Will Tea Lose The Battle?

As I write this post, I am enjoying my mid morning mug of excellent coffee brewed in an Italian machine. I however still prefer my wake up beverage to be tea which I have first thing in the morning and after my siesta.

India is a country of tea drinkers. Ginger tea, masala tea, cardamom tea, Irani tea, plain tea, cutting tea and so on and so forth. In the Southern parts, coffee is holding its position despite onslaught from the ubiquitous Malyali chaya kadai attached to a bakery. In the Northern parts the Coffee Board had to set up Coffee Houses to popularise the beverage and succeeded in many places to make them meeting places for the intelligentsia.

Recently however, coffee is making a big splash all over India, a trend started off by Cafe Coffee Day followed by Barista and now Starbucks have also moved in sensing a big shift. These Cafes are ideal places for trysts of all kinds and I have enjoyed visiting a few of them in Pune.

The fun of having tea of tea shops however is irreplaceable and I doubt that tea will ever lose its place as the prime choice of beverage for most Indians.

In this context this article in the Guardian does not come as a surprise to me at all. Brewing tea is a cumbersome process compared to making coffee and our life styles have changed so much from those old days of leisurely afternoon teas and morning elevenses that coffee is making major inroads into one niche, even in England.

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29 Responses to Will Tea Lose The Battle?

  1. Ursula says:

    Ramana, I sometimes ‘joke’ (or so people think) that the only reason I left my country of origin because my country men are obsessed with coffee. Coffee in the morning. Coffee and cake in the afternoon. Let’s just say that I never ever phone my parents between three and four in the afternoon. So holy is their coffee hour they wouldn’t even take my call.

    I don’t drink coffee. Doesn’t agree with me. Gives my stomach and fingers the jitters. Literally. Tea? Similar. Though I do swear by the healing powers of herbal teas. There is nothing in this world that a soothing cup of camomile will not cure.

    You say making tea is “cumbersome”. In which case do not watch the Angel making his brew. He takes the shortest of short cuts with a teaBAG which even I (and I am his mother) find painful to witness.

    Ursula recently posted..Bland

    • I think that the tea bag tea is the worst beverage possible. I keep it for some of my friends who insist on having only that. The best tea in my opinion and for my taste is what I make with grated fresh ginger and milk.

  2. Shanker says:

    Neither Kettle brewed Tea nor Filter Coffee will lose their ‘flavour’.
    For 30+ years now, from the time I took over the tradition of the men-first-in-kitchen from my father, the Tea first Coffee next tradition is alive and kicking. First Drink – Freshly grated ginger, a dash of lavang and a pinch of elaichi brewed with ‘Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care’. Side by side, Coffee Filter percolating the decoction. My Current Combi – 40% Peaberry, 40% Plantation A and 20% Powder from the local Coffee Day Grinding Outlet sourced fresh every 10 days. Traditional Coffee is best with freshly-first-time-on the-boil-milk. Enjoy the ritual for two reasons – the Taste and the Cost. Both Tea and Coffee are at Rs.3/- to Rs.4- a mug [ approx 1.5 Cups ]. One secret why my ‘fan-club’ stays seduced !!

    • Brook Bond Red Label Tea has been our family favourite too for decades. Coffee however has been use what is available and since I have two CCD outlets close to home, I have plunked for their offerings.

  3. I am an avowed coffee drinker in a similar vein as Shkanker. I also like e good cup of tea “- especially splice tea. BUit you are correctp – making a good cuppa is a long process. I SUSPECT tea will remain the favorite in India just as coffees will remain so here in the states.

  4. Mike says:

    While I like tea, I’m afraid it’s never been something I drink on a regular basis. Of course, here in the US, one would be hard pressed to find any sort of tea shop in most places. We have given our son-in-law gift cards for a tea shop in Little Rock, but wouldn’t have even known it was there if our daughter hadn’t told us. Coffee, on the other hand, is ubiquitous here.

    I drink mine just black, now — see my related post in the link “Just black, please.”
    Mike recently posted.."Just black, please."

