Why is sheer chai pink? If you have drunk or read about this variety of tea and want to understand the reason behind its attractive pink color. do read my blog and understand the science behind it with 19 rosy explanations.
I am a passionate Indian tea blogger, a tea enthusiast, and also run my cafe in Kolkata city. Now, apart from blogging, I plan to open my own tea label that will take my love for the beverage a step further.
Why Is Sheer Chai Pink: 19 Pinkish Hues That Tell A Tale Of A Blossoming Culture
Kashmiri tea speaks about the rich tea tradition of the region(Kashmir valley, India), and goes to showcase just how much Indians love their tea. Now, the pink color is what truly sets the tea apart and we shall learn about the science behind why the tea is pink in color. So, ready to find out?
1. Considering The Origin Of Kashmiri Tea
My parents have been to Kashmir and even drunk pink tea and I will quote a few lines in their words;” Pink tea is synonymous with Kashmiris as beer and Irish cream are for the Germans and Irish respectively. So, it is from them that I developed a liking for the beverage at an early age.
People will tell you that it originated in the Kashmir valley of the Indian subcontinent. But, very few would be able to tell you how the variety of tea came to the valley. The popular belief is that the tea came to the valley from Yarkand, Turkestan co-incidentally when Kashmir’s first Muslim sultan, Sadruddin Shah was embracing the religion under the eyes of Bulbul Shah who hailed from Kashgar, Turkestan.
2. Want To Know Why The Tea Is Called Pink Tea?
Let us unveil yet another curtain and discover why it is called sheer chai.
The tea’s pink color is a result of the ingredients used. Baking soda and salt are added to the tea at the time of preparation along with milk and spices. These when brewed correctly give the tea the desired pink color. So, the ingredients are the main reason behind the color of the tea.
3. Deciphering The Ingredients That Are Used To Make The Tea
The ingredients can make or break any food or beverage and the same logic stands for sheer chai. So, let us see what ingredients are used to make the tea.
To get the desired pink color in your tea, the usage of baking soda is highly suggested as a vital ingredient. It would also be worth mentioning that a pigment called”chlorophyll”(the same pigment found in leaves)along with baking soda, spices like cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, etc, adds a reddish tinge to the water at the time of boiling. Now, when milk is added to the hot liquid, the color changes from red to pink. Wait! Did I forget to mention salt? My bad, for this seasoning forms another crucial ingredient of the tea. So, I hope now you all about the ingredients that are used to make the tea.
4. Ever Given The Tea Leaves Credit?
The tea leaves are the most important yet the most taken for granted part of making tea. If the leaves aren’t of good quality, you will get a watery tea and this is a fact that I emphasize a lot in all my blogs. So, let’s focus on the tea leaves used.
I propose using Kashmiri tea leaves for an enriching experience. The leaves are quite similar to green tea leaves in terms of being minimally oxidized(drying). Now, it would also be interesting to know that the leaves are expensive as they can only be found & grown in Kasmir valley. Thus, this might be difficult to get easily but, this shouldn’t be a drawback for you and I suggest using Gunpowder tea as a substitute.
5. What Is The Best Time To Drink The Tea?
Tea is anytime, anywhere, and an all-season drink so I don’t see any time that it should be drunk. For me, tea is a reason to drink up, and if you want to know more reasons to love the drink, read my blog about 27 practical reasons to fall in love with tea.
I remember a Kashmiri customer telling me that there is no fixed time when the tea should be drunk. In fact, when in Kashmir, he used to drink the tea in the mornings, at his workplace, or at times even after his meal. I believe in things that are worth the testimonies and since this fact was shared by a native, I thought it certainly deserved to be mentioned. I would like to conclude this point by simpy saying, that there is no fixed time to drink the tea but, I would love to make a cup for me during the rainy and winter seasons.
6. So, How Or What Will I Gain On Drinking Sheer Chai?
Like tea, sheer chai too has its merits and this is what I will be talking about in detail.
Going by what my Kashmiri friends and occasional Kashmiri customers have to say, the tea is a refreshing drink during the summers and helps the body stay warm during the winter months. Apart from this, reducing stress, helps prevents bloating thus, keeping obesity in check, and preventing heartburn. The tea is beneficial for people suffering from diabetics as it is a great stress-buster too.
7. Want To Know The Traditional Way Tea Is Made?
You will find various videos or recipes that will guide you in making the tea. However, very few will focus on the orthodox way of making the tea. So, let us see how the tea is made in its traditional manner.
The tea leaves are brewed in a Samovar and I recommend approximately 20 minutes. After the leaves are boiled, add salt, spices, and baking soda. Now, add milk. Strain and serve. Now, if you want to know more about Samovar, read my blog about 13 stupendous reasons on how to brew tea without a teapot.
8. What Is The Taste Of Kashmiri Pink Tea
Let us talk about the awesome taste of Pink tea or Sheer chai.
If you are drinking the tea for the first time, its savory texture that is a result of the salt might trigger you on the wrong side. But, as you take a few sips, you will find yourself loving its rich, creamy, buttery, and savory taste. Sugar is not added to the tea but, if you feel the need to add some sweetness, I highly suggest brown sugar. Want to know why salt should be added to tea? Read my blog Can tea be salty and find the truth in 27 awesome pointers that deserve to be bookmarked.
9. Is There Caffeine In Sheer Chai?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that’s present in tea and coffee. This is what helps us stay awake and refreshes too. Let us check out the caffeine level of Kashmiri sheer chai.
