Chai (or Tea) is a common beverage consumed by almost everyone in Pakistani households globally. We drink that stuff up several times daily. It’s the default thing to drink at breakfast, at work around mid-morning, late in the afternoon (after the Asar prayer) and some even drink it after dinner. Chai is not just an individual thing but it’s actually more of a social habit. The entire family usually has coffee around the same. At the office, the entire department has coffee served around the same time.
Chai is the beverage of choice everywhere instead of coffee. The chai that is preferred is served hot. With sugar and milk. We normally don’t drink the iced-tea unless it is really hot out and the need for chai arises as well as something to cool with. Even then, the normal thing to do is drink some water then drink hot tea with biscuits or something fried (like Samosas). Therefore, aside milk and sugar itself, there are a lot of calories packed in the extras that go with the Chai. Chai is almost a meal in itself.
Chai becomes an addiction of sorts because it contains quite a bit of caffeine and the kick your body gets from drinking tea becomes the pickup we need in the mornings or afternoons. Meals seem incomplete if Chai is not served. There is that feeling of something missing and not quite right. I guess the feeling is exactly like coffee for those that drink coffee. The caffeine helps people stay hooked to Chai for life.
Guests usually get asked if they’d like Chai or Thanda (something cold, such as a soft drink). And, they usually prefer Chai over all the Thanda you can think of. Except for some people. Those that don’t drink tea are considered incredibly odd. Why ever would you not drink chai, in your right mind? Just sayin’.