Chais of India: Around the country in 5 teas

by Wagh Bakri on Nov 23, 2023

Three cups of tea with lemon, cinnamon, and spices, served in delicate cups

With chai…there’s always a happily ever after.

It all began with the British importing the first tea plants from China around the 1830s, and planting them on large estates in Assam. The commercial production and processing of tea that came later is what revolutionized the way we consume tea today. Currently, the vast expanses of Assam, Darjeeling and many other places are hubs to a variety of tea growing states with the geographical indication of some of the best organic green tea brands in India.

Throughout this tea-loving country, from Assam to Gujarat, Kashmir to Kochi, and Mumbai to Munnar, every region has its own version of tea. From the premium blends by one of the best green tea companies in India. Wagh Bakri to the kulhads at the various tea stalls, all of them are testimony to how these tea varieties mould the ethnic diversity, subtle culture, and wide range of Indian traditions into one.

So, below we list some of these unique chai varieties that are the result of the diverse and vibrant culture of the Indian subcontinent.

Types of teas

Masala Chai

Masala Chai is a concoction of aromatic Indian spices and herbs with loose black tea. Masala chai has gained popularity all over the world and is now a common ingredient in many tea shops. It is believed that the Indian Subcontinent is where masala chai first originated. There is no written document of the earliest Masala Chai recipe, but one can trace the concoction back to experiments conducted with Indian spices in the past.

The most widely used spices for masala chai are cardamom and ginger. Over time its flavour was only enhanced as every generation added different spices to its recipe. Moreover, a chai lover can also opt for a variety of these Masala Chai flavours pre-made from the best tea brand in India.

Lebu cha

This unique blend is particularly popular all over the state of West Bengal. Lebu means lemon and cha means chai in Bangla. Every household and vendor has its own unique method for preparing the perfect Lebu Cha and hence one can find diverse varieties of this blend across the state. Lebu Cha is a strong black tea which is freshly brewed, flavoured with lemon and poured into a glass or cup.

It is Bengal's own interpretation of spiced tea, with an added tinge of lemon. This street-style tea is created by steeping tea leaves in water and then adding a special masala, or moshla, that is made from a blend of black salt, pepper, ginger powder, and a few other masalas. Since the tea doesn't include any milk, sugar is usually added to balance the tea's sour and salty flavours.

Green tea

Green tea dates back to 2737 B.C. in China. Its discovery happened by chance when the Chinese Emperor Shennong mistakenly drank water with a boiled dead tea leaf in it. He found the flavour refreshing, and thus a new beverage was created. Green tea is sourced from the dried leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Green tea is among the least processed teas and is generally regarded as a healthy drink, especially when processed correctly as done by one of the best organic green tea brands in India.

Green tea leaves are dried and softly boiled in order to preserve their natural health advantages, as opposed to fermenting tea leaves (for black tea) to increase the level of caffeine. With myriad other benefits, green tea comes loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to help neutralise free radicals, which are basically unstable molecules created by the body as a response to stressors from the environment and other factors. Reducing free radicals is supposed to improve overall health.

Kashmiri Kahwa

Simple components like green tea, green cardamom pods, clove bark or sticks (never powdered), cinnamon, and saffron are used to make this typical traditional Kashmiri Kahwa. Star anise is occasionally included as well. Dried rose petals and an abundance of almonds further help enhance the flavour of kahwa.

A trip to Kashmir Valley is not complete without kahwa, a gentle tea scented with dried fruits and spices. This hot Kahwa is what keeps the beautiful people of Kashmir warm and cheerful all through the year. Traditionally, it is prepared over a coal or wood fire in a brass or copper samovar. However, if you don't want to wait that long while preparing your tea, we have got you covered! Buy instant kahwa and tea in a variety of flavours from Wagh Bakri, the best tea brand in India.

A cup of green tea placed on a green cloth, the perfect drink for a refreshing moment

Irani chai

Irani Chai, the tea that the Parsi community gave to India, gets its name from Iran, the original home of the community before they arrived on India's western coastline. Irani Chai can now be found in Mumbai's historic cafés, as well as, in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Ahmedabad.

Irani chai is typically served in 90 ml portions and it is also commonly known as "Chai 90 ml.” And its brewing process is no less special. Unlike other hot teas, Irani Chai is prepared using steam in sealed containers with spices including cardamom, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon.

Isn't it amazing how a beverage with a 5000-year history is now available in a wide range of varieties and has integrated itself so deeply into our daily lives? Who would have thought a leaf discovered by accident would one day be available just one click away from one of the best green tea company in India? So, head to our website to shop your favourite tea and get it delivered to your doorstep.

Disclaimer: The blog facts are based on Ayurvedic studies.