Five years back, I was tutored on how to make what everybody in my life loves – “chai”. They call it tea, but for us, Indians, it will always be chai. Be it seeing the shreds of ginger dancing in the water or the cinnamon crackling in the ruby-brown mixture, chai has always managed to steal hearts while it is still in the making. But wondering how this oak-brown tender yet profound beverage emerge as the real love of India? This blog by Maharani Chai, one of the best tea brands online in Uttarakhand, has all the answers that you are looking for. So, pick that cup of tea and sip while you read.
The Tale of Tea
Indeed, the practice of making and consuming chai has a rich and diverse history in India. While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origins of chai, it has undoubtedly become an integral part of Indian culture and daily life. And a number of factors have been responsible for that:
Tea Gets Its Own Board!
The Tea Board of India, established in 1953, has played a significant role in promoting and popularizing tea consumption in the country. Through its efforts to boost tea production, improve quality, and create awareness, the Tea Board has contributed to the widespread availability and appreciation of chai in India. It is also credited for the first-ever production of
Assam CTC tea online in Madhya Pradesh.
The Tea Stalls Of The Indian Railways
The Indian Railways, with its extensive network connecting various regions of the country, also played a crucial role in popularizing chai. Tea stalls at railway stations and the provision of tea on board trains made chai easily accessible to a vast number of people, including travelers and daily commuters. The railways had subtly endorsed the Assam tea leaves in Uttar Pradesh that it carried straight from Assam tea gardens. This further contributed to the popularity and widespread consumption of chai across different regions of India.
To Beat The Enemy At The Border
Another institution that may have influenced the popularity of chai is the Indian Army. During the British colonial period, strong, sweet, milky tea was a common beverage among the working class in Britain, including soldiers. This habit could have been passed on to Indian recruits, who joined the British Indian Army. After independence, the tradition of consuming tea, including chai, likely continued within the Indian Armed Forces. The presence of Indian soldiers in different regions of the country and their interactions with the local communities may have contributed to the spread of chai as well.
Common People, Uncommon Recipes
What’s surprising is that chai has as many recipes as the number of drinkers it has. Chai has also evolved and adapted to local tastes and preferences in different regions of India. Various spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, are added to create different flavors such as that of the Assam tea leaves in Madhya Pradesh and variations of chai. The popularity of masala chai, a spiced tea blend, is a testament to the creativity and diversity of chai preparations across India.
So, while the Tea Board and Indian Railways have played significant roles in the popularity of chai, it is possible that the Indian Army, with its historical associations and interactions, has also contributed to the widespread consumption of chai in the country. Chai has become an iconic beverage in India, enjoyed by people from all walks of life, and its cultural significance continues to thrive. Today, any gap can be narrowed down, all you need to say is “ek cup chai hojaye?”.