Ayyo, Amma, Mama, Maami, tea is national drink?

B.S.NAGARAJ writes from Bangalore: Planning commission deputy chairman Padma Vibhushan Montek Singh Ahluwalia has declared that tea would be accorded national drink status next year.

Those native to the south of the Vindhyas may ask why tea, and why not coffee?

Or, maybe, a Kashmiri may say why not kehwa?

In a country where dietary and culinary diversity is of continental proportions, is it fair to simply zero in on a particular beverage and link it to nationhood? Especially when India has had its share of bitter disputes over so-called national symbols like language. Hindi’s imposition on non-Hindi speaking states still ruffles feathers among many Indians.

Proponents of tea may say a majority — according to Ahluwalia, 83% — of Indians prefer the brew over everything else. But are numbers sufficient reason to do what Ahluwalia is seeking to do?

By that argument, should we declare roti or tandoori chicken as a national dish?

Ironically, Ahluwalia’s announcement has been welcomed by tea growers in the Niligiris. But will they dare go to Madras’s Mylapore and ask the mamas and maamis to give up their kaapi and take to tea?

Or go to Bangalore’s Basavanagudi with their campaign?

We haven’t heard a response from the Coffee Days and Baristas so far. Wondering if V.G.Siddhartha will use his pop-in-law S.M.Krishna‘s influence to stop Ahluwalia in his tracks.

Also read: If it works for the young man, it sure works for us

How a chief minister should drink tea. (Or not?)

Who’s to say filter coffee OK, Starbucks yaake?

When coffee-tasting gets a whole new meaning

Look, who’s ordering by-two coffee at Wipro

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17 Responses to “Ayyo, Amma, Mama, Maami, tea is national drink?”

  1. Vikram Rathore Says:

    Why are you so chauvinistic? Recently, Masal Dosa was declaared to be the national dish of India. People all over India voted. Stop thinking about North and South – it only shows off your insecurity. The whole world loves Soth Indian food – so chill it.

  2. Srikanta Says:

    Chinese, English drink Tea; Northies drink Chai; Chai all nutrients get neutralized; Coffee is addictive and is a stimulant; Too much bad;

    Malnad Kashaya; Somarus;

    Good.

  3. Kitapati Says:

    What the hell is a national drink. And what would be done after declaring it as a national drink. Will tea be subsidized?

  4. Amit M Says:

    And of course, by making coffee the National, State or City Drink of Bangalore would automatically solve all Bangalore’s problems. Sometimes I wonder if Churmuri’s only USP is raking up “North vs. South” sentiments.

  5. vaidya Says:

    Farmers:There’s no rain, crops failed, debts have gone high.. dying seems easier…what do we do?
    Children: 42% of us are undernourished…Can you ensure food for us please?

    Montek: Hmm dunno, might need to ask Didi…but hey, have some tea! It’s the national drink!!

    Also, for polls please include an option “Should we even care?”

  6. Dr. K. Javeed nayeem, MD Says:

    I do not think the percentage of tea drinkers in India is as high as 83. I can say this with confidence since I happen to be a coffee grower and a tea drinker too! This can be bore out by the statistics of the sale of tea versus coffee which are in fact the only two significant contenders for the title. But there is nothing wrong in designating tea as our national drink since the percentage of tea drinkers is certainly more than coffee drinkers. But has anyone taken into consideration the number of alcohol imbibers while deciding on the title?

  7. Rohith Says:

    Now I dont even feel like drinking my morning tea!

  8. K.Nalla Tambi Says:

    Coffee 15.3.08

    Inside the cherries of an evergreen plant is the coffee bean. This bean
    is roasted and ground , mixed with hot water and filtered, this concentrate
    mixed with sugar and milk sometimes or without milk to make one of the
    world’s renowned and cherished drink called coffee.

    Traveled from Ethiopia via Arabic countries to Western world and to
    Asia. While traveling the world it has taken various flavours. Today
    coffee is prepared in different tastes. A weak or strong Filter coffee
    with or without milk and sugar, Cappuccino with a frothy cream on
    the top, Black coffee with lemon and sugar, Espresso coffee , Mocha
    coffee, liquor mixed Jamaican coffee, Irish Coffee, Brazilian coffee,
    chocolatey Gautamalan coffee ,Turkish coffee, spicy Indonesian coffee,
    and cold coffee just to name a few concoction of this decoction.

