Tepidophobia- Fear of badly made tea…do you have it?
|   Dec 21, 2016
Tepidophobia- Fear of badly made tea…do you have it?

I was laughing my head off as I was reading a list of 20 strange phobias. But then I came across one particular phobia which I didn’t know even existed. On reading about it I realized that I suffered from Tepidophobia big time. While tepidophobia refers to the phobia of badly made tea only , I am going to include badly made coffee under this term as well. Each time you visit someone’s house, the most common beverages served / offered are either tea or coffee. It is surprising considering the fact that this beverage is consumed and prepared in majority of the Indian households, yet very few people have actually mastered the art of making that perfect brew. Before I knew I had this phobia, I used to jump at every opportunity to have some tea/ coffee. I love caffeine, be it in any form. But often the moment I am served this steaming hot beverage, I am unable to mask my disappointment. The first look generally gives you an idea of what you are in for. It can determine whether the next few minutes will be pure bliss or sheer agony .But again, just as looks can be deceptive, a visually appealing tea/ coffee need not necessarily taste good. While my husband is a champion in gulping down tea/ coffee of any kind. I struggle with the cuppa of a badly made tea/ coffee. There are people who are brilliant cooks but yet fail in brewing an appealing cup of caffeine.Common mistakes people make with tea/coffee are

  1. People go high on the saccharine quotient, sometimes it makes you feel like you are having payasam instead of tea. 
  2. People often take the liberty of tempering tea with ginger, cardamom or just some spices. While that does help in masking the flavor of a badly made tea to some extent, it’s often nice to ask your guests whether they would like it that way. 
  3. Mostly, almost 99.9 percent of the cases, the tea / coffee served may have a layer of malai/ cream covering it. While some people don’t mind it, there are some like me who can actually throw up if some of this malai/ cream finds its way into my mouth. I have often contemplated having a strainer in my bag as a permanent fixture. 
  4. People need to ask what may be the preference of their guest before venturing out into the kitchen to make this sacrosanct drink. While some prefer their tea/ coffee to be milky, some would like theirs to be strong. 
  5. In case you do not want to waste your time asking everyone’s preference, please do invest in a milk jug, tea/ coffee pot and a sugar pot so that you can spare your guests of the agony of downing tea / coffee that is just not their type. 
  6. Do not try to scrimp and save by buying low quality tea leaves/ coffee powder. Go ahead and splurge some money. I can assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised with your investment. 
Nowadays I often refuse when I am offered these beverages. It’s the classic case of once bitten twice shy. In the bargain I may have lost out on some finely brewed caffeine but I would rather be safe than sorry.

For me tea/ coffee is not just any other drink. It’s sacred for me. I drink both and enjoy the flavor and fragrance unique to each. A good cup of tea coffee is easy to make provided you are able to customize it to another’s preference. In case you have realized that you may be one of those agony givers as mentioned above or have the potential to be one, please do take this piece of writing seriously. If you need help there are several tutorials available online that can help you make some amazing tea/ coffee. A brilliant cup of tea/ coffee can make me kiss the hands of the creator of such a masterpiece. While a badly made cuppa can make me want to scream…”this is not my cup of tea”!!

“Do not accept badly made cups of tea. Do not surround yourself with people who make them. They don’t care about you”- Anonymous

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