This is an ode to chai, not tea, not green tea nor anything else. If I would be more specific it is an ode to adrak wali chai, kullad wali chai (chai served in a small earthen mug), the desi chai!
It is strange that up to my undergrad studies I kept away from tea entirely. It was sometime during my masters that I started drinking tea and the relationship just grew stronger with each passing day.
I can drink chai is all forms- Jasmine tea, herbal tea, black tea and everything in-between. I would not complain if I get to drink only these on some of my trips but if I am given a choice it has to be the desi, boiled tea with ginger and if possible masala. If it is served in a kullad all the more better!
When I was doing my Ph.D. Brijlal ji used to make tea in a small corner. His tea was quite popular throughout the institute. He was the most acknowledged person in our dissertations as well.
Then came this trend of what a friend used to call nash tea (nash in Hindi relates to destruction or generally used in sense of ‘no good’) or simply nasty. This is how chai made with tea bags was referred to back in late 1990s. I now drink a lot of nash tea at work because there is nothing else that is available.
For me tea goes well with hot milk. I have had tea served as a brew to which you can add milk, usually cold milk! Now that is not my idea of tea. But I will drink it still.
I have to make a special mention of Kahwa, the Kashmiri tea. It is made without milk but after chai I really truly liked it. That reminds me that my kahwa jar is over and I need to find my way back to Kashmir somehow.
And then there is tea that you get in the hills, the pahadi chai! I wonder what they add to it, or is it the weather that makes it taste so good.
My only regret is that I had to give up on sugar in my chai. I drink a lot of chai throughout the day and if I took it with sugar, I would gain even more weight. But I developed a taste of it now and I actually quite like it. I am actually surprised that it took me so long to write an ode to chai which I relish so much on a daily basis!
34 thoughts on “An Ode to Chai”
Interesting Topic…. Well narrated!
Thank you Sreedhar.
Now I am going to have one 🙂 Come to my place then we will have Kulhad walli too.
Waiting for that long weekend.
I take my tea with milk too but, no sugar 😛 But I’m a great fan of coffee also…
I too like coffee Maniparna but can’t drink it like tea!
I dun like tea with milk and I hardly drink tea otherwise.When occasionally I drink it has to be flavoured tea like jasmine/green/ etc anything..
I can drink them too but chai remains the preference!
Sweet post to the drink that keeps you energised and happy. 🙂
Coffee is my cup of tea. I remember writing about coffee a long time ago. Can’t live without it.
I like coffee but I can’t drink it in large quantities!
Nicely written, chai deserves special mention in writings. Good you wrote sooner than later. I enjoy drinking chai no of times as much as I enjoy cha-cha-cha dance. Three cheers to one n only, our special DESI CHAI 🙂
I prefer steel ki glassi (tumblers) instead of kullarrs. Other wise recipe is same as yours minus masala 🙂
Ah and I find them too hot to hold, the steel Tumblers!
Come to my place , will make masala tea for you 🙂
Your post made me nostalgic 🙂
Ravish time to get a cup of tea.
Chai , my favourite . You mention a lot about its kinds. But I would like to attract you towards cutting chai , chai Malaai maar ke . Nice , interesting post.
Thank you Yogi, wil have to try these two as well!
You should taste the salty tea of Sunderbans. 🙂
So many places! I would surely like to go! Thanks for the tip Indrani.
Hey globetrotter! Chai is my fav too..just like u mentioned, adrak wali chai in kullad tops the list of my fav as well. Nice post. I can connect to the love for tea 🙂
Thank you so much Shilpi, see we have so much in common. And I was missing being called a globe trotter!
Nice to read your post, “Chai” ( masala, adrak ) my favorite .
Rupam welcome to the club of chai lovers! 😀
Then you must come to my place someday to have a hot cup of tea prepared by me 🙂 Everybody says my tea is purrrrrrfect 😀
Roohai thank you, I surely will!
I am actually looking to work as Tea Estate manager, one of these days that much love I have for Thea chinesis … 🙂
Now that is taking it to a whole new level Prasad!
I love chai too. Its something you sit with and introspect, wait for the right moment, bond over with. I think the chai tapris of India were the original social networking sites.
Paramvir I have not had tea much at tarpis but college canteens for sure!
There is more to Chai. If you are ever in Coonoor, try out the 4 course Chai Themed Meal in Tea Nest. Check out some of the pictures here.
Very good piece on my favourite beverage. I’ve wriitten something on this too if you’d like to read them.
Wow! It is a chaiwala tea (just like ishqwala love) post! Your love for Chai is so much in the post that even a milk person (that’s me) is feeling the fragrances of various chai versions and is willing to have them right now!
Very informative post, Mridula… I never knew there are so many Chai versions and that nash tea too! Love your narration…