Kashmiri Kahwa Tea: Exploring The Origin, Culture, And Health Benefits
Image Credit: Kahwa Tea | Image Credit: Dassana's Veg Recipe

Tea is a beloved beverage enjoyed by people around the world for its rich history, diverse flavors, and comforting qualities. Originating in ancient China, tea has a cultural significance that spans centuries, with countless rituals and traditions associated with its preparation and consumption. 

For instance, starting your day with the daily ritual of sipping a hot cup of tea must enlighten your whole day. Tea offers a wide array of flavours and aromas to suit every palate. Beyond the taste of tea, it is known to offer several health benefits, like easing an upset stomach or refreshing you from morning sickness. 

However, recently at the G20 Summit 2023, when President Droupadi Murmu hosted a grand dinner for the guests at the iconic Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi, what stood out on the beverage menu was Kashmiri Kahwa Tea. Amidst the majestic Himalayas lies the picturesque region of Kashmir. The place is known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and exquisite culinary traditions. 

For centuries, Kashmiris have relished a treasured beverage, Kashmiri Kahwa Tea. Made with an exotic mix of Kashmiri green tea and whole spices like cardamom, nuts like almonds and pistachios, and saffron, the tea has a distinct flavour and aroma.  

Origin And Cultural Significance 

Kahwa Tea can be traced back to the 15th century, when the Mughal Emperor Akbar ruled over the Indian subcontinent. Initially, it was brought to the region by the Persian traders, and this aromatic tea found its way through the hearts and cups of the Kashmiris. 

Over the years, Kahwa has been a major part of Kashmiri culture, symbolising hospitality, warmth, and a sense of community. It is an essential part of Kashmiri hospitality, often served to guests as a gesture of warmth and welcome. During weddings and celebrations, kahwa is a customary drink, symbolising joy and togetherness. 

5 Health Benefits Of Kahwa   

Kahwa tea is known for its numerous health benefits. We have collated some of them. Take a look: 

  • Improves Digestion   

Firstly, green tea, the base of Kahwa, contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that has been linked to improved digestion by aiding the digestive process and reducing inflammation in the gut. 

Additionally, the aromatic spices like cardamom and cinnamon found in Kahwa have digestive properties. Cardamom is known for its ability to relieve indigestion, gas, and bloating. Finally, saffron, another key ingredient, can have a calming effect on the stomach, reducing discomfort and promoting overall digestive well-being. 

  • Burns Fat   

In Kashmiri households, kahwa tea is generally served after meals, as it not only aids in digestion but also helps in burning fat. Green tea, the base of Kahwa, contains catechins and caffeine, both of which have been linked to increased metabolism and the oxidation of fat cells. These compounds work together to enhance the body's ability to burn calories, making it easier to shed excess weight. 

Additionally, the spices commonly found in Kahwa, such as cinnamon and cardamom, may help regulate blood sugar levels, reducing cravings for sugary snacks and contributing to weight control. Saffron, another key ingredient, may have appetite-suppressing properties, further supporting weight loss efforts. 

  • Builds Immunity   

Green tea, a fundamental component of Kahwa, is rich in antioxidants, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to bolster the body's defense mechanisms. The presence of spices like cinnamon and cardamom provides a source of essential nutrients and antioxidants that can help combat inflammation and oxidative stress, which can weaken the immune system. Furthermore, saffron is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which helps recharge the body’s defense system. 

  • Stress Buster   

The green tea base contains L-theanine, an amino acid known for its ability to promote relaxation without inducing drowsiness. Aromatic spices like cardamom and cinnamon not only add delightful flavours but also have mood-enhancing properties that can help alleviate stress and anxiety. Additionally, saffron in Kahwa is believed to have mood-improving qualities and may help reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression. 

  • Remedy For Cold   

Kahwa tea has long been cherished as a natural remedy for alleviating cold symptoms and providing relief during the chilly winter months. The green tea base contains antioxidants and polyphenols that can help boost the immune system, aiding the body's defense against cold-causing viruses. 

The warming spices, such as cinnamon and cardamom, not only lend a soothing warmth to the beverage but also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can provide relief from sore throats and congestion. Additionally, the saffron in Kahwa may help soothe a scratchy throat and ease discomfort.   

How To Make Kahwa Tea 


  • 1 cup of water 
  • 2 cardamoms, slightly crushed 
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick 
  • 2 cloves   
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri green tea leaves 
  • A few strands of saffron 
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey


  • Boil 1 cup of water with cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. 
  • Add Kashmiri green tea leaves and switch off the flame. Let it infuse for 2–3 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, blanch and slice 2 almonds and put them in the cup along with a few strands of saffron. 
  • Strain and pour the tea into the cup. Sweeten with honey.