I am not a Tea Lover since birth (I mean since childhood.) I was never ever fond of tea and coffee. Years passed and I started loving coffee. But it took many years to fall in love with Tea. So, it was never a love at first sight for both of us, Tea and Me.
When I started working, I started visiting the Chai ki Tapri ( Roadside Tea Stalls). It was the time when I actually started loving this hot beverage called Chai. Yes, Tea is just a tea, but Chai is love. And the love story of Tea And Me started thereafter.
Nothing can beat a Masala Chai or Adrak Ki Chai. I would skip the canteen’s tea (free for employees) and happily paid for a Mumbai cutting instead.
Mumbai Cutting is a famous kind of tea, not just for its taste but for its quantity. It is served in a small glass. And the half serving is called Cutting. Ask a tea vendor for a cutting and get a half cup of hot steaming masala chai. Well, you have to pay only half of the regular chai cost for a cutting. And it may cost you around 7-10 Rs for a cutting chai.
Some Tea vendors serve some delicious snacks like poha, idli-sambar, biscuits and rusks. They are great accompaniments with a refreshing masala chai or adrak ki chai.
And now some modern chai ki tapris (sorry, new age tea joints) serve various things like pizza, pasta, burgers and garlic breads etc along with a cup of masala chai.
Some of such tea joints are Chit chat chai and Tea Post, they serve delicious snacks with your favourite cup of tea.
After Many years, I have learnt to make a decent chai at home. But whenever possible, I go out and have a tapri ki chai. Rainy evenings are booked for such chai sessions with friends and family.
Your day becomes great when you start it with a great chai. Morning or evening, chai is all time favourite though.
And Chai-Pakora (Tea with onion fritters) is a heavenly combo for any rainy evening. My family drools for this combo for every rainy holiday.
Though I can make good kind of tea now, still can’t miss to visit the legendary tapri ki chai or a nice tea joint like Tea Post and Chit Chat Chai. My date with these tea joints is due on almost all the weekends.
If not at these two tea joints, I will fulfill my desire at any nice Chai ki Tapri around the city. And when I asked for a Special cutting (with more ginger and cardamom), a tea vendor served it to me in a special cup too.
The conclusion is I am mad about masala chai. And I don’t like to take the gyaan about how unhealthy the tea is. Please, spare me from the gyaan.