The tea is made from green tea leaves and an average serving has 30 milligrams to 70 milligrams of caffeine. This makes it quite less in comparison with other varieties of tea. It might surprise you that the caffeine level varies from one tea leaf to the other. Moreover, the added spices, salt, baking soda, and milk also help in toning down the caffeine level further.
10. Why Has Sheer Chai Taken Patna City By Storm?
We know some awesome reasons why the tea is pink. But, did you know that the tea is a trend in Patna city? Read all about it below.
The tea was preferred during the holy month of Ramzan but, owing to its taste, the attractive pink color, its caffeine content, etc has made the tea a hit all year round. Also, the fact that the addition of sea salt or salt, spices, nuts like pistachios and almonds helps keep the body warm and hydrated during the winter & monsoon seasons is another meritorious reason that deserves a mention.
11. What Is Longrich Pink Tea & Why Should I Be Using It?
Let us now take a look at another trend that is catching up rather fast. Yes, I am talking about Longrich’s pink tea. Also, we will see why it should be used.
Longrich tea offers pink tea bags and sheer chai powder. Just dip a bag in hot water or empty a pack and your tea is ready. In other words, I would say this is nothing but a slimming supplement and is something I would never endorse. I have tried slimming or any food supplements myself and have seen their disastrous results on my body too, But, this is just my viewpoint. Now, the tea offers benefits like a flat tummy apart from being rich in antioxidants, and reduces stress. etc.
12. Side Effects Of Sheer Chai That Cannot Be Ignored
Too much of anything is bad and the same can be said about the tea in context So, let us learn about some disadvantages the tea has.
As per an article the writer has claimed that the valley of Jammu & Kashmir is high in gastric cancer. This may surprise you that the root cause of this disease is Sheer chai. One cannot deny the fact that the tea cannot be made without salt and baking soda. Now, the locals drink the tea throughout the day and which increases the blood sugar levels along with weakening the stomach’s lining are among some causes of concern.
13. Sheer Chai Is Known By Other Names Too
Let us now consider some names by which the tea is recognized as.
Sheer chai is known by other names. Kashmiri Pink tea(due to its pink color), Noon chai(the presence of noon has given it the name), Gulabi chai(its distinguishing pink color), Savory tea, Namkeen chai, and Kashmiri salted tea are some names that the tea is fondly called.
14. De-Bunking The Myth That The Tea Is Naturally Pink
Let us now break a myth that says Sheer chai is a naturally pink tea.
The pink color that sets the tea apart isn’t the result of any artificial or natural food coloring. It is in fact, a result of a pigment called “Chlorophyll” present in the tea leaves that reacts with baking soda when they are added to boiling water. The color so derived is a reddish hue. Now, with the addition of milk and spices, the tea gets its pink color. Also, the brew and correct way of making adds to the factor. I will also talk about what to do if the tea doesn’t turn pink in my next blog.
15. When Making A Sheer Chai Latte, What Can I Expect?
Chai latte is an Indian-origin drink that is often made by steeping black tea and hot water together along with spices. Milk is then added to it and is topped with sugar and whipped cream. Now, let us see if a sheer chai latte is pink too.
I hope by now you know why the tea is pink or how it gets its pink color. So, when you make or order a pink tea latte apart from its distinguished pink color, expect a sweet-tasting drink as whipped cream is added to it. Now, I would suggest garnishing it with nuts like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts. The mentioned nuts will add some crunchiness and also add the required salt, so you get the perfect balance of sweetness & crunchiness.
16. Did You Know That Sheer Chai Is A Preferred Drink During The Holy Month Of Ramzaan?
Ramzaan is a holy month in the Islamic calendar and the month of fasting too. Rozedars or people observing the fast prefer to open their fast with water and a sweet. However, pink tea is now a raging drink that is preferred during the month to open their fast.
The credit for this trend goes to Patna city in India where the drink gained popularity during the Holy month. The reason stated was that the sweet and savory taste of the tea is a perfect excuse. The tea can be paired with fruits, and dates(a fruit that is a must have to break the fast). Want to know how to pair tea and fruits together? Read my blog do fruits and tea go together and through 27 thoughtful pairings find out the trick to pair them correctly.
17. Considering The Reasons That have Made The Tea Popular
Let us know the reasons that have made the tea popular.
Apart from its pink color that is a stand-out, reasons like its unique taste that of a sweet and savory tea, usage of ingredients like salt, baking soda, and spices also deserve to be mentioned. Moreover, its benefits, being low on caffeine, the tea leaves that are used, etc are some note-worthy reasons that have made the tea immensely popular.
18. Considering The Gluten-Free Aspect Of The Tea
Let us see if the tea is gluten-free.
A typical serving of the tea is made from baking soda, salt, spices, green tea leaves, and milk. It is garnished with rose petals or with nuts like almonds, pistachios, etc. Thus, one can say that the tea is completely gluten-free and can be enjoyed even if you are gluten-intolerant.
19. Can Sheer Chai Be Vegan-Friendly
The last but crucial element & which cannot be neglected is the vegan-friendly nature of the tea.
The tea is usually made from the milk of lactating animals and cow’s milk tops the list. Now, Yak’s milk is very common in the valley that offers a rich, creamy, and buttery texture to the tea. However, if you are a Vega, you can use plant-based milk to make the tea without hampering its taste. I highly recommend soy milk as it is the closest to animal milk in terms of richness.
This concludes my blog and I hope I was able to answer questions regarding why is sheer chai pink along with some interesting facts. Do share your views on it and if you think you need to ask me something, feel free to drop them in the comments section below. I will be happy to answer them for you, Now, that’s not all in my tea blogs. I habe written quite a few blogs on your favorite drink and to read them you just need to visit my website.
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.