An Ode to Chai – India’s Favorite National Beverage

The ubiquitous presence of chai in our lives has made us hooked to this magically refreshing drink. Showing some love to our go-to beverage in this story.

Tea or simply chai is India’s unofficially official drink. It is the motivation that drives the whole country to work. Indians need to fuel tea into their systems right from the ceremonial morning bed tea to frequent chai breaks through the out day, winding the day with evening chai and sometimes more cups in between the whole time. I know a few people in my family who finish off their dinner and need a night time chai to put them to sleep. You see where are we going with this? Alright, let’s show some more love to this humble drink.

Every Home has a Master Chai-Maker

That one could be your mom, your dad, your didi or dadi, the whole family would vouch for the perfect texture, taste, colour and just the right amount of sugar in chai made by them. And you cannot challenge their authority in the chai business. To all the chai masters of the family, we take a bow.

Vending machine Chai is a Big NO

We know that the tea vending machine is a joke and it tastes more like coffee than tea. This unspoken truth is responsible for our frequent trips to the chaiwalla bhaiya outside the office building. And no matter how superior the office’s tea/coffee machine is, the Tapriwalla bhaiya knows how we like our chai. Matter closed!

We serve it to everyone on Every Occasion

In India, we serve chai and snacks (Pakora, Samosa, Bhujiya) to our guests. Serving chai to our relatives is a sure-shot way of securing your place in their good books. Our office meetings are concluded with tea and snacks. We all are also guilty of offering chai-paani to officials at traffic signals, public offices and other such places.

The Great Chai Serving Drama in the Matchmaking Business

 Made famous by the Hindi films, this cringe-worthy drama is cliché but still enacted in sanskari middle-class families. The prospective bride-to-be is introduced walking coyly towards the groom’s family with a tray decorated with fancy teacups, a china kettle and some snacks. The girl shyly pours the tea into the cups and offers it to the parents-in-law to be. Some glances between the girl and the boy are exchanged while her parents are proudly sharing the girl’s credentials in the form of her tea-making skills. A dedicated chai fan would understand that the cupid is played by chai in such situations.

Go on, enjoy your tea with biscuits while you scroll through this piece. And for the record, this piece has been written while sipping a cup of piping hot chai!

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