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I once went to an event where they offered pink tea. At that time I was around 8 years old and used to hate tea.

However, I loved that pink tea but unfortunately didn't have a chance to drink it after that event. Can someone tell me any differences between pink tea and other types of tea - e.g., nutrition, taste-wise (as I have met people who love tea but hate pink tea), etc.?

Also, what is the method of preparation for pink tea? I want to make for my work mates at office :)

21

It's hard to know exactly what you're referring to without any context of the event, location, or what you remember it tasting like, so I'll give you my best educated guesses.

  1. If your pink tea sweet and fruity or floral, it was an herbal tea - tisane, and not true tea. ("Tea" actually refers to the plant whose leaves are used the beverage. Anything that is not made from the tea tree is usually called a tisane.) Some varieties of tisanes that produce a pink liquid include hibiscus, rose petals, rose hips, strawberry.
  2. If the above is not the case, I suspect you're referring to Kashmiri pink tea, sometimes called noon chai.

Disclaimer: I can't find any authoritative sources about Kashmiri online; my knowledge of the subject is anecdotal from my own travels in India as well as stories from people I know who have lived or traveled in South Asia. My understanding is that, like masala chai throughout South Asia, pink tea has some general guidelines but everyone customizes it according to taste or local custom.

The basic distinguishing factors of Kashmiri pink tea compared to a "regular" black, green, oolong, or white tea are twofold: color and taste. As you mentioned, this tea is pink in color, which other beverages made from the tea tree are not. The pink color comes from the addition of baking soda. As for taste, pink tea tends to elicit mixed opinions about taste because it is salty; most people around the world typically drink tea unadulterated, or sweetened, but rarely with the addition of salt.

Pink tea shares many ingredients with masala chai, often including some or all of the following:

  • Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Peppercorns
  • Milk or cream
  • Sugar (or other sweetener)

Unlike masala chai, which is normally prepared with black tea, Kashmiri pink tea uses green or oolong tea leaves.

Ingredients included in Kashmiri chai that are not included in most other chai recipes:

  • baking soda (just a pinch)
  • ground pistachios and/or almonds
  • salt
  • white poppy seeds

The final major difference is in the method of preparation. Masala chai can be made in a matter of minutes by boiling the water, then adding tea, milk, spices and boiling it all together for a few minutes before straining and serving. Kashmiri chai, on the other hand, takes 1-2 hours to prepare (I believe the long boiling time is required for the baking soda to accomplish its task of turning the tea pink). I don't know the exact process and couldn't find any sources that seemed reliable.

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Pink tea is an alternative name we use for kashmiri chai in Pakistan. There are many different ways to prepare it but I'll state the most common one that I have grown up learning:

First fill a slightly big pot or sauce pan with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons full of green or oolong leaves along with 1 or 2 crushed cardamom pods, pinch of fennel seeds, a cinnamon stick and 1 star anise.
Bring the tea to boil and then cover it on medium heat. Let it cook until half of the water has evaporated.
Remove from heat. Add a glass of cold water and start beating the tea until it becomes pink and foamy.
Put it back on the heat, bring to a boil and strain it.

Add some milk, salt or sugar according to your taste and likeness. Sprinkle some crushed almonds and pistachios with a bit of cream on each cup before serving the tea hot.

This tea is a favorite in winter times and is often consumed for breakfast with bakarkhani. You can also find it being served in common roadside tea stalls in Punjab, khyber pakhtoon khuwan and other provinces of Pakistan.
Winter weddings usually end with this amazing hot beverage being served after the dinner.

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green tea is the slightly yellow slightly greenish mixture or concoction that is good for health. pink kashmiri tea is very common in the northern subcontinent and especially in punjab and khyber pukhtunkhwa provinces of pakistan. it is very very delicious and tastes salty and slightly proteinceous. you can consume it with bakarkhanis or phiyonian and even naan bread.

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