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.