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That cup of golden cappuccino at the franchise cafe could work wonders on a rainy day, but then, it is passé. Sandra M Fernandes finds tea bars and tea lounges coming up all over town, brewing everything from exotic African tea to desi kullad chai. Go exploring, and choose your cuppa

 

Chaipatty

 

If you are looking for some comfort food (read Maggi, momos, pakodas and more) along with some desi kullad chai, then this is the place to be. The interiors at these chain outlets are bright and have a very desi yet chic look to them. Low couches and stools help you put those tired and soggy feet up, quite literally.

 

Ginger Lime Tea:

 chai

We didn’t know it at the time, but this was one of the best teas we’d have the evening we started doing our rounds. A blend of ginger and lemon brewed with black tea leaves, this one is for all the sniffles the season brings along. It is flavoured with honey, and we couldn’t have enough of it. Rs 55

 


Mint Tea:

 

This one is as simple as black tea being served with mint leaves. Hardly anything to write home about, this light concoction is best consumed after a heavy meal. Rs 55

 

Kullad Chai:

 

Chaipatty’s version has got to be best we’ve tasted of this desi avatar of tea in town. A generous blend of spices like cardamom, clove and ginger brewed with the right amount of milk, this can do wonders to lift your mood on a rainy evening. Rs 55

 

Jasmine Tea:


 

This was again light in texture, much like the mint tea, except this one used green tea instead of black. Healthier than its black tea counterpart, with the lingering aroma of jasmine flowers, this is one warm and fragrant monsoon companion. Rs 60

 

Though the teas served to us were satisfactory, the temperature at which they were served was a let down. It was hardly hot enough for the goodness of the brew to be taken in.

 


 

Infinitea

 

badamOne of the oldest tea lounges in the city, Infinitea has a calm and soft ambience but one littered with witty pop culture inspired paraphernalia, all driving home the importance of tea drinking. This is the sort of place for long conversation with friends on a wet evening, and, of course, some freshly brewed tea. We sampled some of their fabled Kashmiri Kahwa, paneer momos and an infusion they call Refreshment.

 

Kashmiri Kahwa:

 

Loaded with almonds, this aromatic tea is a show stealer. Japanese green tea, brewed perfectly to give you a mix of the warmth and aroma, this one leaves you feeling warm and cozy for long after. The almonds definitely add to the experience. Rs 120 for a pot

 

Refreshment:

 

As the name suggests, this aromatic blend infused with lemongrass, peppermint, marigold blossoms is known for its health benefits, mainly detoxification. This is a non-tea blend and the combined aroma of the ingredients is instantly refreshing, just as promised. Rs 115

 

We loved the ambience and the tea. Most teas come in carafes with a sand timer placed on your table, marking the time the tea will take to be brewed in front of you. The momos here, both steamed and fried are a must try. Also, they have scones for those who like their tea English-style.


 

Sharon Tea House

 

honeyLocated in an Indiranagar by lane near 80 Ft Road, this small tea shop serves more than 30 varieties of tea. Yes, that’s right. And these include such exotic varieties like Strawberry Tea, all of it at down-toearth prices. While we skipped that one, here are the ones we tried, along with some nifty nippat (the south Indian version of a cracker).

 

Honey Tea:

 

If you want a healthy option, then this is your best bet at Sharon. The tea oozes with honey blended with black tea. Rs 9

 

Tulsi Tea:

 

For those who like their tea with milk and swear by the medicinal properties of the Holy Basil, this tea is as tasty as it is beneficial. Rs 9

 

Elaichi Tea:


 

A spicy mix of cardamom, cinnamon and clove with the right proportion of milk, this is one tea recipe that you can rarely go wrong with. Rs 7

 

We loved the three teas that we tasted and are ready to go back for more. However, there is no seating space here and you are forced to take the tea back to your cars or bikes, not a great idea in the rains. What had us impressed most were the prices---no tea here costs more than Rs 12.


 

Chaaye Stall

 

gingerJust six months old, Chaaye Stall has a rustic feel to it. You can spot the aluminum containers your milkman uses, rehashed here as seating options. Everything here is designed to remind you of a village setting. We decided to sit upstairs for want of better ventilation. The place serves tea and snacks like momos, noodles, sandwiches and more.

 

Queen of Spice:

 

As the name suggests, with the first sip you are flooded with a strong taste of spices like cardamom, clove, cinnamon and ginger. The milk content was on the higher side (for our taste) and it was served piping hot. We loved how the spices complimented the weather. Rs 50

 

Black Hole in the Cup:

 

You never know, a simple back tea can be the best comfort drink. Piping hot, there is nothing extraordinary about the brew and this one is for days when you can do without the milk. Rs 45

 

Green Tea:


 

Their simple yet healthy green tea works well with the snacks on offer. It is light and refreshing, and just the sort you wouldn’t mind ordering again. Rs 50

 

Sulaimani Chai:

 

This classic blend of lemon, mint and black tea comes garnished with black pepper here, which adds to the taste. It pairs well with the pakodas or noodles on offer, and the freshness of the mint and lemon compliment the spice. Rs 45


Tey Tea

 

teaThe place offers a wide range of teas along with the usual short eats. The tea bar also has a multi cuisine spread, in case you are looking for a meal to follow up the tea session. Here, again, we were spoilt for choice as they offered a variety of tea, including some unusual ones. Teas from Sikkim, Bihar, Africa and Japan are among those they have on offer.

 

Goykura:

 

A Japanese spring season tea, this has a strong aroma of greens that are infused in the brew. Light and refreshing, this one is for slow sips in between conversation. Rs 105

 

Blooming Tea:

 

As the name suggest this has dried leaves handcrafted to bloom and contain jasmine. Once the dry leaves are dropped in hot water they bloom to create the effect of a flower in your cup, infusing flavours alongside. The mild brew with a hint of jasmine left us feeling warm and fulfilled. Rs 110


 

Cha Bar

 

chai barLocated in 1 MG Mall within Oxford book store (also at other branches of the wellknown bookstore), here you can have your tea and then stroll around the book store, almost therapeutic on those gloomy days. Cha Bar offers you the usual desi chai plus some exotic varieties, and at reasonable prices too.

 

Chai Hindustani:

 

Blended with spices like cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper, this tea, unlike what we had expected, was quite a letdown. The brew was average with no more than a mere hint of the spices listed on the menu. Rs 34

 

Herbal Tea:

 

A light sweet sensation envelops you as you sip this tea. A chamomile blend, this one is said to have health benefits, which makes up for the almost neutral taste. Rs 80

 

Dessert Tea:

 

flowerIntriguing as it may sound; this one turned out to be a bit too bitter for our liking. The tea has cassia, flavour of clove, ginger root, cardamom and cinnamon. Rs 70

 

Margarita:

 

A tea margarita sounded as interesting as anything served in a cup could and we had to try it out. We discovered that this is actually a rather unusual blend with green tea, orange and guava. Though the green tea was full with the invigorating flavour of orange, the promised guava seemed elusive. Rs 80

Read 535 times Last modified on Friday, 05 July 2013 11:43

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