Let’s drink to this India

India is an extremely diverse country in more ways than one is something the whole world knows. People do things differently in every part of India. They dress differently. They eat differently. They drink differently. They talk differently. They live differently. Basically, they think differently. Well, how about we drink to these differences by taking a closer look at some of the different, tasteful, and unique kinds of drinkware (containers used to drink stuff from) around India that you might want to make a part of your life.


A kulhar or kulhad, sometimes called a shikora, is a handle-less terracotta cup from North India and Pakistan. Since kulhars are made by firing in a kiln and are almost never reused, they are inherently sterile and hygienic. Traditionally, kulhars are used to serve hot beverages, such as tea. That said, the world-famous mishti doi and some other regional desserts such as kulfi are served in kulhars. Since kulhars are unglazed, a hot beverage (such as tea) partially soaks into the interior wall of the kulhar in which it being served. This has an enhancing effect on the beverage’s taste and fragrance, which is sometimes described as “earthy”.

Bamboo Mugs

The forests of Nagaland are rich in bamboo and cane. It has been rightly said that Nagas start life “in a cradle of bamboo and ends in a coffin of bamboo”, a statement illustrates how deeply attached the Nagas are to this extremely versatile plant. Apart from homes, armchairs, sofas, tables, and cradles for babies, mats, shields, and different kinds of hats, the Nagas also make attractive chungas or drinking cups and mugs and other utensils from bamboo. Bamboo is eco-friendly, light, more durable than wood or plastic, and looks attractive. And these are just a few of the reasons you should consider adding some bamboo to your stock of kitchen and tableware.

Copper Glasses

There is nothing quite like copper to add a bright and cheery look to any kitchen. There are health benefits too. According to Ayurveda, water stored in a copper vessel has the ability to balance all the three doshas in your body, (vata, kapha and pitta) and it does so by positively charging the water. And that’s why you might want to bring a set of copper glasses or water containers into your life. Please note: Because copper reacts adversely with high temperatures, it should not be used to cook in or store anything hot.

Tall Lassi Glasses

Punjabi food is not complete without a tall glass of thick, creamy Lassi. Lassi is a special Punjabi drink made with Curd or Yogurt or Dahi churned with sugar and spices to form a smooth, frothy liquid and is best served chilled in a tall glass. Traditionally, lassi is best enjoyed served in tall glasses made of Bronze (traditionally known as Kansa) or terracotta. What’s more, it’s also very healthy.

Filter kaapi tumbler and davarah

Filter coffee or kaapi (the Tamil way to say coffee) is typically served after pouring it back and forth between the davarah and the tumbler in huge arc-like motions of the hand. This serves several purposes: mixing the ingredients (including sugar) thoroughly; cooling the hot coffee down to a sipping temperature; and most importantly, aerating the mix without introducing extra water (similar to the steam wand used for frothing cappuccinos). If you serve filter kaapi it’s not filter kaapi unless it is mixed, aerated, and served in a tumbler and a davarah.

Cutting Chai Glasses

Sized just right for those looking for a strong, hot cuppa chai in a jiffy, ‘cutting chai’ is a term that to the best of our knowledge originated in Mumbai and is most closely identified with the little glass of tea served at tea stalls you’ll find around the city that never sleeps. The distinctively simple glass that’s a confirmed design classic is big enough to satisfy the craving for tea, but small enough to satisfy the craving for tea-in-a-jiffy for Mumbaikars who are almost always in a hurry to get from point A to point B, C, D, and, if possible, E!

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.


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