No matter where you are in India, you’re not away from Chai Culture be it a restaurant, cafe, tapri or home. Different taste, different quantities, yet the same feeling…
Of course, home tea is the best, but nothing like the smallest tapri of the town. The smaller the stall, the better the tea.
Most chai stalls are nooks for socialization, where people find different topics of discussion be it sports, new series on Netflix, politics, or gossips.
Want to chat up about something? Let’s drink Chai!
No single weather but all weathers and seasons are perfect for chai. Be it Chai-Pakora in the rain or Chai-Maggi in winters, the combinations never get old. It is considered to be the ideal companion for a person.
Tea is often served in the morning or when guests arrive, or early evening with Indian snacks. Though there is no specific time for tea. In India, tea is much more than a drink to begin your day with. It has become an integral part of the Chai culture and life of every Indian.
Drinking tea has become an elaborate culture in India, where many people now host tea-parties, celebrating special occasions. Chai has become a sign of hospitality and it builds connections like no other form of food or drink.
Chai is like a conversation starter and helps to communicate better. Be it a first date or meeting your friend after a long time.
It gives a boost to start up a new day. In fact, tea-time is associated with an idea of stopping every activity to take a moment to sip Chai and have a small chat.
People have been drinking tea for so long that its origin story is rooted in mythology. More than 4,700 years ago, one popular version of the story goes, a legendary Chinese emperor named Shennong discovered how to make a tea infusion when a wind blew leaves from a nearby bush into the water he was boiling. As the Chai culture surrounding tea has changed through the centuries, so, too, have the tools we use to drink it.
Earlier dainty tea bowls, then mugs to get the warmth of tea to now tea sets have changed to meet the cultural needs.
Earlier tea leaves were compressed into tea cakes, then to powdered form. The most revolutionary was the tea bag, which is still used along with loose tea leaves, which are directly infused in boiling water to get the aroma and flavour.
So, there we see the importance and culture of Chai in India, and the way it has evolved in all these years.