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Did you know that Chai is a drink that most Indians can’t live without?

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What is it that India is obsessed with? Cricket? Bollywood? No!
It’s tea! We Indians would like to call it lovingly as ‘Chai’ and for us, it is more than a mere cup of tea.
Yes, it’s an emotion to us and this world-famous beverage became the part and parcel of India 170
years ago. Robert Bruce and Maniram Dewan were the first to discover tea saplings in Assam, back
in 1824. India is currently the second-largest producer of tea after China. The Indian love for Chai is
so immense that it is considered as the state drink of Assam. This oldest yet popular drink has
immense consumers all over the country. Consumption per year is as huge as 837,000 tonnes.
Though this drink has a gigantic fan following in India, most of us are unaware of the historical facts
associated with it. Earlier, the beverage did not consist of any tea leaves. Instead, changes were
incorporated in the recipe as per the available seasonal ingredients.
In India, people love discussing household, politics and even international issues over a cup of Chai
with their acquaintances or with near and dear ones. Earlier, adorable tiny clay pots, popularly
known as Kulhar in Hindi (and Bhar in Bengali) were used to serve Chai. In many parts of the country,
kulhars have been replaced by steel, glass, plastic or paper cups. But some places still serve Chai in
these kulhars. Just like Chai, the Chai-wallas are also an integral part of India. The presence of Chaiwallas in markets, workplaces and even at railway stations have a close association with the life of
an ordinary Indian. The signature “Chai, Chai” cries along the platforms and inside the train
compartments shows how closely knit are our lives to this most loved beverage. In India, even this
tea-selling business has turned to the family business in many parts of the country and also, we can
see Indian highways dotted with tea stalls from north to south.
Tea stalls are present in every nook and corner of India. These tiny little shacks provide the most
rejuvenating drinks along with some hot snacks at a cheaper cost and are preferred by all,
irrespective of gender and age. Much like the British, most of India love to have tea with breakfast,
and in the evenings too. Indian savouries are a must with tea and are often served hot. People in
India prefer to have this piping hot beverage even in a sweltering summer, this is because drinking
chai can cool the body from inside while providing a refreshing experience. The delightful experience
is relished by Indians in a wide variety of flavours.
Chai is an inseparable part of every Indian household as it has been entrenched in our culture since
decades and its legacy continues to wow the world.

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