Chai Tea? Is that a Martial Art?

Seriously, who helped name that on the menu? Chai Tea!

It is like naming your bolognese Noodles Spaghetti. Now, you wouldn’t do that, would you? Then why have Chai Tea on your menu?

Separating the Chai from Tea
Separating the Chai from Tea

Let me explain – tea in the Indian sub-continent, and a few neighbouring countries, is called Chai. Unless, a few restaurants in Dubai really want to “over emphasize” that they serve tea, I feel such naming should be scrapped outright. Yes, “over emphasize” is a moronic expression and completely incorrect, much like “more happier”. As is Chai Tea!

If restaurants serving spiced tea that incorporates cardamom, cinnamon, milk and sugar etc want to highlight that, then it should be called Masala Chai or Masala Tea. Not Chai Tea.

And on behalf of many in the industry of food writing and appreciation, I would issue a warning not to name dishes like mentioned below:

  • Coffee Cafe
  • Biryani Pulao
  • Pilaff Pulao
  • Saffron Zafran

4 thoughts on “Chai Tea? Is that a Martial Art?”

  1. So a Chinese friend educated me on this. Apparently the word in China was “Tse”, which is how the upper classes pronounced it. The British interacted with them, and turned “Tse” into “Tea”. The drink came to India through Chinese immigrants, who were mostly the poor labourer types. They couldn’t manage such sophisticated pronunciation, and turned “Tse” into “Cha”, which is what Bengalis call it. Sugar is “Cheeni” in Bengali because it was the Chinese who brought white sugar to India. The first Chinese settler in Bengal was Tong Achew and he had a sugar mill in a place still known as Achipur, in his honour. Enough history for one day. Oktatabyebye!

    1. That is a wonderful window to the history of tea and sugar. I am aware of your hunger for history and how wonderfully you are contributing to it in my birthplace.
      There is one long food journey pending with you.
      Thank you for stopping by, Deep! 🙂

  2. I liked your insight. I’m a big fan of drinks, tea, coffee, juices. I have tried tea at different places and also fresh drinks at Wagamama Palm and loved it. Dubai really has it all

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