Chai / Tea in India
Chai is the word for tea in many parts of the world but for Indian, it means a lot more than a word its refreshing drink which is a must in your daily routine and which keeps you going.
For Indian chai is cough medicine, an energy drink, and comfort food all rolled into one. The strong ginger soothes the aching throat. The caffeine gives you a quick pick-me-up, to ease my tiredness. It is a centuries-old beverage that has played an important role in many cultures.
Chai from India is a spiced milk tea that has become increasingly popular throughout the world. It is generally made up of:
It is generally made up of:
• rich black tea
• heavy milk
• a combination of various spices
• a sweetener
The spices used vary from region to region and among households in India. The most common are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Indian chai produces a warming, soothing effect, acts as a natural digestive aid, and gives one a wonderful sense of well-being. It’s difficult to resist a second cup.
Drinking chai is part of life in India and most Indian’s are amazed at all the current fuss in the West. Many who have traveled in India come away with fond chai drinking experiences.
Tea is grown in India in a wide amplitude of climatic variables, at latitudes from 8° 12′ to 32° 13′ N. Currently, an area of about 579,000 ha is under tea, the major tea growing states being Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. Other states such as Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Tripura, and Uttaranchal also grow tea in small areas.
Production strategies of the two major tea growing areas of northeast India and South India differ due to various factors such as soil, climate, plant growth, pests, diseases, and cost of production.
Harvesting in northeast India is confined to nine months whereas in South India tea bushes are harvested throughout the year. There are remarkable variations in the chemical constituents of tea leaves due to climatic variables, soils, plant physiology, and agro-inputs.
This not only invites different strategies for processing’ but also for the production of different product categories. Agronomic practices and processing methods have evolved accordingly. The Indian tea industry is more than 170 years old and the plantations face several challenges including the geriatric factor.
Indians typically serve tea in their homes several times a day. India is the world’s second-largest producer of tea and 70% of it is consumed within India. Chai will be officially declared the national drink of India. Chai is served on every street corner and on crowded train stations at all times of the day or night.
Chai is ubiquitous in India when a guest comes, you serve them, Chai. Chai, for every Indian, is- A friend that makes sure that your every morning starts with its good morning sip, a healer which makes everything feel better, a companion in whom you find solace.
Tea is drink, Chai is emotion.
How to make a perfect cup of Chai
- Indian Tea
- Put the piece of crushed ginger into the pot of 1/2 cup water turn on the gas.
- When the water starts boiling add 1/2 tsp tea if you like strong tea flavor you can add more tea.
- Let it boil for some time (1 or 2 minutes) then add 1/2 cup of milk.
- Add 1 tsp of sugar let it boil for some time, then strain the tea with the help of a strainer into the cup.
- Enjoy the hot tea sip by sip.
Suggested read: Different Types of Tea