Every holiday when I go back home (aka India), I notice a new and upcoming trend rising. Even though it might be dead and buried in the western culture, it would start anew in India. It’s very easy to spot the crazy trends that travel across seas and continents to this mighty land and reside here for good. One moment you’ll see a long-legged beauty in cigarette pants and the next day she’ll be in boyfriend jeans. A business man would be paging his wife from the hotel lobby on a Monday and by Wednesday he’ll be having a chat with her from his Blackberry.
This holiday has been (healthy) different. The influence wasn’t from America, it was from the East. The passionate love for Green Tea. With my recent observation, I’ve come to realise the rapid change in the Indian lifestyle option. My pantry seems like the tea aisle of a grocery store. There are over 10 different flavours of herbal teas and five varieties of green tea. All the forceful visits to my neighbours’ and relatives’ houses, over the past 4 weeks, have left me in awe and surprise. Instead of forcing me to gulp down Pepsi and Sprite, I’m being offered a hot cup of Green Tea. Everyone is riding the new fad wagon with a lot of pride and flavour.
But this tea-fashion is not new. It was 4000 years ago when the Chinese started consuming this leafy drink. They drank tea under strange and unique circumstances; to celebrate weddings, to apologise to elders, a manner of showing respect and also a connecting bond between families. Over the years, the Chinese preserved their traditional customs and silently distributed their noodles and tea to the world. And this is how the tea culture gradually spread its wings. The Brits made their version of tea that tasted good with their massive breakfast – English Breakfast tea. Americans couldn’t get enough sweetness from their doughnuts and muffins – so they opted for the sweet Iced tea option. Brazilians got excited with their unpopular Yerba maté tea. And Indians added all the herbs and spices, present on the kitchen counter, to the pot of boiling water.
Newspapers, fashion magazines, celebrity fitness-secret interviews, blogs – everything is overflowing with endless rambling of Green tea’s health benefits. And all of them chant the same mantra:
Green Tea will prevent all kinds of cancer, help lose weight, live longer, quit smoking, improve sex life better, clear up acne, boost concentration and curb appetite.
This fad hasn’t just stopped there. It has moved on to the ice cream, coffee, chocolate, food industry as well.
Starbucks introduced a Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Creme which looks like guacamole in a cup.
I once ordered this rich in antioxident, high in Vitamin-blah, all-natural, no preservative, Dark Green Tea chocolate. It tasted like solidified flavoured water.
When Haagen Dazs came out with this new Green Tea flavour, I had taken a pledge that wouldn’t try it. Not only do the heath benefits of tea go flying out of the window, but by trying this flavour, i would get a reason to start disliking ice-cream.
Call me old fashioned or boring, but I like my green tea as a cup of tea only. Fancy shmancy products don’t lure me. But I was a fad-victim. Only because Cameron Diaz had Green Tea after every meal, I started it too. But we all need inspiration from somewhere, right?