Tea – what is tea? For some, its a lifestyle. For others, its just a way to rejuvenize themselves. However, tea has been a part of our world history and Indian history for so long, that it’s hard not to give it the importance it deserves.
Tea in itself is just a brew of tea leaves and other ingredients, to make it either flavourful or increase the vitality factor of it. In the west, most people just brew the tea leaves and water, and consume that straight up. Other brews include a Ginger-Lemon-Tea-Honey for sore throat patients.
Tea originated from China, around 4500 years ago. It’s said that the Emperor of the time, Shennong, was boiling a pot of water, and some tea leaves just flew into it. He was instantly an addict – the smell, the taste and the experience of the brew was something unique and not known to him, which was a rare occurence cosidering he was the emperor. And that’s where the history of tea began.
In India, the British got tea to the mainstream, albeit it was consumed in Assam since probably as long as the Chinese. In India, tea was a super hit! Everyone loved Chai, and it was time for chai to become a part of our culture now. The standard Indian blend was fixed – 1 cup water, ½ cup milk, 2 teaspoons of tea leaves or chai patti, and 1½ tea spoons of sugar. Cardamom (elaichi), and Ginger (adrak) are also added in variations of the chai recipe, however, the standard remains the same.
India loves tea, and tea loves India back! Different species of tea grow in different regions, such as Darjeeling tea, Assam tea, South Indian tea, and give us one of the most unique, diverse and indulgent tea experiences.
Just like cricket, tea too, is an unsaid religion.