Sunday, January 20, 2013

One Cutting Chai

I cannot say with credibility about the origin of Cutting Chai but I believe that Mumbai is one place where this concept has originated or so has the lingo. So what is Cutting Chai? Well, Chai meaning tea, when served in small portion becomes 'cutting' tea. Literally, like cutting into smaller portions.

A cutting chai as called on Mumbai streets
A Cutting Chai. 

Cutting Chai is, I believe, one of the measures of inflation for us common folks. How, you might ask. Its the least your have to spend to eat or drink something when you are out of your house. Tea, a favorite hot beverage that  is consumed by most Indians is a morning necessity and a fuel to make you stay focused through the day. As of date, a cutting chai costs between 5 to 6 rupees for a glass. There was a time when it was available for 2-2.5 rupees and the quantity was way better. Now a days there are some tea stalls that still serve a rupee 2 chai but the portions will make a tequila shot glass look like a beer mug.

Take a break. Chai time.
Taking a break! 

Street Chai in Mumbai has the specialty of having ginger added to it, along with tea granules and milk. Of course, I mentioned tea granules because the the tea used is CTC (Crish, Tear and Curl) tea. So, whenever you are in this city, do try out the Mumbai Chai or Cutting Chai. I would like to caution you to use plastic cups and not glass for hygiene related reasons (These are street vendors serving at an average 10-20 cups a minute and water is a scarcity for their businss on streets.).