Here are essays from the top four winners of the Tata Global Beverages Re-imagination Scholarships. Thescholarships were awarded to eight students from the 'Urban Scholars' program at Brunel University in London.
The students were set a challenge to write an essay on the following topic:
' A hot cup of tea on a cold morning, sharing a joke over a cup of coffee, a sip of cool water after a long trek. Beverages are part of our everyday life and yet they also sprinkle some magic on it- moments of reflection, sharing, inspiration and laughter...moments which take us away from the ordinary. What do you think makes a magical beverage moment?'
1. Melika Morrison-Mills
My Magical Beverage Moment
It has been tradition for most Caribbean, especially Jamaican families, to have a bottle of Baldwin’s Sarsaparilla in the house and this beverage became part of my everyday diet.
When I got home from school – sarsaparilla. At breakfast – warm sarsaparilla. Hot summers day? Home-made ice treats (take a wild guess to what they were made from).
One of my earliest memories was one evening at after school club where usually my mum would pick me up and give me and my brother a bottle to share for the journey home. But for some strange reason, mum came empty handed. After the most intense sports session, my mummy forgets the one thing that keeps me alive for the walk home. My mouth opened as if I was expecting God to make it rain Sarsaparilla on a hot summer’s day.
You would think I could just get a drink on the way home at a shop or even make use of the water fountains in the playground, but that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted sarsaparilla and I wanted it now.
Many years later, I was given the opportunity to go to Ghana and stay in a local village. Upon arrival I noticed a tower of large cardboard boxes. I asked what they were, and it was explained to me that they contained water. The water running from taps was not fit for consumption and even made some stomachs turn. Imagine, the very drink I turned away as a child, was the only drink I had and on this occasion it wasn’t clean running from a fountain. It was bottled up; with hopes it would last for the day.
For most of us, not having makes us appreciate what we have. Not having easy access to clean water made every moment of relieving my thirst a magical beverage moment, especially the glass of sarsaparilla when I got back.
2. Aaron Wright
What makes a magical beverage moment? Drinking an ice cold glass of lemonade after playing football on a hot summer’s day? Drinking hot chocolate while the snow falls in winter? Or that last shot of Sambuca before the night is a blur? To be fair, all of these are magical moments with a beverage, well maybe not the last one. But what I would describe as a beverage magical moment would be that first sip of champagne on a wedding day with your wife, that first sip of water after a 10K run. It’s not the beverage itself; it’s the joy from what you’ve accomplished, what the moment represents to you and I guess your life. My magical beverage moment, I don’t think I have had one yet, however, when I graduate and the first beverage I have after graduation will be that beverage magical moment.
3. Marley Edwards
Three Haiku for a magical beverage moment
The beverage or drink as most people call it is a wonderful thing, not only essential to your wellbeing, (dehydration and its complications causes roughly 200,000 hospitalisations and 300 deaths per year); the feeling of quenching your thirst is up there as one of the best.
Drinks can be sorted into a few varieties such as water, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, juices and hot drinks, and are a big part of the human culture and society. Many countries have their own popular or traditional drinks. In Ethiopia it is coffee and coffee from Ethiopia is considered the 3rd most delicious drink in the world. Egypt has lemonade which usually comes in three types, fizzy, cloudy and clear. Brazil has Caipirinha which is a drink made from sugarcane. India has Mango Lassi, a drink which consists of yoghurt, water and mango pulp.
The three haiku I have written below each sum up a different magical beverage moment that nearly everyone will experience at least once in their life.
Still warm air settles
Condensed drops so inviting
Cool and refreshing
Piercing winds cut deep
Long road homeward treacherous
Warmth flows deep inside
Breezy wet and cold
The day ahead will be long
The perfect pickup
4. Tcyjan Jaworski
My Extraordinary Brew
Sometimes, the best thing to do when you’re down is to have a cup of tea and a chat with a friend. This is the approach I take with my friends when they allow life to get them down. For example, a couple of years ago, one of my friends locked himself in his room and wouldn’t come out or speak to anyone. I could tell by his voice that he was very upset when he said that he ‘just wanted to be alone’. After racking my brain for a couple of hours, trying to figure out a way of helping him out, I wrote the poem below and left it outside his door along with a cup of tea.
When your sky is red and your grass is dead
And you just can’t put your fears to bed
And you hope, and you wait, and you’re filled with dread
Sometimes you need a friend and a brew instead
Some advice, make you good, give you comfort, share some food
Make you well, change your mood, I will never let you lose
So without further to do, let me introduce to you
My amazingly dazzling, extraordinary brew
He then let me into his room and we discussed the issues which were depressing him. Before I knew it, he was laughing and joking like the friend I knew and loved. With the help of his loved ones (and an occasional ‘amazingly dazzling extraordinary brew’), he was able to overcome his demons and happily carry on with life