Thursday, June 29, 2017

Making Rainbows in a Glass – Seven-layer Tea in Bangladesh

Vicky Baker


One of Heston Blumenthal’s most famous Fat Duck concoctions is a cup of tea that stays piping hot on one side of the cup and stone cold on the other. Yet, far from green and pleasant Berkshire, in a humble roadside tea cabin in rural Bangladesh, there’s another culinary alchemist working his magic – without any of the cutting-edge food technology afforded Heston.

Romesh Ram Gour, from Srimongol in the county’s north-east Sylhet region, has become a local legend as the inventor of a multi-layer tea.

For him, it’s not about the combination of different temperatures, but different colours and flavours. He manages to get seven of them (sometimes even 10) in one glass (around £1), all lining up like a dusky rainbow. Each sip delivers a different taste, from syrupy sweet to spicy cloves.

Nilkantha Tea Cabin in Srimongol.
 Nilkantha Tea Cabin in Srimongol. Photograph: Alamy
The best thing about visiting the tearoom – which is, essentially, a very basic, open-fronted kiosk – was the buzz of excitement. The walls were lined with newspaper clippings about the “secret recipe” and people come from far and wide to meet Gour, an unassuming man who seems somewhat baffled by all the attention he and his tea attracts.

It’s rumoured that a major Bollywood star once offered to fly Gour to India and pay him handsomely if he’d create the tea for his wedding guests. Gour declined, just as he also refused to expand his business across the country or internationally. I asked him if he ever regretted this. “What for?” he shrugged. “For money? A bigger TV? I’m happy with life as it is.”

Shared from The Guardian
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/aug/28/sylhet-bangladesh-seven-layer-tea-nikantha-tea-cabins

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