There is nothing more iconically Indian than a classic masala chai
Chai has been the most iconic welcome drink in our nation for centuries now. Not just welcoming guests at home, but even our mornings, evenings, and for some even the afternoons. “Chai and Parle-G biscuit HAS to be the best combination of comfort snack and beverage for me. I could survive my evening advertising classes in college only because I know that I had that cup of warm chai to look forward to”, says Neha Malhotra, a college student from Mumbai.
Tea is part of life in India; it energizes yet relaxes and alleviates the person’s mood in just one quick slurp. Shaili Chopra, founder of SheThePeople.TV says, “I started enjoyed tea only after I drank loose leaf chai, single origin and lightly brewed. It’s something I don’t do as an addiction or routine. In fact I drink tea to celebrate a moment that lifts me up.”
With winter knocking on our doors, the consumption of tea increases incredibly in the households. “Ginger tea is a must during tough winters here in North India. Functioning without a big cup of adrak chai is next to impossible for me. Needless to say, its a health drink and it keeps my body warm”, comments Mamta Sharma, a resident in the city of Jaipur.
According to a report by BBC in the year 2014, our country consumes 837,000 tonnes of tea every year!
While tea has pretty much been in our culture for centuries, with time, its consumption has also seen a sense of evolution. Before the industrial revolution, people consumed teas in kulhar or earthen cups. If you’ve grown up in India, this won’t come off as a surprise for you, because even now when you go to many villages and small cities, the practice of serving tea in kulhars is still prevalent. In fact, even in big cities serving kulhar-ki-chai has become a desi experience. Pass a small railway station and it won’t be long before you hear the familiar voice of some shouting “chai, chai chai…kulhar ki chai”.
That one genius who thought of capitalising on this obsession of Indians sure did something right! Today we don’t just have ginger tea, but myriads of flavours taken from various regions within India that remind of us of the diversity that is held together by this uniform love for an experience.
Feature Image Courtesy: Improvised Life