Ever wondered how those wonderful kullads reach your store, perfect and sturdy? Well, here we try and explain the life of a Kullad up until it reaches you. It might answer some of the biggest questions you've ever had!
Kulhad. The Eco-Friendly Alternative To Single-Use Plastics
Updated On: Nov. 25, 2019
What is Kulhad?
Kulhad is the glass shape vessel made from the clay soil used to drink tea, coffee, milk. The fertile clay soil is moulded into the glass, which is baked in the kiln.
With a hot or cold beverage, the Kulhad absorbs some liquid and creates the distinct earthy flavour. The same phenomena is observed with the water. The water in the clay pot remains cold and acquires the unique flavour which many people like.
How Clay Soil is Collected & Why is it important?
At Rajasthan, there are two ways of collecting clay soil for Kulhad making.
In the first option, after rains, the clay soil gets deposited at the bottom of the hill due to water erosion. The soil is commonly known as the red soil, which is best for pottery making as it possesses good strength. The soil collection method is complicated.
The second method is to collect the clay soil from the mines. Its the slightly easy to obtain but the strength isn't as good as the soil collected from the hills.
The collected soil goes through the refinement process before its used to make Kulhad. The soil is mixed with the water and left for a day. The unwanted sand and stones settle down in the bucket. The clay water
The clay is separated from the sand with the help of cloth or the strainer.
Now, the clay is dried for a few days then its ready to use.
Kulhad Vs. Single-Use Plastic Glass
As we all know the single-use plastics is banned in many states across India. The disposable plastic glass with the lid was the preferred choice for cold beverages. The plastic cups were commonly used to pack and deliver lassi, buttermilk, milkshakes.
The Kulhad is the perfect alternative to the one-time-use plastic glass. The Kulhad with the cold beverage produces the plesant natural scent which attracts many customers.
Kulhad Clay Cup Vs. Paper Cup
The hot beverage served in the Kullad gives a pleasant smell and taste. The traditional Kullads are 100% compostable and pose no harm to the environment as the Kullad is nothing more than the baked clay soil which doesn't harm the nature even if they are disposed of in the landfill or the sea.
While the paper cup which is commonly used for hot tea & coffee and are made from the wood pulp with a small percentage of the plastic LDPE lining inside, the paper cups aren't recycled properly, and most of the used teacup ends up in the landfills. It is because the plastic has to be removed from the cup to properly recycle the paper cup.
Is Kulhad/Kulhar Food Grade?
The Kullad are generally safe to use and possess few health benefits too. The clay soil in Rajasthan, Kolkata, and many UP areas has a low level of heavy metals such as lead & cadmium.
It's important to know where your Clay Pot is coming from. If it's coming from some other area which isn't known for pottery you should get a few samples tested before using them to maintain Health & Safety standards.
Benefits of Kulhad Cup
- The aroma of tea, lassi inside Kulhad, attracts customers to the cafe.
- The Kulhad is completely eco-friendly & biodegradable. Its the perfect alternative to the styrofoam cups, paper cups.
- The Pottery making is the livelihood of many villagers in the rural areas of Rajasthan, Kolkata, Uttar Pradesh.
- The Kulhad absorbs liquid. The disposable clay cups has pores in it which absorb the small amount of liquid. The size and the quantity of the pores depend on the quality of the soil used.
- The solution to the problem is to keep Kulhad in the water bucket and take them out 15 minutes before the use. The Kulhad is heavier to transport and takes more storage space. And because the Kulhad weighs more & takes more space, the logistics & storage becomes expensive.
- The Kulhad is delicate & requires utmost care during transportation. The 2-5% of Kulhad wastage happens during delivery of the Kulhads from Rajasthan to the customer.
Kulhad For Deliveries
Kulhad isn't suitable for deliveries as its delicate and won't be able to handle the rough handling.
The Kulhad doesn't come with the lid, which means it isn't spillproof. Its best to cover the Kulhad with the aluminium pouch and tape it from the sides.
Kulhad absorbs the liquid over time. The number & size of pores depends on the soil quality. The liquid might seep out of the pores if after 20 minutes. The beverages like milk, lassi will take longer to seep out of the Kulhad than the buttermilk, lime water.
Is Kulhad Reusable?
The Kulhad is one-time use only, and it won't be hygienic if used again. It shouldn't be reused as the Kulhad absorbs liquid once served to the customer which can't be removed from the pores in the Kulhad.
The Kulhad is famous for its distinct taste when the tea, lassi mixes with the clay. Its not possible to create the same aroma if reused even if appropriately washed.
From Where Can I Buy Kullad Clay Cups?
The traditional way of procuring Kullad is to contact the Kullad manufacturers at West Bengal, Rajasthan, UP or look for the clay pot makers in your city. The biggest problem in this approach is the reliability and breakage. If you and the manufacturer are not in the same city then the breakage will be more.
The new approach is to buy Kullad online since they're involved in the manufacturing of the Clay Cups. You can see the actual image online, compare prices with the offline vendor. They even provide 5% breakage guarantee if you stay near Rajasthan, Maharashtra or Karnataka.
The Lifecycle of the Rajasthani Kulhad - Summary
Terracotta was one of the major attractions in the history of India. We shifted from the Kulhad, earthenware to the single-use plastics. As we realize the side-effects of the plastic disposables, the Kulhad is the suitable alternative to the single-use plastic cups. Its like going back to the roots.
I've listed the steps involved in the lifecycle of the Rajasthani Kulhad in short.
1. The soil is collected from the mines, which is refined into consistent clay soil. The skilled Rajasthani traditional craftsmen give the shape to the soil.
2. These kullads are then dried in earthen ovens, making them durable and giving them the earthen red colour everyone desires.
3. We now transport these kullads from Rajasthan to places like Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore, and at the same time, host them on our website, Pirsq.com, complete with details like shape and size.
4. All you need to do now is place your order online after choosing from the numerous varieties of kulhads we sell.
5. Your kulhars are now loaded into our efficient trucks, guaranteeing the safe and timely delivery of your order.
6. Delivered straight at your doorstep, you are now all set to get back to serving piping hot kulhad chai!