Imagine I land up in Dibrugarh and ended up asking for coffee. I could have shot myself as soon as I tasted the Nescafe. Here I am in the middle of tea country and all I could think of was coffee??????????
Anyway, I recvovered and quickly went on a chai tour. Since this is not a touristy place most of the joints are dhabas or street stalls. However having lived with the beverage for over a 100 years they surely know the right mix of ingredients. The milk was just right and no spices.
In Delhi, most of the time the tea you get has too much milk and a huge dose of cardamoms. The only version I like is when they put lots of adrak. Here in Dibrugarh whenever I asked for masala chai, I got a firm no. If you want the real thing, they seemed to say, have it our way.
Of course for most people here the real thing is the bitter liquer version - lal cha. They keep having it all day long from small glasses. Aparently helps us cool the body. Whatever. Anything as long as it is chai.