Friday, September 9, 2011

Tea in India

Of all the conquerors the British had a long lasting impact on the people of India. They introduced many things that are still a part of Indian society. Like the English language, tea was propagated during the Raj and both have proved beneficial.    

Tea leaf grew since ages in the wilds of Eastern India and China and was unheard of in many parts of the country. Early morning intake was milk and jelebi a spiraled  sweet made of flour deep fried and then dipped in tons sugar syrup. The leafs were used as medicine during the 18th and 19th century in the country.

The plantations came into picture during the late 18th century. The promotional campaign started by Indian Tea Association slowly and painstakingly popularized the hot beverage all over. The brew made inroads into the heart mind and tongues of the people of this country.   

Today India is the largest producer of tea leaf in the World. The blending and tasting is an art that few can master and these are the masters who deliver the finest brew to our doorstep. Tea is grown in Assam, Darjeeling, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These are high quality leaves and have found favors in International Markets.

Chai is the most popular form which is brewed with addition of milk and sugar. The masala chai in addition contains herbs and spices which are medicinal in nature and add to the flavor and taste. Most popular addition in the brew is ginger, cardamom and garam masala.  This tea is consumed mostly in winters.   

The most popular form is the black leaf consumed all over the country. It is made into chai and rarely drunk without addition of milk. The chai stalls are ubiquitous and most visited. It is a favorite past time of India to visit these stalls relaxation and friendly chat.   

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