Few days ago I wrote about deputy chairman planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia declaring tea as a national drink of India. It is time to take a look at some interesting facts about Indian tea. Readers of this post can include some more facts in the comment box.
1. The most common word for tea in India is 'Chai' (चाय) or 'Cha' (चा). Like many words in Indian dictionary Chai has too come from Persian language which is derived from Chinese Mandarin Language. So Many people who think Chai is an India word or never had payed attention about this fact that it is actually a Persian word where tea is known as 'Chay'.
2. Most commonly used spices for masala tea are ginger, cardamom, cloves, fennel and basil leafs.
3. Except southern India where coffee is very popular rest of India enjoys variety of spice tea.
4. India used to be largest producer of tea few years ago. Now China has taken number one position. China and India produce more than half of the world's tea leaves.
5. First Indian tea from Assam was sent to England for public sale in 1838.
6. Darjeeling tea enjoys the geographical indication status for its unique 'muscatel' flavor which is not found anywhere in the world.
7. Tea is being cultivated in mainly three areas in India: Darjeeling (West Bengal), Assam & Nilgiris.
There are some more tea cultivation areas in Bihar, Odisha, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand etc.
8. Chai time or tea break is now a tradition all over world and according to United Kingdom Tea Council tea break has been with us for approximately 200 years.
9. Each day one person can drink maximum of four cups of tea for optimum benefit. Tea is a good source of fluoride which can protect against tooth decay.
10. More than 95% people take their tea with milk.
11. To lure domestic & international tea lovers to the country government of India is promoting tea tourism aggressively in the country. Tea tourism include walk around tea garden, accommodation in the tea garden's heritage bungalow, tea tasting sessions, trekking etc