Why do Indians use Kulhads or Clay Cups to drink chai
Everything, from neighbourly gossip to intense political discussions happens over a cup of tea which explains how chai transcends all boundaries. It has always been an integral part of Indian households, so much that the talk of the fascinating kulhad chai (the tea you get in clay cups) is nothing new for the general populace. For anyone who is not familiar with this household Hindi term; Kulhad cups translates to clay terracotta cups. And it would come as no surprise to you that Indians love how a Kulhad imparts an earthy aroma to their beloved beverage, tea.
The traditional Kulhads not only provide a rich earthiness to the chai but also serve as a hygienic and Eco-friendly alternative to plastic as well as glass tumblers. This is partly a reason why they are making a major comeback amongst the Indians with the green revolution gaining momentum. But majorly, it is the earthy feel and scent which allows one to truly relish a hot cup of comforting tea in a totally unique and rustic way.
Given how ubiquitous a cup of chai is across India, switching to a ‘greener’ option is the best pick. This humble clay cup is 100% biodegradable and eliminates any threat to the environment with the compost that can be disposed of. Also, another positive aspect of teacups and kulhads is that they are meant for one-time use only, so you can rest assured that they are free of any bacterias or germs and do not carry any artificial colour or harmful chemicals at all times. It is this characteristic of a clay pot which makes it the safest utensil to drink tea at the nearby restaurant and even the roadside stalls.
Another fact about kulhads is that they are produced under very high-temperature conditions in the setup of firing kin, which amply sterilizes each clay pot, making them the most hygienic option for use. Kulhad cups are also naturally high in alkaline which helps in bringing down the acidic nature of your body - after all, a body in an alkaline state is in a potentially stronger spot and less likely to suffer from any kind of chronic diseases. These healthier clay cups or kulhads are not only good for the planet, but also good for you!
Minus the environmental hazards associated with the use of plastic cups, kulhads also offer an opportunity of livelihood to the spread of potters of the rural parts of India who solely rely on the sale of their handmade earthenware to earn a living for themselves and their family. Among all the traditional Indian crockery, Kulhads continue to be the most popular of them and is majorly responsible to keep the flame of the cottage industry of pottery alight in the country. And it is safe to say, by opting a kulhad over your regular glass made cups, you will be doing your bit to support the local industries of India and prevent the culture of pottery from drying out.
So, treasure a tradition with fancy kulhad cups and enjoy the sharp coolness of an authentic chai while relishing the earthy aroma of the earthen pot.