Matka Chai is any tea served in terracotta cup. Simple though it seems, It is a must have experience if you are a fan of Tea. In most parts of the world, Tea is served in ceramic cups & Saucers. A smaller share of the tea lovers enjoy drinking from glass cups. But here in certain rural parts of India, you get Matka Chai.
The Preparation of Matka Chai
The Matka is made just like most other unglazed terracotta, using the pottery wheel and then baked in a kiln to perfection. But I’m gonna talk about the preparation of the Matka just before serving the chai. Given the porous nature of the material, if chai is poured in, the chai will be sucked Into the pores and so the volume you get to drink will be reduced, although not very substantially.
To prevent this, the matka is bathed in hot water steam. This also makes the matka warm and comfortable to touch.
From Serving to first sip
The Reddish Brown colour of the terracotta compliments the colour of chai be it with milk or be it black. The design is a hybrid of British tea cup where the bottom has a throat which sits on a saucer, but without the handle and a regular cup with a groove near the rim for your fingers to hold the slightly rough yet smooth texture of the Matka.
As I bring it up near the lips, The aroma hits the nostrils. But that is not the usual strength, It seems intensified. It’s not just me, I asked a couple of friends to make sure what i feel is not psychological. It really does gives a boost in the aroma.
To be frank, I normally prefer Coffee to Chai but I have to say, I’d prefer Matka Chai over Coffee any day after having this experience. Even the taste seems to be intense. The lower lips brushing the teracotta gives a bland appeal but with the hot chai flowing , it is indeed a tasteful experience. The Matka seemed to hold warmth longer than most of the glass and plastic cups although I think not as much as a glazed ceramic cup would hold.
When the cup was drained , i looked for the waste basket and the thought hit me, Is it really disposable? Although, Terracotta is recyclable, throwing it away seemed a bit sad for me. Next time you get a chance to drink Matka Chai, do not waste it. It may look like a mini pot but it is way better than anything else you can serve chai in. Enjoy your sip.