Is baking soda added in Noon chai? Read my blog and through 10 points rest your query if baking soda is added to the tea in reality or it is just a myth.
I am a passionate tea blogger and love the drink like my life. I also run my own cafe in Kolkata city and apart from brewing tea-related topics, I am soon going to open my own label to take my love for the drink to new heights.
Is Baking Soda Added In Noon Chai-10 Debatable Questions Answered With Logical Explanations
Kashmiri tea is a beverage that is made up of ingredients like milk, spices, water, salt, a special kind of tea leaves, and baking soda. The question that you need to ask yourself is, “why is the soda used in the drink and what happens if one doesn’t use it?” The mentioned doubts are just examples of what would be discussed in this blog. So, let us read the blog and unmask the factors worth knowing.
1. What Is Baking Soda That Is So Widely Used To Make The Tea?
Let us begin unrevealing the facts by learning what baking soda is.
Baking soda is a natural leavening agent that is used in batter-based ingredients like bread, Indian pancakes, etc. It is called Sodium Bicarbonate and is what makes foods like cookies, cakes, breads rise. In other words, this is a common baking ingredient. The absence or incorrect usage will hinder the fluffing or rising process as is required in certain food items. Now, why do the Kashmiris use it in their tea is what we will learn as we move ahead.
2. Why Is The Soda Used In The Tea?
This is my third blog in the Kashmiri pink chai series and I urge you to read my previous blogs so you can understand this blog better. Since this has been covered and I am attaching the link here for easy reference and request you to read my blog Why is Sheer Chai pink to discover 19 vibrant reasons that will make you contemplate.
Tea leaves on coming in contact with the soda changes the liquid’s color to a brownish or reddish tinge. The soda further stops the leaves from drying out by acting as a catalyst or protector. Now, when other ingredients like milk, salt, and spices are added the liquid adorns a pink color. This is why baking soda forms a vital part of the tea.
3. How Much Soda Should Be Used?
The usage of the correct amount can make or break the tea and so, it is important to keep the correct quantity in mind.
I generally add a pinch of baking soda to my beverage though this depends on the quantity or number of cups you have to make. In other words, the ratio should be in proportion to the water and amount of tea leaves used. Many people add more soda to the liquid in the hope that this would make the tea turn pink. However, is this the right practice? Read my blog Why is your Kashmiri chai not turning pink and learn 12 easily avoidable goof-ups.
4. What Happens If The Ratio Of The Soda Is Wrong?
The proof of the pudding is in the eating and the same can be said about adding the right amount of soda to your Kashmiri drink. So, let us weigh the cons that are a result of not adding the specified amount.
We know that soda safeguards the loose tea leaves from drying out when exposed to hot water and when it comes in contact with a green color pigment called “Chlorophyll”, it caused the leaves to bleed red so that the hot liquid adorns a brownish reddish hue. Now, a pinch of soda is the ideal quantity and adding more than the desired quantity will only ruin the drink by making it bitter. This is why you should be cautious of the amount of baking soda that is supposed to be used.
5. I Don’t Wish To Add The Soda To My Tea, What Are The Consequences I Might Have To Face?
Let us now see what happens if we don’t add the soda to the tea.
I have mentioned quite a few times now that soda protects the tea leaves from over-boiling or drying. Whenever tea leaves are over-boiled, they release tannins in the hot liquid and this accounts for a bitter tea. I am sure this is something that you would not want for we would hate to drink a bitter-tasting drink. Also, the tea will not turn into an aesthetically appealing pink color. These are the outcome of not adding soda to the tea.
6. When Should You Add The Soda?
If you are confused about when to add the soda or have no clue, read on and find out the right time.
After you have added the tea leaves to hot water and the liquid has adorned a reddish hue or color is the right time to add the baking soda and a pinch will do its job. Now, you will have to add ice-cold water too as this is another crucial aspect of making the tea turn pink. However, be watchful of the time as this goes a long way in turning the tea pink.
7. Can Kashmiri Tea Be Made Without Baking Soda?
Soda forms an essential part of making the tea but, can it be made without the soda? Let us see the fact below.
I once tried making the drink by omitting the soda and let me tell you the wait for the beverage to turn pink wasn’t easy. Off-handedly, I must have spent approximately 40 minutes near the stove waiting for the drink to turn pink. Did the beverage get the pleasing pink color? That day I learned the importance of baking soda in Sheer chai the hard way though. Now, if you want to learn from my experience, I highly suggest you pay heed to baking soda and its quantity so that you do not loose precious time.
8. Can Baking Powder Be Used Instead Of Baking Soda To Make The Tea?
Before I answer this, let us understand the basic difference between the two ingredients. Baking soda relies on acid and liquid to make baked goods rise. Baking powder on the other hand only needs a liquid base in order to work. This is the basic difference by which you can tell them apart. Now, let us see if the latter ie, baking powder can be used in Noon chai.
As discussed above and in my previous blogs about Kashmiri tea, I hope you know how baking soda works? Thus, based on the previously mentioned reasonings, we can rightfully say that baking powder cannot be used in the place of baking soda. The soda is solely responsible for making the liquid adorn a pinkish tinge or color that makes the tea stand out.
9. Is Baking Soda Alone Responsible For The Tea’s Delightful Pink Color?
I hope by now you know how and why the drink gets its appealing color. Let us examine yet another important fact, which is is the soda the only contributing agent that adds to the drink’s color?
Baking soda is the catalyst or the binding factor that protects the loose tea leaves from losing moisture, preventing it from drying. So, yes if you want to create the pink magic sodium bicarbonate cannot be ruled out. Milk and spices are the last additions that will make the tea dark pink.
10. Can Sodium Bicarbonate Help To Revive The Leaves Lost Moisture?
The last point that I would like to discuss is if baking soda can retain the leaves’ lost moisture.
I am afraid that the soda will not help you get back the lost moisture. I am sharing a trick I learned at my cafe. Infuse the tea leaves in boiling water and let them steep for some time for 5 minutes. Then transfer the leaves in a pot filled with ice-cold water(a trick my mom had taught me) so that the change in temperatures will not affect the leaves. Leave it for some time so that you can get maximum flavor from the liquid. Let me also tell you that the liquid is can be consumed easily with its slight aromatics.
This concludes my blog and I hope I was able to clear the air regarding the usage of baking soda in Noon chai. If you have any questions or would like to share something, do drop them in the comments box below and I will be happy to answer them. I love to write about topics that cater to tea and which is updated quite often. So, to read them all you have to do is visit my website and sign up for my newsletter. You will find this option in the About section on the homepage of my site. All you need to do, is enter the required information or credentials and stay up to date with new published blogs.
Hi. I’m Sneha. Each day, I brew, relish, study and sell tea in my Cafe based out of Kolkata, India. My current blog, ‘Sipper Sneha’ is an expansion of my real life love for tea into an online space for all dedicated Tea enthusiasts.