Early Chai wallah
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“Come oh come ye tea-thirsty restless ones – the kettle boils, bubbles and sings, musically”
(Rabindranath Tagore – Indian Poet, Playwright and Essayist, Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, 1861-1941)
This Chai wallah was preparing tea at sunrise at Munshi ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
I don’t drink chai however I enjoy the scent of those spices blending with in the milk, I could smell this alaround the ghat which was still empty so early in the morning.
Chai from India is a sweet aromatic spiced milk tea, also known as masala tea, which is consumed by millions of people each day, just as we in the West drink coffee.
Masala tea or chai is a blend of spices, the most common being cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper, mixed with a rich black tea, milk, and a sweetener.
This warming and soothing concoction, brewed by street vendors in India, called chai-wallahs, is boiled in a pan on the stovetop for a few minutes, then strained into a cup.