Our last segment in “What is Masala Chai?”, I am looking at the culture around chai. This last month, I have researched the origin and ingredients behind chai. The amount of knowledge that I have gotten from this month is immense, and I could not have imagined just how much this has changed and molded my perspective on chai. This last article could never completely go through the culture of chai but it does identify some key components that I had found.
Chai brings people together – The biggest takeaway that I got from this month is that chai seems to be a culture in itself. It is not a specific recipe or time of day, but a way of coming together. In Indian households, chai can be a fundamental part of the house and way of life. Some people drink their chai in the mornings, other in the evenings. Some people do not include spices, others use whatever spices they have on hand. It can be a way of immersing yourself in culture and enjoying a simple act of another’s company.
One interesting point that Tanisha brought up was that chai allows people of all statuses to have something in common. In India, there is a large gap between the rich and poor, but chai brings people together regardless of status. Anyone can gather at chai shops to gossip or talk politics. It is simply a universal drink. Much like previously stated, different regions of India have different versions of chai, but it all comes back to coming together.
It is an integrated part of life – Due to its incredible origin, Masala Chai is engrained in Indian Culture. Train stations are alit with sounds of “chai, chai” and other cries of the chai-wallahs. Guests are greeted with cups of chai or water when they arrive at homes. India is said to account for about 19% of the world’s tea consumption.
It is spreading in popularity – Beyond just India, chai is spreading in popularity. Starbucks is popularly attributed to bringing chai to different areas of the world in 1999 when introducing the “chai tea latte”. This really took the world by storm and chai lattes, in a way, brought people together in a different way, especially in the US.
Discover the Rest of Chai Research
I hope you guys enjoyed this little series of Masala Chai, I am excited to start the research on my next month-long series on Matcha. Do you have any more information to add on this article? Add it in the comments! Happy Brewing!
Go to Tanisha’s YouTube!
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