Friday, March 29, 2013

Chai tea latte, Chai, Cha, Chaaya, Tea.... my high

Tea is made in so many ways in India and this post is to reminisce on the way chaaya is made in Kerala. I will try some other methods and post them later.
In Kerala Chaaya - that's tea in malayalam, is made a little differently. It is prepared by  adding some strong tea leaves to boiling water and the vessel is covered with a lid. The gas/ heat is shut off at this point without boiling it any further. Heat the milk separately, add sugar and pour in the black tea. Now comes the difference in method. Kerala chaaya making process is complete only after beating the tea! This is done to mix the sugar, tea concoction and milk really well. Also, my mom believes that the taste of milk changes when it is beaten like this. 
For this, take two mugs or glasses and pour from one cup to the other from a height repeatedly to create a frothy top. This could sound crazy when written so check the pictures and you will get an idea. Your tea is ready when the froth is formed at the top of the glass/ cup and the sugar is well mixed in.

Now for the measurements, for a glass of tea of the size shown below, take water - 3/4th glass, milk - 1/4th glass, tea leaves - 1tsp heaped, sugar as per taste. Chaaya is normally strong and hence the color is more brown than milky! 
The method of making chaaya and pulled tea of Malaysia is the same. Pulled tea is also poured from one container to the other to create a layer of froth at the top. It is likely that this method of preparing tea was taken to Malaysia from India by the immigrants when both countries were British colonies. Not sure of the taste though, maybe I will taste it sometime in the future. Cheers :)
P.S. I use either Wagh Bakri or Girnar tea, both are strong teas.

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