HYDERABAD: Chai. It is the elixir that is at the centre of endless debates and discussions. Whether the topic is about the tanking economy, protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or Ram Gopal Varma’s recent film, Hyderabadis love to catch up on the latest happenings while sipping a hot cuppa. The denizens’ love for tea can be gauged by the fact that despite the rising popularity of home-delivery apps, the quaint cafeterias exuding old-world charm can be found across almost every street corner. And their patrons only seem to rise with the passage of time.
Not just the famed Irani chai, youth nowadays are increasingly preferring to try out different varieties of teas. City-based food blogger and social media manager Lokender Jain affirms, “Though Hyderabad is well known for the rich, creamy and milky concoction called Irani chai, people’s choices have evolved. They are well-informed on various tea options. And to appease the demand, establishments are coming up with premium tea flavours that are researched and validated by Tea Sommeliers.”
What explains the lasting mystique and allure of tea across different age groups of individuals? Shivani Mohan, a brand host of a food app and a blogger, shares, “Tea is a drink for all seasons and reasons! Today, people are exploring tisanes, herbal teas with ginger, turmeric, rooibos, Moroccan mint, etc. The polyphenols and phytochemicals in tea make it super healthy. It is difficult for me to imagine a day without tea, as my tea time is always special, sometimes more special than my main meals!”
On the health benefits of tea, Sheryl Salis, a dietician, informs, “Most tea variations are rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, which are a source of antioxidants. These polyphenols are known to protect the body from various diseases. At a time when there is so much pollution around us, we need antioxidants more than ever, as they clear out the dirt and waste from the body.”All said and done, one thing is certain – no matter what happens in this country, tea will continue to thrive and enrich our lives with it. Don’t you agree?
A few popularplaces for Irani chai:
Alpha Hotel, Secunderabad
Cafe Niloufer, Lakdikapul
Nimrah café and bakery, Charminar Road
Types of tea and their health benefits:
Helps in lowering blood pressure
Helps in burning excess fat
Known for boosting metabolism
May reduce heart diseases
Known to lower cholesterol
Improve alkalinity in the body
A few cafés featuring
Orka Cafe, Jubilee Hills
Ci Gusta!, Madhapur
Chai Pani, Jubilee Hills
I prefer Irani chai with Osmania biscuits as a quick hunger fix. And a Chamomile or Green Tea post a heavy lunch or dinner, which aids in digestion.
Lokender Jain, food blogger
I like my tea at home to be fragrant, with tulsi, ginger, cardamom or cinnamon according to weather and mood. When I am travelling, I prefer Earl Grey.
Shivani Mohan, blogger, Tangy SorbetTeas are of different types. The taste and nutritive value depends upon the variety, region, climate and ultimately how the tea leaves get processed.
Kunal Kapur, celebrity chef
On account of hectic routines, people are opting for healthier options. Antioxidant-rich white tea, green tea and chamomile tea are popular and available at most supermarkets.
Sheryl Salis, dietician