A study by the Tea Board of India and Deloitte in 2018 showed that Gujarat was the biggest consumer of tea among Indian states. This study, and the numerous kitlis (roadside tea stalls) and tea cafes dotting the streets and highways of Gujarat are a testament to the fact that the state and its residents love their tea, or Chaa as it is colloquially called.
For Gujaratis, Chaa is not just a beverage, but an emotion. While there has been a rise in the number of people who buy tea online in India, Gujaratis continue to be very particular about the kind of tea leaves they purchase, and where they get it from. Let’s take a look at this beautiful love affair of Gujaratis and their Chaa.
For most Gujaratis, the very first beverage they sip on is a piping hot cup of tea at home with family members as they plan their chores for the day. When someone invites you over to their house, they say “Chaa-paani karva aavjo” which means come over to have some tea with us. Chaa plays a great role in forming strong bonds between friends, colleagues, entrepreneurs and even prospective marital partners.
Sheetal Bhatt of Route 2 Roots talks about it beautifully in her blog post Chai Spice or Cha No Masalo, where she says that Gujaratis offer tea to strangers, welcome guests with tea, make friends over tea, bond over tea, have tête-à-tête with loved ones over tea, while time drinking tea, even say goodbyes over tea and most of all take pride in their tea or the Chaa they brew.
The tea commonly consumed here in Gujarat is the milky concoction of full fat milk, strong CTC tea leaves, some sugar and water. The flavour that one gets to experience with this tea is called Kadak Mitthi (Strong & Sweet). Though, the new health conscious generation of youngsters have begun opting for a healthier cuppa and now buy green tea online in India.
Chai Pe Charcha
In 2018, when Barack Obama, the then president of the United States of America, visited India, he was treated to a hot cup of tea by the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on the lawns of Hyderabad House in New Delhi. To which, the POTUS said, “Prime Minister Modi, thank you for hosting me, including our ‘Chai pe Charcha’. We need more of those in the White House”
Chai Pe Charcha, or “conversations over tea” was the then chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi’s popular public engagement and discourse initiative launched during the run up to the 2014 General Elections, which he won with a thumping majority to become the Prime Minister of India. Local leaders and elected officials would host talk meetings at prominent spots where citizens were encouraged to participate in discussion with them, while sipping a cup of kadak mitthi chaa.
This initiative was a resounding success because Modi recognises Gujaratis love for chaa and a good debate. This helped him and his political party to reach out to the masses in his home state Gujarat.
This is bijness (of chai!)
Some of the top tea brands in India have their origins in Gujarat. This is the only state where you will find tea stalls getting so famous that they start giving out franchise opportunities to entrepreneurs in the various cities of Gujarat. Take the example of the Khetla Aapa Tea Stalls, a brand that was relatively known only to people of Rajkot, but now almost every city has at least 5 franchisee outlets of Khetla Aapa Tea Stalls. Walk into any kitli or roadside tea stall outside offices, government buildings, or hospitals, you will definitely spot two or more men discussing stocks, money, trade secrets, and business in general while sipping on tiny glasses of tea.
If some reports and claims are to be believed, some tea kiosks outside popular hangout spots like MS University in Vadodara, Gujarat University in Ahmedabad, Kalavad Road in Rajkot, clock tea sales anywhere close to Rs.50,000. Interesting, isn’t it?
With the advent of online shopping and people finding convenience in ordering almost everything over the internet even we at Tulsi Tea have begun to encourage our chai loving patrons to buy tea online in India from our digital shop www.shoptulsi.com. And it’s not just for the ones who love Chaa, we have something for the health conscious too, in the form of Tulvita, our premium green tea. You can get Tulvita’s classic green tea and lemon tea variants from shops or you can buy green tea online in India anywhere, and we will get it delivered to you.