It’s no secret that Indians love their chai! Enter any office space and you will quickly realize that work happens between the chai breaks, which are one too many. Peek into any Indian home, a tea kettle is always brewing, because its tea-o- clock somewhere, right? Let friends and family gather, they always go out for tea, even if the weather is blazing hot.
Yes, it was the British who brought tea to our land but we have truly made it our own. No wonder that we are the second largest producer of tea around the world. Tea, not only contributes to our economy, it also contributes to our emotional wellbeing. Such is the importance of tea in an Indian’s life! Here are some reasons why we love our chai.
1. Tea means home
When you are far from home or living in another country, there’s nothing like a hot cup of spicy tea that will remind you of home. It’s only when you are on your own, grudgingly making that single cup of tea, will you realize how much you took all that hot tea that came to your table for granted. Mothers lovingly handing a cup of tea, aunts forcing you to have one more sip, neighborhood aunties always reminding you it’s been a while since you visited them for tea are moments to be cherished for a lifetime. For all it means is that one beverage was solely responsible for bringing together everyone under one roof with its ever-appealing aroma.
2. Tea brings people together
Chai wallahs occupying every corner of the street, calling out to people to have a cup of garam chai is quintessentially India. A cup of steaming, spicy, burn-your-mouth tea is always just a few steps away in the streets of our country. This is the most important fabric that laces our social structure. Business deals are finalized over a cup of tea, important team decisions very rarely happen inside board rooms, they are most often made over chai-sutta breaks. Friendships are formed at tea shops. The list goes on and on. It’s the most ubiquitous beverage that goes well with all conversations – business, friendship, family and everything else.
3. Grandma’s go-to drink
This ancient drink is no wonder a home remedy for many ailments. Well known for its potential health benefits, tea can ward of viruses and boost immunity. All Indian homes have some teas stocked up in their kitchen – turmeric tea, ginger tea, masala tea to give some examples. Most times, these teas are freshly brewed with slices of ginger or turmeric root. The curcumin in turmeric activates some cells which are the foundation to our immune system. The cells are T-cells and B- cells. Ginger promotes digestion and also helps fight viruses. Both turmeric and ginger are powerful weapons against the common flu – when they are brewed together as masala chai, it is an undefeatable combination. All grand mothers will vouch for this. This is one reason why Indians always include chai in their diet, it is an easy yet delicious way to keep your immune system strong.
4. The Varie-tea
What makes tea so wonderful is its versatility. Unlimited flavors and combinations that can make anyone a tea enthusiast. From milk teas such as Early Grey, English Breakfast, Masala Tea to Green Teas to Floral flavors, the list is endless. There is something here for everyone. Indians love a good variety, look at our outfits – they are so many types of apparels in all sorts of colors. We have so many languages, religions, food varieties. It is always big and bold. Tea is the only beverage that can match up to our love for variety.
5. Goes with every season
Now this might be a debatable one, everyone knows that we mostly have one season for majority of the year and that is summer. Sweltering heat and steaming tea? Why go for a hot beverage when all you feel is blazing heat? Well, here is your answer – tea can potentially cool down your body. The receptors in your tongue tell your brain that the beverage is hot while the body responds to it by, increasing the cooling mechanism, sweat being one of it. So yes, chai is still appropriate when it is more than 40 degrees outside. Plus, Indians are built for such stuff, if one might say so!
So, if it’s time for breakfast, have some chai.
Are you piled up with deadlines? Have some more chai.
Is the drive too long? Halt for a cup of chai.
Don’t know what to do, well let’s go for some – you guessed it right, Chai!
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