Tea in Mali
All day long, Malians offer strong tea.
It’s made in a small pot on a charcoal burner like this one and served in three small glasses from a tray.
When the tea is ready, they hold the pot about a foot above the glass and pour. The tea goes from the glass back into the pot, and this is repeated over and over again. From pot to glass and back again. When the tea is ready, it is offered, with a nice foamy top from the repeated pourings, to be swigged down so the shared glasses are emptied and ready to be filled for others.
When the first pot is done, the tea is made again with the same leaves, but this time some sugar is added. The tea is poured, back and forth, back and forth, and again makes the rounds. In the third brewing, even more sugar is added. It’s the last and the sweetest.
The first strong cup is said to be bitter like death. The second is the blend of bitter and sweet in life. The third is sweet like love.
Speaking of love (How's that for a bad transition?), what I love about reading your blogs is that they make me think about all sorts of things I wouldn't normally think about in a day...like crushes...and Thai Chicken Soup with Lemongrass...and carved pumpkins...and James Taylor...and life choices...and practical jokes...and the Jayhawks...and days at home spent in pajamas.