Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Brewing Chai: Why Indians love tea

As I was driving through the old streets of Delhi, I couldn't help but notice the number of chai-wallahs or tea vendors occupying their place in the vicinity. This made me think of how Chai is one drink that India cannot live without.

My mom has been in love with Chai for as long as I can remember. Saying that, the first thing she taught me in the kitchen was how to make a cup of piping hot ginger tea, the way she likes it. I remember how fascinated I was when I saw her brewing tea for the first time. She added some tea leaves and sugar in the water to boil along with spicy root ginger (which is a must in her tea) and then added milk to create a harmonious melody between them all. When I caught a cold or during the winters, she added some holy basil, cloves, cardamoms, black pepper and told me this will keep the cold at bay.

Chai or tea
You'll find this in every home

Like her, there are thousands of people where tea is a staple in the homes of India and no, I'm not talking about those people where they will prefer tea over other drinks occasionally. I mean, they need their cuppa at least once or more in a day. 

Tea is undoubtedly India's favorite drink and rightly so, this nation is the second largest producer of tea in the world after China. You go to visit any home in India, the first question is "Would you like some tea?." From the streets and corners, the railway stations having vendors shouting "Chai lelo Chaaaiiiii", the Assam tea near the foothills of the mountains, the Masala Chai, the Cutting chai, the 5-star tea, the Kulhad (red clay cups) chai, the Kehwa, the Kashmiri sheer tea, the Ginger tea to the modern favorite Green tea. This nation runs on Chai! 

Different types of tea
Different types of Chai

My mother used to brew tea and hand it to me while I was preparing for my boards in class 12th as I studied late at night. An energy booster that is, this memory will forever stick with me along with how I used to help her out as a kid. Does this make it so special here? Making and recreating these memories from generations to generations as it evokes emotions each time it is sipped with a loud nostalgia sigh later. 

Whatever it is, tea has been conditioned into our system now. It's a part of the nation, an integral part that is. For the rest of us, the monsoons are here. Let's have some hot chai and pakodas, will you?

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19 comments:

  1. Great post! I love tea too. Green tea is my fave - I drink multiple cups a day!
    Nicola
    http://nicspirational.co.uk

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    1. Green tea has some great health benefits. It's a great choice Nicola :)

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  2. Good work. The nation is not complete without tea or i must say chai! Keep writing such articles :)

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  3. Green tea is my daily fuel.
    Keep writing and inspiring people around.

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  4. Okay, so here comes a comment from a person who can actually sleep after drinking tea. (#unlike you) .I don't know on scale of 1 to 10 how much I love that but I guess I am kind of addicted to that even if I arrive late night from office the first thing which I do is make a nice cup of time. It helps me out to relax. Good post it is.

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    1. My mom would probably relate to a whole lot of you when it comes to this. Haha.

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  5. Without chai, morning is not morning. Good work.

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  6. I've never drank Chai tea... crazy I know. I'll have to try some, I so like a cranberry herbal tea that I swear has kept me from becoming really ill for the past 7 years.

    Sakshi, it's so good to see you writing, I hope you'll have time to write more.

    Oh and Happy Birthday one day late, I meant to get on last night but I got super busy, I hope it was a fun day ♡♡♡

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    Replies
    1. Hello Launna, thank you so much. It was a lovely surprise to get a message on my birthday from a long blogger friend, thanks a lot! :)

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  7. Green tea and chai tea are two of my favourite teas! I think everyone loves tea really!

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  8. Omg this post has left me craving chai!

    -AA

    Angie Americana

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Capture some sunshine *winks*

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