, Australias finest still life painter