“Bilkul Cutting chai!”- a tea culture
A young man watches the clock finally tick to 5PM. He breathes a sigh of relief thinking to himself ‘another day done and dusted’. He walks out his office (more like his second home) to the busy main road. He sees his daily tea stop in the distance. “Bhai, ek cutting chai” he calls out to the chai walla. The chai walla hands him his tea glass. He carefully holding onto his glass of piping hot chai, constantly blowing away the vapors that emerge. “Bilkul Cutting chai!”
This strong shot of chai served in glass tumblers is famous of the streets of Mumbai, India. ‘Cutting chai’ literally, means one glass of chai (tea) being ‘cut’ into half glasses. The tea is a blend infusing grated ginger and powdered cardamom in boiling water with black tea. Only a half-cup of milk is added which makes for a strong cup.
The ‘cutting’ draws onto the drink being a social binder. In India, there exists a tea culture of one cup of chai being divided among a group of people, who come together to take a pause from the busyness that so constantly, inevitably surrounds them.