    Whatever is the coffee it has been well accepted by large population of the
    world. It is the highest commercial export next to oil . Thanks to coffee shops
    which made coffee popular. People sit and chat over a cup of coffee talking
    intimate and sweet nothings, politics, gossips, philosophy ,film, poetry.
    Many love has been brewed in cafés over a cup of coffee. Watch coffee can
    do lot of things.

    Coffee begins from the moment you are awake from the bed , coffee with
    breakfast as a stimulant , mid morning coffee in working place for energy,
    an evening coffee to relax , coffee after dinner as digestive.

    The best coffee in my opinion is the freshly roasted ground bean , mixed with
    hot water, filtered and mixed with medium thick milk and with the right proportion
    of sugar. The taste should be neither bitter nor sweet and have the fresh aroma of
    coffee which should linger in the air, enter the nostrils and fill the chest.

    I like coffee – one in the morning along with newspaper, coffee along with
    breakfast especially on a leisurely Sunday morning , mid morning coffee
    in working place and one in the evening.

    Anytime a cup of hot coffee with an intimate friend in a cozy corner of a café
    will add warmth to life. Try once , you will become an addict not only to coffee
    but to this thought also.

  9. A Journalist Says:

    Tea is a poor man’s drink! Even in Coffee drinking and growing areas like Chikmagalur, Hassan, Kodagu and parts of Shimoga (where Coffee is a minor crop) labourers drink Tea.

    Drinking Cofee is still considered a status symbol.

    But, I am all for Coffee!!

  10. asha Says:

    Since we have more crows than peacocks, let us also change the national bird from peacock to crow, since we are basing these decisions on numbers.

  11. asha Says:

    Coffee is more stimulating than tea, any day…You are not really awake in the morning till you have a cup of hot filtered coffee….on what basis was this decision made…was there a poll of some kind or is it one of those whimsical decisions the likes of Montek Singh make everyday…

  12. M Says:

    What about other NATIONAL items:

    1.Rice or Wheat ?

    2. Idly or Masala Dosa?

    3. KF Stong or Haywards’ 5000?

    4. Cow’s milk or Buffalo’s milk?

    5. Sugar or Jaggery as sweetener?

    6. Cong or BJP?

  13. EmptyMind Says:

    What is the national scam?
    Who is national idiot?
    Who is national baby?? Yeh, Amul’s one??
    And who is National puppet????

    @asha
    Madam, Do not insult our holy crow. It is natural scavenger, only doing its duty assigned by Mother Nature without seeking any rewards in return unlike our nationalist jokers who are always in delusion of one nation one culture, spoiling everything they touch and seeking secret reward in return!!

  14. chidu22 Says:

    Cha any day, more cultured drink compared to coffee. Coffee is gimmickry,as proved by one madras fella here. National drink ?,My vote is for tea.

  15. rohithbr Says:

    @Vikram Rathore – what do you mean insecure?
    Yes, that insecurity is not invalid, especially given the amount of mythical “national” shit that has been imposed by a predominantly northy union govt. on south indians. Talk about how many common men still take the myth of hindi being national language as fact. Now who’s Montek or anyone to declare tea a national drink? And why must he do so? Is drinking a cup of tea going to be any different after it gets declared national? I only hope all other drinks dont get erased from our map after this move, like what the union govt. is trying to do with our languages.

  16. Nastika Says:

    Coffee lobby is too strong. This won’t happen. Montek Singh Ahluwalia is trying to ‘make’ something out of nothing in his spare time.

    ~*~

  17. Kennedy Says:

    Either tea or coffee…they are good. Beer too!

    I am fine as long as the Centre stops imposing Hindi as a ‘national’ language even though we have more than half a dozen national languages. With all due respects to Hindi. One of the stupid things I have seen at a Bank Head Office in Bangalore is a black board next to the reception written ‘Hindi day of the word’. Why spend money on this? Let people decide what they want to learn.

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