  5. nick says:

    At home I drink both tea and plain coffee depending on my gastric mood. But when I’m out I always have coffee as I like a properly-made lattΓ©. And strangely enough, although I can’t stand instant coffee, I’m quite happy with teabags.
    nick recently posted..All due respect

  6. Grannymar says:

    As I type, I have a refreshing beaker of freshly boiled water at my side. It is also how I like to begin my day, but I will boil the full kettle full and drink all of it. Most days the freshly ground coffee is introduced after lunch, and I drink it black with one sugar. I have several cups of coffee for the remainder of the day interspersed with hot water or an apple in late afternoon. The apple seems to restore the blood sugar levels and satisfy the need for the usual coffee. Tea is not for me, I gave it up years ago.
    Grannymar recently posted..Dear Mary,

  7. tammyj says:

    what? the idea of no tea on the sceptered silver isle?
    that makes me sad.
    and i don’t even like tea! i just want the tea there for my romantic ideal of both england and india.
    so drink your tea rummy and i will breathe easier. and i will smile.
    tammyj recently posted..NEVER COULD

  8. Tea habit in India is just 200 years old. Smuggling of tea plant from China was punishable by death till some clever fellow found a way out !
    Koushik Sekhar recently posted..Temples as engines of economic, cultural and spritual growth

  9. Am myself a big tea fan, and can not think about ending a day without at least a couple of cups. Coffee … don’t mind it once in a while, but it definitely can not replace my daily cuppa. And yes, Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care with freshly grated ginger for me too πŸ™‚

  10. Big John says:

    “even in England” ! .. Blimey mate ! .. I think that there are more coffee shops than ‘fish and chip’ shops here in the UK, or even Indian restaurants come to that. πŸ˜‰
    I love my coffee, and have not drunk tea since my RAF days back in the 1950’s when it was rumoured that the ‘char’ served to us contained ‘bromide’ which was supposed to suppress our libidos ! πŸ™‚
    Big John recently posted..No posies from the peasants !

  11. wisewebwoman says:

    I’m with you on the coffee though extraordinarily fussy about my blends. Like rich and dark and powerful. Teabags are a positive crime. I loved Barry’s Gold tealeaves from Cork which my dad would ship/bring/supply me with for a nightly cuppa.
    Now I drink a decaff cappuccino at night made from my wonderful Krups. http://wisewebwoman.blogspot.ca/search?q=krups
    which does coffee anyway I want it. :))
    wisewebwoman recently posted..Status Update

  12. I’m afraid I don’t drink either — I’m a water drinker.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Quite a Day

  13. Looney says:

    You are reminding me of my great apostasy: My mom raised me on tea, but I converted to coffee in college.

    The greatest tragedy of the 21st century is the Starbucksification of coffee houses.

  14. Cathy in NZ says:

    My favourite is actually a hot chocolate made with steamed milk and a good Belgian chocolate – but not always “findable” because so many other things being added as a flavour or enhancer.

    My tastes of most things lately have taken a bit of a battering and currently I can manage one milky coffee in the morning, the occasional pot of tea – rest of the time chilled water…

    I quite like at time the chilled tea you can get but I still haven’t nailed how to make it so tasty at home…

    There are some tea/book cafes’ here, http://www.chapter.co.nz/ should link to one in Mt Eden, not sure if there are more anywhere…
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Legends abound

  15. Will Knott says:

    I’ll admit that a good hot chocolate (with chocolate chips, or melted chocolate in milk, not powered stuff) will beat tea when out…

    But… tea as served in many eateries is usually steaming pile of wet paper.

    Teabags are one of the most useful way of not getting a hard to clean teapot, but whenever I’ve made or been served tea made by putting a teabag in a cup of water, all I can taste is the paper of the teabag.

    Over ten years ago Lyons (of that Lyons) tried out instant tea on the Irish market… it flopped. It tasted of the paper of tea bag, not of tea. The fact that they somehow managed to replicate the part of the tea which wasn’t, well, tealeaf, says a lot about how tea got served.

    When made in a pot, the physics of convention and hydrostatics mean that the tea is brewed properly. I also don’t think I’m making that sentence up.

    When out, I get coffee. Unless the site serves tea in a pot (or offers self serve tea pots. I’ve even brought tea pots to work to make my tea there.

    • I now get what the tea bag taste is! Thank you for pointing out that simple mystery to be nothing more than carelessness. I am all for the occasional hot chocolate too. Nice and thick and preferably to be spooned into the mouth rather than drunk.

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