A Special Cup of Tea

 

I remember my first day in India. The fisrt thing people offer us everywhere was Tea. How India is super warm. I imagined they were going to give us a nice, fresh and could tea, but the reality was that they brought for us a spicy, hot and milky tea. Nothing bad but it wasn’t exactly what I was expected. That was the first time I drank the famous Masala Chai

The Chai is one of the most representative and important in the wonderful India. And my life there has a before and after my first cup of tea there. The tea Industry generate a big amount of jobs in India and some another countries. There is a whole ritual around the Tea, It is a way to share with people, its history and Health.

 

India, Himalayas
Mcleod Ganj, Tibetan Monks

Depend of the region where you are the preparation is very different.  Focusing just in India I saw three ways to drink tea.  In the Himalaya, more specifically in McLeod Gang, home of the Dalai Lama and around 10.000 Tibetan refugees; in this picturesque, high and nice city, surrounded by mountains, the habitants look so different and the rest of the Indians, they have a strong Tibetan influence, I got fascinated with the monks. They look amazing in their red with yellow robes, and seeing them drink coke or playing video games in the internet coffee shops is something that never imagined to see.  In this little town, on my point of view, they have a very weird way to drink Tea, but been there I need to taste it; this tea is called Tibetan tea, it is made by Black tea, milk, sugar, salt and butter, yes you read well BUTTER..  When I listen about this type of tea, I feel my stomach wanted to tell me, please don’t drink that. But I didn’t listen to it and I try it, I didn’t hate it, actually it was most better that I was expecting, but still it’s not my favourite. But I imagine it must be really good alone with Tibetan bread in a cold day.

 

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Kashimiri Bakery, India

 

 

The second type of tea that I try was the Kashimiri Tea, and it could be my favourite if I wouldn’t live in the Guajarati region, where I learnt to love the Masala Chai. The Kashimiri tea is typical from the north- west of India, region called Kashimir. India and Pakistan have been fighting for dominate this region, but the native people want to be independent. This region is denominated “The heaven of India” and it is really beautiful, the mountains, the lakes, the gardens, and the cities that look like if they were  stopped  in the time.  In this area, there was specially one city that made me fall in love, it was Srinagar; Half of the city was built inside the lake, and it is famouse cause the houseboats. This Houseboats are moored and some of them were built since early 1900 and are rented out to tourist.

 

 

 

 

Like hotels, you can find  houseboats, from the more  luxury, like a luxury hotel has fine furniture, good carpets and modern bathroom fittings, to the ‘D category’ (the lowest category), like low-budget hotels, is spartanly furnished. The prices also depend of the location; Some overlook the main road, others look out onto lotus gardens and yet others face tiny local markets and villages, which are also floating on the lake. All houseboats, regardless of category, have highly personalized service. but what definatelis  you  have to taste is the tea. The tea  of this area is made by green tea, safran, lemon,  Car damom and a little bit of sugar. This tea is  very soft and digestive, perfect for drink it after lunch or before sleep.

Sharing with Kashimiri Friends a cup of tea
Sharing with Kashimiri Friends a cup of tea

 

And finally the most common aneone sayd my favourite one, THE MASALA CHAI. you can find it in the street, on the train, in the hotels, restaurants and every single indian House. In average a indian person drink around 3 to 4 little cups per day. and one of my friends gave me the secret for a perfect Chai, and its the time that you  leave to boil  the water with tea and species  (Cinamon, cloves, cardamom and ginger). When this is alredy boiled  for 3 times, you must add the milk whith honey or sugar.

So when you hear somebody in India saying Garam Chai Gram Chai. Try it!

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Teas, India
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Steet Masala Chai

by Animprieto

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