“Chai Chai!” Every traveller in India must have heard these two words. Right? If you are travelling alone by train then chai is your favourite travelling partner. Chai means tea in Hindi language. Though other non Hindi speaking states call it in their own regional languages, like chaa in West Bengal, chahaa in Maharashtra etc. You can call tea as India’s national drink (or the most popular drink in India). Some Indian states also consider it as state drink (like Assam). India is the second largest producer of tea and largest consumer of tea in the world. India’s tea culture is hundreds of years old. In India people generally, offer tea to their guests.
Tea is a very common drink in India. People drink tea at home as well as outside. You can see small tea stalls every corner of an Indian city, even in a small village you can see small tea stalls. You can see tea stalls mostly near market area, office area, factory area and also along busy roadside. Tea is often served in a plastic cup, glass cup, kulhar (pottery made cup) & ceramic cup. Earlier it was not served in a plastic cup but as it is cost effective and easily available, so nowadays use of plastic cup is increasing drastically. Though it is said that serving hot tea in a plastic cup is not hygienic but still you can see plastic cups everywhere. In India, there are a lot of types of tea available but people mostly prefer masala tea. This masala tea served in kulhar (pottery made cup) gives you true Indian flavour.
Types of tea (most popular drink in India)
Normal tea (with milk)
Tea is generally made with milk& sugar. People add tea leaves in hot milk and boil, add sugar and then milk extracts flavor & color from processed tea leaves. Finally, it is filtered and pour in a cup to serve.
Masala tea (or masala chai)
Masala tea (masala chai) is very popular in India. Masala means spices in Hindi. Ginger (adrak), cardamon (elaichi), black pepper powder (kali mirch), cloves (laung), cinnamon (dalchini) are added in tea as masala (spices) in addition to milk, tea leaves & sugar. This type of masala chai (masala tea) is preferred during rains and winter. Masala chai (masala tea) is good for health and gives the energy to protect our body from cold. It shows Ayurveda practices in India.
Red / black tea (without milk) / lal chai
Many people prefer black tea or lal chai (red tea). Actually, milk is not used here to make tea. So it looks red (or it is called as black tea sometimes) in color. Many people just like this lal chai as they find it is good in taste, some people like this red tea (or lal chai) as it is easy for digestion (as it is said that milk is not used here in lal chai, so it does not create any problem of acidity). Actually, due to their lifestyle, some people drink more tea as compare to others and so they prefer this. Practices of drinking red tea are different from state to state. Lal chai recipe is also very simple.
You need to buy special tea leaves powder from the market to buy this red (lal) tea. So that it can create beautiful red colored tea. Boil 2 teaspoons of tea leaf powder in 3 cups of water for 1-2 minutes, add sugar to taste and serve. Some people also add a few drops of lemon & pinches of black salt to this tea. Is this lal chai recipe not so simple?
Green tea (without milk)
Many health-conscious people prefer this green tea, as it is said that green tea helps to reduce body weight. So people like to drink green tea. Milk is not used here, some people do not add sugar.
Similar to black / red tea or lal chai but here lemon juice & black salt are added. In West Bengal people prefer this lemon tea very much whereas in other states people have this occasionally.
This absolutely different in taste and served with ice. Tea extracts, lemon juice, sugar are used to make this drink. There are some varieties of iced tea (like sweet iced tea, salty iced tea etc).
So which one is your favorite among this list of popular drink tea?
If you are not from India then you must try masala tea (most popular drink in India) or lal chai (special red tea) whenever you will come in India or make it at your home & taste.