“If you are cold, tea will warm you, if you are heated, it will cool you,” remarked William Ewart Gladstone, the 19th former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Sipping a hot cup of thick, milky, sugary 'chai' while temperatures soar to record highs is probably the last thing on most people's minds.
However, in a country which runs on tea, connoisseurs are willing to try a range of exotic brews that cool and rejuvenate the body
Brewed from dried petals of the blazing red rhododendron flowers - which bloom from late March to May across the cool hills of the Himalayan region - Buransh chai is known for its anti-inflammatory properties along with aiding in digestion, fighting allergies and improving lung health.
Hand-picked rhododendrons are dried in the sun and boiled in water with a pinch of sugar. Before filtering and serving, basil leaves and green tea are added to enhance the taste and texture.
Buransh chai is a refreshing cold or hot beverage that may be enjoyed at any time of day. Fruity iced teas, like this 'flowery' combination, are attracting the attention of tea drinkers this summer. Apple and grape iced teas, in particular, are high in antioxidants.
Iced teas are made by seasoning tea leaves in chilly water for a few hours, allowing the water to absorb flavours. This process eliminates any mouthfeel bitterness, giving the blend a smooth taste and making it a great alternative to aerated beverages.
Fresh blends are progressively becoming the beverage of choice for tea lovers, especially millennials, who are ready to experiment and evolve with exotic, seasonal, and local brews, in a tea-drinking nation where per capita consumption is around 750 grammes per year.