Tag Archives: milk

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

Hones-TEA-ly Speaking

Tea as it should be!

I am probably writing this out of frustration that has built over the years.

So, let me come straight to the point. Tea and milk are not the best of friends, so be careful while mixing them. If you ask me, they shouldn’t be mixed at all. I will not hark you back to 2007 BBC report about why black tea is better at combating cancer as opposed to tea with milk. Neither will I explain in detail about scientists who feel that tea helps weight loss but the effects gets cancelled if you add milk.

All I am trying to say is that, let us all understand the process of tea making so that we know when to add the milk. Please DO NOT dunk in a tea bag in a cup full of warm milk. You will get a cup of tea stains. Am sure, you would not want to sit through the best part of your evening dipping your tea bag in milky solution, in the faintest hope that one day, it will turn to tea, the way you want it.

Tea is delicate. It needs to be infused well. When you throw in tea leaves or slip in a tea bag, watch how the rich trail of orange and brown tea slowly emanates and starts to colour. Good. Let that flow. See that? Happiness!

So what happens when milk is poured into this? Or let us ask, why doesn’t tea infuse well with milk? The answer lies in the fact that milk is thicker than water. So, the consistency or liquor (or brew, if you please) is not achieved however long you dip, dunk, squeeze, pray, cajole or brow-beat your tea. This amounts to tea-abuse.

I come from the nation of milk-tea drinkers. Add to that a milk-tea colonial history as well. But pardon me as I beg to consume my tea, my way. As opposed to the colourless, tasteless rainwater that is served as tea, I prefer my tea well-brewed, without milk, with a hint of sugar. Thank you.