Chai in India — good chai — is darker than my skin. It steeps in tea leaves and spices for ten minutes, boiling and cooling over and over again until the smell of star anise and clove singes your nose hairs and burns the bottom of your pot. Good chai calls you back twice, three times a day, making an addict out of anyone. A thick skin forms on top if you leave it out for even a second, so good chai is guzzled the moment it comes off the stove, burning your lips and staining your teeth. Leftover tea…

Yusra Qureshi

Anthropology student at Washington University in St. Louis. Aspiring medical epidemiologist at the CDC.

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