“If you are cold, tea will warm you; If you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.” Besides awakening your spirit on lazy mornings, a cup of tea duly compliments the casual discussions in the evening. Be it some butter biscuits or freshly fried samosa, a sip of tea with it always enhances the taste of the snack. The most loved beverage in the country!
The International Tea Day is observed on May 21 every year. The day is known to create awareness about safe working conditions for the tea workers, fair trade, and a sustainable environment to improve the production of tea. The Tea Board of India planned this day with the hope that it will become an official holiday for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. As per a study conducted by the Tea Board of India in 2007, about 80 percent of the total tea produced in India is consumed by the domestic population. All consumers have the right to demand answers about the tea we consume and to ensure fair prices for the tea workers. We can also demand that the process of manufacturing is kept transparent too. Tea is the world’s most-consumed drink, after water.
The first International Tea Day was held in Delhi, India in 2005. It was in 2015 that the Indian government proposed the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation expand this day globally. The day is observed in the month of May because it is during this time of the year that tea production begins in most of the countries.
Some of the traditional teas across India:
Kashmiri noon chai:
This variation of tea from the northern region of Kashmir has a tinge of pink to it. It is considered authentic Kashmiri chai which is prepared by brewing green tea leaves with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nuts including pistachio and almond. In addition, a pinch of salt is also added to the chai.
Ukado is a herbal tea from Gujarat that serves as a homemade remedy for common illnesses. It has ingredients like honey, lemon, ginger, and mint that help boost immunity while giving a pleasing taste to the drink.
People living in Pune or Hyderabad prefer sipping on this tea that has aromatic spices besides the refreshing tea leaves. It is mostly accompanied with a bun maska or a maska pav and can be found in Irani hotels in Mumbai.
Bengal’s Labu Cha:
Consumed in West Bengal, Labu Cha is basically a black tea that is prepared by brewing tea leaves rather than the tea dust. It is a drink spiced up with ginger powder and black salt with a hint of lemon in it. It is the best companion for many Bengalis who meet at nukkad chai points to chat and sip on some piping hot Labu Cha.
This unique chai is herbal and has significant health benefits. Mangaloreans consider this as their ‘kadha’ that has jeera, coriander, fennel seeds, and fenugreek in it. These dry-roasted spices are boiled with water and sweetened with some sugar or misri.
This life is certainly much better when you have a tea to complete your breakfast, a tea to put a perfect finish to your meals. Happy International Tea Day!