Ek Cup Chai Ho Jaye ? (Part I) - By Arnab
What is chai ?
“Chai” means tea in Hindi - the most commonly spoken language in India. Any tea in India is called chai. “Masala Chai” or spiced tea with sweetened milk is what is known as chai in the western world. Besides masala chai, Indians drink tea brewed in hot water with or without cream, lime and salt or sometimes sugar.
My experience with tea in India
I was born in a Bengali family in Kolkata previously called Calcutta the erstwhile capital of British India until 1947. Calcutta being at the center of the British empire was exposed to a bit more English culture than the rest of the country. While tea is grown in a district in Bengal called Darjeeling, it was never affordable to middle class Indians. The rich and more affluent had access to the premium teas produced in Darjeeling which even today gets mostly exported out of the country. Assam tea is what is most popular and readily available.
I grew up with both kinds of tea and I like them both. My parents are a big fan of Darjeeling tea while my grandparents are Assam tea fans. I was introduced to tea by my Grandmother when I was 2 and I have loved it since. As the tea capital of the country, Kolkata’s has tea houses that sell blended teas from different regions which lead to teas that have flavor, aroma and darkness. Blended teas are more affordable and bring in the best of both worlds. Tea houses like the one I used to go to called Orphans Tea House is very unique to my home town.
I have a cup of Chai every time I get the opportunity and make it at home frequently. If this chapter was interesting and informative, remember to read Chapter 2 and 3 where I share the Chai recipe I use. A cup of Chai brings me many memories. It reminds me of the clay cups and their earthen smell, hanging out with friends, tea stalls at new and remote places, traveling somewhere on the train, waiting at a bus stop, waking up early in the morning, cold winter days, my grandmother's house and "Uncle" Robi who serves us tea in India.
Check out Part 2 and 3 of this article and Chai Recipe
- Ek Cup Chai Ho Jaye ? (Last Part) - By Arnab
Part 3 of 3. Learn what chai means to an Indian in India. Know all about chai, the benefits, the history and also a recipe to make at home every day. Know about my own experience with chai growing up
- Ek Cup Chai Ho Jaye ? (Part II) - By Arnab
Part 2 of 3. Learn what chai means to an Indian in India. Know all about chai, the benefits, the history and also a recipe to make at home every day. Know about my own experience with chai growing up