Rise of masala chai from Indian streets to global limelight

Although there are several theories that claim otherwise, the origin of Masala Chai is usually associated with the British tea trade

Hyderabad: Masala chai, the alchemy of simplicity, provides comfort in every sip. The earthly aroma leaving a trail of warmth has won hearts worldwide as it finds its place as the second-best non-alcoholic beverage in the world, according to Taste Atlas.

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TasteAtlas, an encyclopedia of traditional dishes, local ingredients, and authentic restaurants from around the world, has ranked the masala chai second in its World’s Best Non-Alcoholic Beverage list. The number one position went to Mexico’s Aguas Frescas. It is a drink “made with a combination of fruits, cucumbers, flowers, seeds, and cereals blended with sugar and water.” 

The very first sip take a person to India’s bustling streets, where chaiwalas deftly combine customs and modernity. With each subsequent sip, the fragrant combination envelops the spirit and provides comfort.

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Revealing the news in an Instagram post, the food guide wrote, “Chai masala is an aromatic beverage originating from India. It is made with a combination of sweetened black tea and milk that is spiced with a masala mix, which typically includes cardamom, ground ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and black peppercorns.”

“Although there are several theories that claim otherwise, the origin of Masala Chai is usually associated with the British tea trade,” Taste Atlas said in the same post.

The netizens reacted to the news and one user corrected TasteAtlas, “Chai Masala= Masala (spice) you use to make tea, Masala chai= spiced tea.” Another user said, “Masala chai is not a beverage it’s an emotion.”

Another user took a dig saying, “Chai Masala is as white as it can get” referring to mistakes made while labeling Indian food internationally. 

More than merely a beverage, masala chai is a ritual in India. The spirit of shared tales, laughter, and connection rises in the center of its steam, a timeless elixir that crosses boundaries and invites everyone to experience life’s magic in a cup.

Furthermore, mango lassi from India held the third spot. It had previously been named the “Greatest Dairy Drink in the World.”

Indian Basmati rice was named the greatest rice in the world by TasteAtlas in a different ranking last year. “Once cooked, the [basmati] grains remain individual and don’t stick to each other, which allows curry and similar stew and sauces to be made,” they said, elaborating on why they thought basmati was the best.

Every corner of this vast nation is a culinary adventure, a feast for the senses that transcends time and tradition, leaving an indelible mark on the palates and hearts of those who savor its magic.

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