Friday May 25, 2018

Tea Story! Why Tea is India’s most loved Brewed Beverage

India is one of the largest producers of tea and over 70% of tea in the world is consumed in India alone

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Tea. Image source: az-teas.com
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  • Over 70% of tea in the world is consumed in India alone
  • The northeast areas like Assam prefer Sah, Ronga Sah (red tea without milk) and northern Hindi speaking areas prefer Masala chai (spiced tea) or Kadak chai (strong and well brewed tea)
  • It is known that tea was cultivated in northeastern India much before the British began commercializing it in India

Tea has emerged as the most liked beverage in India. Tea or chai is easily found outside our homes. There is hardly any street where you don’t find a tea stall. Tea sellers are popularly called chai walas. Tea has become a crucial part in the life of every Indian. Unlike the British cup of tea, tea leaves are not steeped separately they are instead boiled along with water and milk and sugar are added.

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Over 70% of tea in the world is consumed in India alone. India is also one of the largest producers of tea. Areas like Assam and Darjeeling exclusively grow tea along with Tamil Nadu and Kerala. These tea growing estates have made it to the international tea market. There are many variations of tea in India.

Different types of Tea in India. Image source: www.everydayhealth.com
Different types of Tea in India. Image source: www.everydayhealth.com

The northeast areas like Assam prefer Sah, Ronga Sah (red tea without milk) and northern Hindi speaking areas prefer Masala chai (spiced tea) or Kadak chai (strong and well brewed tea). ‘Malai Maar Ke’ is another variation where a gallop of fat cream is added to the tea.

Tea stall Tamil Nadu, India Image: Wikimedia Commons
Tea stall in Tamil Nadu, India
Image: Wikimedia Commons

It is mostly taken along with breakfast or just after waking up calling it ‘bed tea’. The guests are most served with hot tea along with snacks. Ginger is a popular ingredient in tea which improves the taste and also possess numerous health benefits.

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Tea plantations were set up in India during 1830s by the British, their main purpose was to export tea to Britain. Tea drinking from the modern prospective started during 1980s when the British organization, Indian Tea Association started making efforts to popularize tea among Indians. They organized promotional campaigns in several cities and towns. Home demonstrations were provided and factories were encouraged to provide the workers with a tea break.

A number of tea stalls were also set up. When Railway stations were being made, small tea stalls were set up there as well. The English Brooke Bond tea company also distributed tea samples in the country. By the end of 1990s, Indians had developed a great liking towards tea and the tea consumption increased steadily.

Woman plucking tea in a tea plantation of Assam Source: Wikimedia Commons
Woman plucking tea in a tea plantation of Assam
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Indian tea is different from tea in other parts of the world as it contains more of milk and also other immunizers like cinnamon, ginger or Tulsi leaves (mainly in winters). Tea is known to be very good for health. It is known that tea was cultivated in northeastern India much before the British began commercializing it in India.

by Shubhi Mangla, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @shubhi_mangla

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    The first thing an Indian offers is tea. Not only does it refresh your mind, but also teas like tulsi tea, green tea, ginger tea had medicinal properties which is very good for one’s health.

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    the beverage has become an integral part of Indian lifestyle. it is sometimes hard to imagine that tea originates from china, not India!

  • Shubhi Mangla

    Almost every Indian’s starts with a cup of tea. Its modern variations like green tea, black tea and ice tea are also popular among the youth

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    The first thing an Indian offers is tea. Not only does it refresh your mind, but also teas like tulsi tea, green tea, ginger tea had medicinal properties which is very good for one’s health.

  • devika todi

    the beverage has become an integral part of Indian lifestyle. it is sometimes hard to imagine that tea originates from china, not India!

Next Story

Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

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representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)