Travelogue

What makes a Chai special?

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Ever wondered what you are so addicted to your early morning cup of tea, I won’t be surprised if you have not researched for it J . On an average Indians drink ~ 175 cups, this is rough estimate and can deviate +- 10% so a research must have been obvious, you search for tea and Google will throw you results in billions.

I am chai addict and don’t even know from how many years I have been, such can an addict that I can’t resist the temptation of even drinking a bad tea, yes, people do prepare bad tea and I believe they should be sent in exile or to a coffee field as punishment.

My chai has to be strong, with Adrak and milk, boiled slowly for almost 20 min and I am self-proclaimed best team maker.

While that’s my style, on a roadside Dhabha, people have cracked the theory of making fast tea and that too with brilliant taste, does the preparation matter or utensils or tea leaves?

In a recent trip to Rajasthan, I was recommended to try chai from in Ratangarh and to my utter surprise, it was far better than my own chai. The old man’s tea preparation was poetry in motion and probably the brass utensil was the catalyst, I don’t know and neither I wish to know, this was just amazing. Research gets you facts and facts make you rational, irrational chai drinker is good.

Here is some science on tea for the rational mind:

The small amounts of caffeine in tea are associated with mental alertness. Theanine, an amino acid found only in tea leaves, is thought to enhance relaxation and that makes you alert.

Did you really know, Tea contains lots of different chemicals, but the main ones associated with the taste, aroma and health effects of tea are polyphenols – mainly flavonoids. The plant produces these chemicals, not for our benefit but to help the plant fight against predators and stress.

Polyphenols make up approximately 30% of the dry weight of the leaves of the tea plant. Other chemicals that contribute to the flavor and effects of tea (but to a lesser degree) include caffeine and amino acids, mainly theanine (source: https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/res…/1661-the-science-of-tea)

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