This city is a complete contrast to the fast-paced city of Mumbai. There is no rush, no panic; the scenic beauty, and the gorgeous architecture of the pre-independence era, Kolkata hasn’t changed much over the years, and neither has its Chai, brewing at its own pace.
The city of Joy, Kolkata, is the earliest known place for Chai to make its entry in India. Most of the people in Kolkata still buy their tea leaves from the local shops. At the local tea shops, you will find Chai aficionados instructing shopkeepers with the favorite ingredients. A 50 gms of orthodox Darjeeling tea, 100 gms of CTC tea leaves, along with few strands of Saffron, is common to see people making their blend in the local shops. People in Kolkata consume Chai sweet.
A walk around the street gets filled with an inescapable aroma of tea leaves simmering in water, milk, sugar, and Kesar (Saffron), inviting you miles far away from the stall, the magic that it’s impossible not to sip the bhaar Cha (Chai in earthen cups). The stalls on Elgin Road, Camac Street, and Central Avenue bring vibrancy with mouth-watering Puchkas (Indian spiced water balls), Jalmuri (Puffed rice with an assortment of spices), and luscious Kathi rolls, (Indian chapati bread rolled with seasoned meat or vegetables), the food binge usually ends with a hot cup of Chai, at Adda. An Adda is a day-to-day meeting place, synonyms to the vibe of Kolkata. A phone call with ‘Chol cha khete ai’– (Let’s go for a cup of tea), heard commonly across there. At Addas, the conversation takes many forms. The latest play at Nandan theatre, Mouhan Bagan and East Bengal football match, the editorial column from Telegraph, the topics are endless. Some lie on the grass and tune their guitar while some find a new chapter to explore or meditate.
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