Saurabh sharma
Photo:Gargi Nim

Early in the morning after a long sleep most of us yearn for bed tea. This one cup of tea comes like a fresh life. Many are addicted to it and have it several times a day. Ask any student preparing for IIT or IAS entrance exam, what are the things he can not live without? His obvious answer would be books and chai. From social gatherings to corporate meetings, from street corners to shopping malls, chai has indeed reached every sphere of our life.

Next to water, chai, or tea, is considered to be world’s most consumed beverage. In India it’s an indispensable part of our lives. “I can not point out a single reason why I like tea, it’s just that I love the taste and aroma of various tea flavors, and in winter holding a hot cup of tea and sipping it all day long is a great way to relax” says Muzaffer Ali Syed, an engineer in Schneider Electric New Delhi.

Journey of tea has now moved from tea stalls to chai bars. Tea lovers are now not confined to their homes or to the smudged dhabas. Pappu tea stall on the pavement has now given way to Tea Bars.

Oxford Cha bar at Statesman Building in Connaught place is one such happening place in Delhi for tea connoisseurs. Anyone with a deep pocket can unwind here and that too in the company of books. The menu includes 85 select brews from all quality tea growing regions of India and the world over. The list includes teas like Bollywood Mix Masala Cha, Truck drivers "100 meel ki" cha, Darjeeling Gold's etc. Everst café in the bustling Paharganj's Main Bazaar, Premier's in Gole market, Chai Garam in Living mall at Jasola Vihar are few such places for tea lovers.

Even in the age of Pepsi and Coke, tea is a hot favorite drink among the students fraternity. Daddu, a canteen owner at Prestige Institute of Management and Research, Indore says “Chai is what I sell most. There is pressure from the students to keep the canteen open even on Sundays as many of them come on Sundays too”. Rahul Gaur, student of India Institute of Technology, Bombay shares his views, “In college chai is my best buddy. It keeps me fresh when i get tired. In the fight to remain awake at nights chai is the only thing which invigorates me. And how can i forget all those intellectual and silly discussions over tea”.

Indians are in love with tea and the tea grown here is famous across the globe. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the chai has different names as different are the ways to prepare it. While traveling in train our sleep get disrupted with the echoing sound of “chai-ee, chai-eeeee, chai-eeeeeee. Thus, tea holds a special place in the Indian culture as it acts as an ice breaker. Tea played an important part in most of the arranged marriages in India as the first meeting is always held over tea. So, are you in mood for some tea?

Benefits of Tea

1. Tea contains antioxidants which protects body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.
2. Tea may reduce risk of heart attack and stroke and also protects our bones.
3. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body's immune system fight off infection.
4. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects.
5. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight.