“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.”
Lin Yutang, the famous writer of ‘The Importance Of Living’ has very elegantly described the sophistication of Tea in the above lines. Tea is considered to be one of the most preferred beverages in India.
In the recent years, Indians seem to have rediscovered their love for Tea. After a spate of coffee shops all over the country in the last decade, time has now arrived for tea cafes- also known as tea lounges and tea bars. Unlike coffee shops, which are predominantly frequented by the casual youth, tea cafes attract people of all ages who seek the peace, comfort and class that accompany the beverage.
We bring to you some of the best tea parlours in the country, vastly different in their setting ranging from casual to luxury. However, they all have one thing in common- their impressive variety of tea!
INFINITEA- Bangalore boasts of a splendid coffee culture, but is also home to a number of tea joints. Infinitea being the most important and oldest of them. It is the pioneer in this newly emerged concept of tea-lounges. It was set up in 2003 by Gaurav Saria, the owner of four tea estates in West Bengal. There are over 150 tea varieties from all around the world that are being served there, the most famous being- ‘Stupa’. The bright and modern interior gives a complete tea experience with snippets of information, pictures and posters all around.
TEA CENTRE- If you desire to feel regal while drinking tea, then the TeaCenter in Mumbai, is absolutely the most fitting place for you. Established in 1953 by the Tea Board of India to promote tea, it has a real colonial feel right from its muted décor to the tiny silver bells on the tables to summon the waiter. Here one should be adventurous with their choice of tea: our recommendations are the ‘hot apple butter tea’ and the ‘iced orange tea’.
CHA BAR- This is one of the most happening tea-joint chains of the country. It created a rage in Kolkata in 2000 among people of all age groups, when it transformed tea into a lifestyle drink. It was created as an integral part of the Oxford Book Stores all over the country. You will simply love the experience of being able to browse through books of your choice over a cup of tea or simply unwinding with friends while sipping this rejuvenating beverage!
DOLLY’S TEA SHOP- It is situated in a popular market in Kolkata. This tea café is rightly boastful of its owner, Dolly Roy, who is India’s first woman tea taster and also an acknowledged connoisseur of the beverage. It is a comparatively small space but is very cozy, relaxing and well suited for people looking for a bout of adda (hangout), post their long, hectic day. Refreshing fruit infused iced teas are very popular here.
TEA-POT CAFÉ- Further south in the country, situated in Kochi is this quirky quaint café. The highlight of this café is that most tables are made of tea chests and proudly proclaim ‘Produce of India’. There are also over a hundred different types of tea-pots and kettles, which makes the café more interesting. This café is popular with both domestic travelers and foreigners.