What is a Chaiwallah or Chaiwalli?
Learn more about Chaiwallah
“Garam Chai! Garam Chai!"
If you’ve ever walked the streets of India, you’ve probably heard this ubiquitous chant from the local Chaiwallah as he serves up fresh, hot chai that he’s been brewing all day at his street kiosk.
What is a Chaiwallah, you ask?
The answer to the Chaiwallah meaning is simple: a Chaiwallah (Chai meaning tea and Wallah meaning seller or maker) is the masculine noun for the person selling you that delicious brew. Chaiwalli, on the flip side, is the feminine noun.
What’s really fascinating is that every Chaiwallah and Chaiwalli has their own unique, family chai recipe that’s probably passed down generations. In the north, you might notice the sweet fragrance of fennel in your chai. In the west, expect the fresh zing of ginger; while in the south, chai might be made with a few pods of cardamom, or possibly no spices at all.
So no matter where you go, expect nothing but the absolute best from the local Chaiwallah. Meaning, regardless of each individual Chaiwallah’s approach, they never skimp on flavor.
That’s probably because they fully understand the role they play within their community. Chaiwallahs and Chaiwallis are like the social fabric that binds everyone together — and they’re always there when you need them: The first stop on your way to work; the pick-me-up in the middle of the day; or the soothing cup of comfort that makes bad days just a little bit better.
The Chaiwallah, by definition, is like your best friend. They give you room to vent or share all your latest success stories. If you’ve traveled to Italy, you’ve seen the tiny espresso shops; Chaiwallahs are the proud baristas of India.
The best part? You can find them almost anywhere.
Chaiwallahs and Chaiwallis are found at train stations, temples, and busy corners around town. And they’re easy to spot, too. They have carts and kiosks and normally operate without any helpers.
It’s usually just them and their large pot, open fire, strainer, and a stack of plastic cups. Some even provide Kulhads. They’re made of clay, have no handles, and are smashed after using them. They give your chai an earthy flavor, and for many chai connoisseurs, it is the only way to enjoy a cup!
At CHAI.COM, we want to empower you to unleash your inner Chaiwallah or Chaiwalli and brew a fresh pot of garam chai for anyone who comes knocking at your door. All you need is hot water, hot milk, our delicious masala chai mixes, and an open heart!
That is the Chaiwallah and Chaiwalli way!