Entrenched deep into our cultures, the Chai is the quintessential ice-breaker, refreshment of all seasons. Be it sweltering hot weather of coastal areas, teeth rattling cold of up-north, the dry weather close to the deserts. There is nothing that is a more common denominator than the Chai. Some say that tea is one of the few good legacies left behind by the British, but then herbal teas with their ayurvedic concoctions existed before Britishers came in.
Though what started under the British was the cultivation of tea across Assam and Darjeeling and that’s where it all began. As the most affordable and unbelievably tasty beverage, Chai is a culture that existed well before the franchises made coffee a big deal and eventually flavour infused tea culture came in. The chai we are talking about is the one which has a perfect mix of ginger, cardamom, sugar, water and milk. The piping hot result of this is a life-breather for many, a stressbuster, a cure for sore throat and cold and a welcome drink for guests. Technically, there is no time to have the Chai. It binds all stratas of the society, a culturally ubiquitous beverage.
Imagine the country’s PM also took pride in being a Chai vendor in his early days. Up until recently, the various westernized versions of tea that have become a culture, but to my mind, nothing beats the Chai, be it the lemon tea or the green tea even with their much-publicised health benefits. Not many know or care, the spiced Chai helps improve digestive system, supports immune system and protects overall cell health and what not.
Considering all the facts, I guess, the Chai can safely be declared as the national beverage. Do you agree?