Amir Khusro, the poet, describes Kashmir as Gar Firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast” it means “ If there is paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here…”.
Even today, as we see pictures of Kashmir captured through the lens of various photographers, it looks like paradise, every traveller will vouch for it. The lush green meadows, the gently winding streams that merge into the Indus and Jhelum rives, the verdant forests which have watched the valley. The imposing Pir Panjal and Zabarwan range add to the landscape. Close your eyes and think of these elements and you will feel mesmerised by its visuals.
Kashmiris and Kahwa go hand in hand; the region experiences harsh weather which can leave you feeling rather lazy and frozen. Winter is the season when you enjoy a warm cup of tea, to keep you charged with energy.
Origin of Kashmiri Kahwa
There is no documentary evidence for the birth of Kahwa. An older generation of Kashmiris believes that Kahwa tea leaves came to Kashmir through the silk route. However, many locals believe that Kahwa originated from Yarkand valley (which is now in China) during the Kushan empire in the first or second century. The word “Kahwah” in Kashmiri according to Wikipedia means “sweetened tea”. We subscribe to the theory of tea from the Yarkand valley as tea has been around in China for over 500 years now, and green tea has been most popular.
Kahwa is a popular beverage in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Iran and the Middle East. Today it has earned a place of pride in every region, and each area has its unique recipe and concoction, for example, some like to put dry fruits like pistachio’s, apricots, pine nuts, dried cherries. In contrast, others want to put walnuts, dates and even cashew nuts etc. The colour of the liquor of traditional Kashmiri Kahwa is lightly golden and has a bright appearance.
How is Kashmiri Kahwa served?
Kahwa is a popular drink and is usually served to guests or as part of a celebration dinner. Saffron (kong) is used as a topping on Kahwah for exclusive visitors. Traditionally it is served in a brass vessel called “Samovars”, and tiny shallow cups. After family dinners and Wazwan, to make it memorable, it ends with a cup of Kahwa for guests.
Traditional Kashmiri Kahwa tea
We got out inspiration from the magnificent Himalayas, the undulating streams that join the large rives, miles of forest and the smell of fresh pine to make our blend of Kashmiri Kahwa. The favourite beverage of Kashmir. Kahwa is classic Indian blend of green tea with, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, whole almonds and Kashmiri saffron.
Authenticated by Kashmiri’s and Tea Tasters
Crafted using fresh green tea leaves blended with aromatic Indian spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and saffron. Each spice has its aromatic profile and adds to the spiced tea, mixed by our master tea blender and tea taster.
We did not stop after making the blend. We wanted feedback from people who matter, and we reached out to former tea planters and tea tasters, colleagues with whom we had worked, some were from Kashmir.
Our benchmark was to ensure that the Kashmiri Kahwa tastes as good as the local brands which we had initially tasted, we wanted to be dead sure that our blend is as authentic as possible. A thumbs up from local folks in Kashmir is what we were striving for. We sent our samples of Kahwa to friends in Kashmir, colleagues and tea planters, and voila, we got messages that the Kashmiri Kahwa was similar in taste to what they make in their homes. We couldn’t have got a better endorsement, that’s how we introduced our blend of Saffron Kashmiri Kahwa!
Why should you have Kashmiri Kahwa?
- It is a natural detox for your system, having a cup of kehwa ensures that the toxins in your body are flushed out
- It relieves stress and improves your concentration
- It aids in weight loss, and each spice boosts your metabolism.
- It is beneficial in fighting headache and migraine
- It is suitable for your eyesight
- It energises you and makes you feel active
Health benefits of spices used
Cardamom is a spice which is native to Kerala in India. It has a natural sweet taste and is commonly used to flavour Indian sweets and savouries. Cardamom is known to lower blood pressure and aids weight loss because of its diuretic properties. Antioxidants in cardamom protect cells from damage and prevent inflammation in your body. Some of the lesser-known health benefits of Cardamom are that is also used to treat bad breath, cavities and also soothes the stomach and aids digestion. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cardamom-benefits
Cinnamon is an ancient herb which has been around for 1000 years. It is a delicious spice which is used for flavouring cooking and baking. It has prized medicinal properties which modern science has confirmed. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants, such as polyphenols which protect the body; it has anti-inflammatory properties and is useful for treating arthritis. Cinnamon can improve sensitivity to the hormone Insulin and is known to lower blood sugar. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-cinnamon#section6
Cloves are also known as Syzygium aromaticum. These are flower buds of the clove tree. Commonly used in whole or powdered form, it is used to season roasts and hot beverages. It has some potential health benefits: Cloves are high in antioxidants, including eugenol and vitamin C, both of which can help reduce oxidative stress. It has antimicrobial properties, meaning it can help stop the growth of microorganisms like bacteria. Clove is good for oral health. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cloves
Almonds contain fibre, protein, magnesium, vitamin E and healthy fats. Regular consumption of almonds helps in lowering blood sugar levels, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also reduces hunger and promotes weight loss.https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-proven-benefits-of-almonds
Saffron known as the most expensive spice in the world is harvested, from the Crocus sativus flower, commonly known as the “saffron crocus.” Saffron originated in Greece and was revered for its medicinal properties. The tender stigma of the flowers is delicately handpicked by women so as to preserve its original character. Saffron is known to enhance libido, boost mood, and improve memory, take care of PMS pains. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/saffron#section6