The art of my tea-making process

Victor A. Fatanmi
2 min readMay 21, 2023

If you are reading this from Lagos, Nigeria, or anywhere around the two big rivers, then we are probably on the same page. If you are reading this from anywhere in the UK however, you probably think this is a story about a small rounded cup housing a dangled, now soaked tiny bag of leaves. Not necessarily.

I grew up in a tiny village set upon a hill in South-Western Nigeria, and while we also soaked bags of ‘Lipton Tea’ from time to time, the biggest determining factor of “tea” was the presence of milk. And my favourite type of ‘tea’ was when you mixed it with chocolate, specifically branded any of ‘Milo’, ‘Bournvita’, or the one I sneaked in to take excesses of as a child, ‘Ovaltine’.

My dad taught me to put the powdered chocolate substance as the first thing that goes into the huge mug cup, followed by water (it was mostly hot), and lastly, the most important element — milkkkk.

Today, I mostly make my ‘tea’ with cold water, and sorry Dad but I start with milk in the cup, a lot of it (around 4 huge spoons). That’s a disturbingly huge quantity in my mum’s books. This is followed by the chocolate at about half the quantity of the milk. Then I add cold water, starting with a small quantity to get in some stir. But then I intentionally do it inefficiently. My goal is always to have some lumps of milk remain unstirred or thick at the base of my ‘tea’. I have been warned that milk is not good for the reproductive ability of a man, but I believe one white substance can only serve the good of the other.

I start to drink slowly, usually to the pages of a book, enjoying this sweet invention of pleasure, while waiting patiently for the best part — the end, which comes with a self-indulging depth of ‘hmmm’.

My friend, Daniel, is visiting from the US and when I asked if he wanted a cold cup of tea, he knew what I meant and ensured to mock my use of the word, saying he wanted what I was apparently about to make, but not tea. I told him this is also tea, according to Nigerian English. In fact, what he calls tea, I insisted, was the English Tea.

But one thing we both agree on every time we share a moment of cold actual tea (as I would now in fact choose to put it) is that there is nothing sweeter than the lump of thick milk found at the base of the cup. It cures headache like it did for me this morning, and if the scientists would listen to us well enough, might be helpful against hypertension, heart disease, and a few other serious illnesses.

--

--

Victor A. Fatanmi

‘Finding my writing’, under the blanket of the known image of a Designer and Agency Founder.