four cups of chai

New cities breed new habits.

I am usually a serious coffee drinker and only a casual consumer of tea. In colder months I often brew a small pot of green tea with lemon and ginger to curl up with while studying; however, a package of tea will often last months in my kitchen cupboard during the warmer parts of the year. I also admit that I am extremely influenced by packaging. It is obvious that I don't take tea as serious as I take coffee if I am easily swayed by the font or design of a box. Coffee should come in a brown paper bag and clever design is not going to influence which beans I like best, but with tea I am satisfied enough if the package looks nice. India is changing all of that. Here tea is a serious matter and I am happy to do as the locals do. For the past month I have become a serious tea drinker and only a casual consumer of coffee.

I drink a cup four times a day. The cups are small and the tea is sweet. There is something magical about a culture that takes tea so seriously. It means that my colleagues and I are served tea twice a day like clock work and that no matter the time of day or night one can always find another cup or two when needed. Chai wallahs make this possible. Often on bicycles and sometimes on foot, chai wallahs make and serve fresh tea on the streets of the city.

Since I have been here I have drank my chai out of a small cup; however, I just discovered the traditional vessel for chai: the Indian clay cup. Plastic cups have largely replaced the clay version on the streets of the city, but the clay cup has far more class. After use the clay cups are typically discarded or smashed only to then dissolve back into the earth. I decided to keep mine instead.

Anonymous –   – (November 8, 2011 at 4:49 AM)  

WOW - I just discovered your blog & I'm blown away. I love Bombay, and I miss that place like crazy, so it's really nice, and kind of comforting to read about your adventures. Oh yeh, and I love food, and creative stuff, so your blog is ticking all the boxes so far. Can't wait to read more, and to find out what exactly you are doing in that huge, noisy & colourful city!


Sasha  – (November 8, 2011 at 4:54 PM)  

Thanks for visiting! I promise more taxi textiles and documentation of culinary adventures.

Let me know if you known of any hidden treasures here! I am always on the look-out and will be here for another month.

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