Kashmiri Pink Tea is as unique in appearance as it is delicious in flavour. It is a traditional Indian and Pakistani infusion that, despite becoming increasingly popular in recent years, deserves even more attention.

We intend to offer it just that in the following article. Please keep reading to discover the best Kashmiri Pink Tea recipe, how to make Kashmiri Pink Tea and its reported health benefits. 

While we don’t have any readymade varieties available, we do the base ingredient - the finest Green Tea leaves. These you can buy and blend from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.

Since our founding in 1982, our family-run business has taken tremendous pride in packing its products fresh to order. Doing so ensures not only quality but also consistency, time and again.  

Kashmiri Pink Tea Recipe

Kashmiri Pink Tea Recipe

Kashmiri Pink Tea (also known as Noon Chai, Shir Chai and Gulabi Chai) is a Gunpowder Green Tea Blend much loved in Kashmir. The leaves used come from China as they do not grow naturally in the region.

Meanwhile, its other ingredients are salt, milk, baking soda, and a whole host of spices. It might sound like a strange mixture on the surface, but that doesn’t make it any less heavenly.

Many components play a distinct role: salt acts as an electrolyte at high altitudes; baking soda creates the pink hue; and the leaves offer Benefits of Green Tea. Yet it wasn’t Kashmir where it all started.

Historians today believe that the practice began in Turkestan, a city in Kazakhstan. Regardless, it was in India and Pakistan that it was popularised, later spreading to surrounding regions and beyond.

How to Make Kashmiri Pink Tea

How to Make Kashmiri Pink Tea

Making a cup - or three, or four - of Kashmiri Pink Tea can be a long and somewhat arduous process when utilising traditional methods, occasionally taking hours to complete.

If you have the time and patience, we’d urge you to do so. However, we’d like to show you how to make Kashmiri Pink Tea in about 20 minutes. The step-by-step instructions are as follows: 

Ingredients: 2-tbsp Gunpowder Tea leaves, ⅛-tsp heaped baking soda, 1-cup whole milk, ¼-tsp kosher salt or sea salt, 2-star anise, and 6-8 green cardamom pods. 

Optional Extras: 2 whole cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2-2½-tbsp sweetener of choice, 1-tbsp crushed almonds, and ½ tbsp unsalted crushed pistachios.

1, Prepare Ice Water.

Place 2-3 large ice cubes in room temperature water and set it aside.

2, Get a Medium Saucepan Ready.

Heat the saucepan over high heat, ready for brewing.

3, Add Some of the Ingredients.

Pour in more water (not the ice water) with Gunpowder Green Tea leaves, star anise, green cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves before bringing the mixture to a boil.

4, It’s Time for the Baking Soda and Aerating.

Include the baking soda and allow it to boil over for 5-6 minutes. As it does so, use a ladle to aerate (scoop and pour back) the Tea so that the water goes from pale-green to pink.

5, More Baking Soda Might Be Needed.

If you’re wondering, “Why is my Kashmiri Tea not pink?”, it might be because you require more baking soda to bring out the colour. The water should be significantly reduced by that point.

6, Bring on the Ice Water.

Discard any remaining ice cubes and pour the ice water into the saucepan.

7, Next up is the Remaining Ingredients.

This is where you can add the milk, salt and sweetener as you let it come to a light boil.

8, Serve With or Without Additions.

Strain into cups with, perhaps, a garnish of almonds and pistachios on top of the liquid. All that’s left, then, is to indulge in its fragrant and creamy flavours. 

Benefits of Pink Tea

Benefits of Kashmiri Pink Tea

This article has highlighted the whats, wheres and hows of Kashmiri Pink Tea. It is most popular in the region of the same name, despite reportedly originating from elsewhere.

Our Kashmiri Pink Tea recipe should, hopefully, be relatively straightforward to try at home. You can buy the finest Gunpowder Green Tea from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company today. 

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.