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Irresistible tea

Be it a corporate house or a small mechanic's workshop, tea permeates all levels of society, reports Sumegha Gulati.

india Updated: Jul 26, 2008 17:54 IST
Sumegha Gulati

A dark, chilly night, a lit table-lamp and a teenager holding a mug of steaming hot caffeine hours before the exam. A scene from the script of our regular lives, yeah?

After all, caffeine has become an inseparable element of our day-to-day existence. Be it a top-notch corporate house or a small mechanic's workshop, it permeates all levels of society in its various forms.

Though a good number of youngsters, today, prefer coffee to tea, Delhi has no dearth of tea lovers. One doesn't drink tea by cups in Delhi; one drinks them over gup-shups and chats. It is individualistic and reflects the penchant of its admirers. Some like having their everyday dose of traditional chai the first thing in the morning, while others prefer drinking the piping hot cuppa with extra sugar and milk. There are yet others who are fond of the more healthy lemon tea or the herbal ginger tea.

The humble brew may be liked in different flavours but its effects are always the same-warm and soothing. The bliss of having a cup of tea after a hard day's work, especially in Delhi's winters is truly a blessing and the capital has accepted all teas with kindliness.

Passion-my cup of tea, an upmarket tea bar in Vasant Vihar, is all the rage among connoisseurs and tea enthusiasts. Exotic teas such as champagne tea accompanied with a plate of samosas or muffins would surely make your heart pine for more.

No one makes kadak chai better than the roadside tea vendors. Maurya Tea shop, on K.G. Marg, is one of the many such modest stalls that serve low-priced tea to people from all strata. Kanhaiya Lal, owner of the decade old stall says, "We sell more than 400 cups of tea each day. The rush is the greatest in the evening. I put adrak, kesar patti and elaichi to give it a distinct taste. Majority of them like it with mathhi." Local and special tea is served at 3 and 4 bucks respectively.

This is one business that even rains or the chilly weather cannot dare to dampen. Opines Kamal Gupta, proprietor of Gupta tea Stall, Gautam Nagar, "Earlier, there were timings when we used to have rush. Now, with the night-shifts culture, we have rush from 6 in morning to 12 at night. Our desi chai is the most selling, though adrak tea is well liked too."

There are others like Laxman Rao, running a similar place at ITO, who are particular about their own discrete style. He at all times crushes the cardamoms before adding them to the boiling concoction to achieve that aromatic effect.

Students at JNU swear by the beverage prepared at Ganga dhaba that is their accomplice in nearly all intellectually stimulating discussions.

Whether its the posh cafeterias or the self-effacing, unpretentious dhabas, tea has been and still is the most popular beverage of all times.

Its tea time folks- so, enjoy your cuppa!

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