The time has come. Time for the event that inspires a mix of both an-tea-cipation and dread in most twenty somethings. Survivors of the quarter life crisis who have left home, successfully managed to work out the enigma code that is their washing machine settings without ringing their mom every five minutes, and held down a middle management position despite only very recently learning how to make a hard boiled egg without causing third degree burns (true story). Yes compadres, the time has come…to make the quarterly visit back to the nest and check in with your maker. No, not a trip to the church to have a chinwag with the big cheese in the sky about all the dirty #teagasms you have been having…and perhaps mention the very minor transgression of Catholicism that is female-to-female fellatio. In fact, you are going to face the actual God in your life thus far – your mother. (Oh and Dad too, but he tends to just hover around in the background shouting obscenities at the non-sport that is golf, cross dressing as female gay icons and asking inappropriate questions about how scissoring physiologically works – and not in the Homes and Gardens crafting sense. Luckily, Ms Tetley Twatbean has an impeccable sense of humour.
Like any self respecting model daughter, you need to prepare extensively for this visit; psychologically, spiritually and physically. Psychologically, to be ready for your time travel back to a helpless toddler as you fall back into the child role and expect your mother to make your dinner, ferry you around and even wipe your bot bot (after heavy home friends’ reunions, this becomes a helpful perk). Spiritually, to be mentally armed for the parental assault on all of your new found idiosyncrasies that you have picked up from…well working out who you are and exploring life outside your parents’ ‘hate fish, only drink Nescafé, and distrust EVERYONE especially if they are nice to you in public’ mentality. (My parents couldn’t give a rat’s arse that I am a raving Lady Lickalottapus, but my god, speak with a posh accent, ask for olives at dinner and bring your own tea infuser and loose leaf tea for a visit, and I am dead to them). And finally, physically, as the last time you saw your creators, you resembled Amy Winehouse on the ‘I lost 14 stone IN A DDAAAAYYY!’ diet of dust, air and media pressure to be thin. Sexy.
Some daughters would prepare by dressing like a Stepford fifties housewife and whipping up their mother’s favourite culinary delights (anything emblazoned with the double D cups of the hallowed Cadbury Dairy Milk logo, in cake form). Others would be checking in to the Priory for a brief stint of ‘they f**k you up, your mom and dad’ electroshock therapy. Yet, you, you go one better. You settle down for a bracing, fortifying and ‘I’m ready for the judgement, spitting-on-hanky-then-wiping-your-face behaviour and awkward sexual advances of my father towards my missus’ brew. One tea will be just the tonic – a Gerties Masala Chai.
This then, dear readers, was the predicament I found myself in when avoiding using copious amounts of Kraken rum to prepare for my homecoming. Although, I do wonder if my Dad would make more sense if I was hopelessly inebriated…probably not to be honest, only a schizophrenic with bipolar and a very flexible imagination would have a hope in hell’s chance, and a slim one at that. Anyway, the next best thing to a stiff (LOL) drink is an equally intoxicating liquor…a scin-tea-lating cup’o Gerties Masala Chai. You all know how much I adore their cafe for their vintage vibe, sexy servers and no nonsense approach to a decent brew. They answered every one of my wild and non-erotic fantasy related dreams when they gave me some samples of their fabulously named tea collection (Lovely Tea, Twee Tea and The Dogs Bollocks to name a few), which you cheeky mon-teas can also purchase online. Despite Masala Chai having a more boring name than a hermit stamp collector named John Smith from Slough, their blend is far from ennui. It combines Ceylon black tea with the quintessentially chai spices of ginger root, cinnamon bark and cardamom. BUT, if you order it in their cafe, it is served in a pot topped with a dragon that breathes steamy chai fire, with an uncanny likeness to The Old Tea Witch’s ginner head after you have spilled bright red Warhammer paint on her brand new blue carpet – 14 years on, this is still brought up in family arguments. And yes – get over it – I played with tiny plastic men in fantasy war game battles to distract myself from my confusing sexuality and appearance that resembled a water bloated Matt Lucas.
I am partial to a good chai. In fact, it was my first experience of a Twinings Spicy Chai tea bag given to me by my lovely Welsh work colleague Hywel (pronounced Howell, not HIwheel – I murdered his lovely Gaelic name on a regular basis), in my first job that started this journey into the murky brew black market. So, I admit I was already moistened for #teagasm prior to any cuppa foreplay. However, Gerties Masala Chai was one of the most flavoursome, deep and explosive chai-related pleasure experiences I have ever had. Brewed for five minutes and with a dash of milk and sugar, I was treated to a perfect balance of warming, zesty cardamom, an earthy, full bodied cinnamon taste and invigorating high notes of sharply sweet ginger. It was as gloriously spicy as an Anne Summers sponsored pyjama party with attendees comprising of Emily Blunt, Kate Beckinsale and my favourite buxom flame haired goddess, who I’m sure I don’t even have to refer to by name now. Finger lickin’ good.
Gerties Masala Chai is the perfect winter warmer, great for stopping you freezing your cherry bakewells off as the cold weather creeps upon us like a nuisance sex pest in the park. Strong, spicy and bursting with flavour, it was one of the most aromatic chais that have passed my potty mouthed sausage lips. Additionally, it was a fortifying brew that definitely enabled me to grow a pair of metaphorical, parent-facing nuts to make the perilous journey back to where ‘five’ is pronounced ‘fooooiiiiivvvveee’. That’s Birmingham by the way, not an illiterate part of Middle Earth (ish). I also can’t wait to go and try it in Gerties cafe to be treated to the full fire breathing dragon experience, and so for a split second I can feel like Daenerys in GOT. Just call me Khale-tea.
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