Chai Talk

Sunday, January 8

Location: Brahman Restaurant, Allapuzah (Alappi), Kerala
Rating: **/5

It literally took us days to get to Kerala which only heightened my anticipation for some South Indian Chai. Between Hampi to Allapuzah was one of the longest trips I've taken in India. Despite the short distance we ended up getting messed around by travel agents, spending the night in some small town, and practically killing people to get onto a bus that was standing room only.

Buses in India truly redefine the term mass transit. The bus that we took from some small town,. I don't know how to spell the name, to Cochi was actually very comfortable however at the first stop hundreds of pounds of steel grates were loaded onto the roof. While it was impressive to watch the men climb to the top of the bus with obviously very heavy piles of metal on their heads, once we were on the road again it was quickly clear that we were over loaded. Every bump in the road, and there are many, combined with the buses suspension to create a kind of amusement park ride sending the bus on an up and down roller coaster for at least 10 seconds. A speed bump along the way caused the entire bus to bottom out on the road for two bounces which I'm sure sent sparks flying at the car behind us. When we got to Cochi we were stuck in the Saturday night rush at the bus station. After not managing to cram onto the first two buses Mads noticed that everyone was getting on the buses at the back of the station where they filled with gas. We ran back and jumped into the moving bus and made our way to the back where there was a little room to stand. Dripping in sweat we stumbled of the packed bus, finally in Allapuzah.

I tell this story to explain how badly I needed a relaxing chai for breakfast the next morning. We asked a rickshaw driver to take us to a nice restaurant and ended up at the nice looking Brahman. The masala chai came quickly however on first sip I knew it would not satisfy. While the mixture of tea and milk highly favoured the tea as I enjoy and expected in the south, the masala mix did not have the same rich flavour I have come to expect. The tea was spiced heavily with cloves giving a bitter wooden taste. The addition of nutmeg and cinnamon could have salvaged the chai but sadly there were none in the masala mix they used. Luckily my fresh pineapple juice was delicious and saved the experience. Hopefully I can get a better masala chai on the house boat we plan to take tomorrow.
nicholas, 1:32 AM


The chai in the east is better. I think i averaged about 11 cups a was that good.

Do I have a problem?
Blogger kent, at 5:14 PM  

Add a comment