Do you belong to that minority called tea-totallers? Prefer sipping on a garam chai ki pyaali with bhajjiyas than coffee? While there isn’t a dearth of coffee lovers and coffee shops in the city, we are yet to see tea lounges mushroom in the city. The city maybe dotted with CCDs, Barrista’s, Starbucks and other not-so-famous-but-fairly-decent coffee shops, e cannot help but long for some tea lounges too.
Nevertheless, the minority has succeeded with their shout-outs and we have a few tea-lounges gradually but steadily premiering in the city. Bindiya Chotrani makes the most of the season and lists down a few places that give you the best afternoon pick-me-up.
Well, the very name spells out the magic of Chai all around! A bar that has ‘cha’ or tea on offer instead. Situated outside the Oxford Bookstore at Churchgate, this place is a black and white tea spot! They serve teas like the Chai Hindustani, Purple Rose and also the cultural preparations like the Arabic Spice, Kashmiri Qahwa and the Ladhaki Cha. Anyone for tea?
Located at Churchgate, this place is every tea-drinker’s haven. Classy ambience, great variety, prompt service – the place is all of these. With its heavy wooden furniture, huge pillars and Victorian lamps, the place has a certain British feel to it. In addition to the British feel, the place also serves some English snacks like scones, warm apple pies and waffles. The lounge also has a tea bazaar that touts products like the masala chai or the specialty tea on per kilo basis. So if you can’t just stop raving and ranting about the tea you sipped onto this place, there’s some to take home too.
The Tea Place
The tea place, that opened up not more than a week ago in Bandra, has only a minimal menu with a décor done up in a white palette. Originally from Delhi, this new café serves a lot of tea (white, green, silver needle, fruit, Darjeeling, Kashmiri kahva that you can also buy off the shelf) and a small list of teatime snacks. A tad overpriced though, the place also has mediocre tasting sandwiches and muffins or cakes.
Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge
Located in Vile Parle and Bandra, Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge pioneered the concept of five star tea lounges. With a widespread menu, the tea lounge has wagh bakri hot teas, iced teas, specialty teas and snacks on offer. If tea alone isn’t enough to keep you going, then maybe board games will do so. Pick up a board game and you are good to go for the evening. Well, don’t blame us if you can’t help going for a second round.
You me and cuppa
A tea lounge that falls on the way to CBD, You Me and Cuppa Tea is truly besotting. A cluster of umbrellas at the entrance, warli paintings on the wall and large jute curtains welcome you into the lounge. Most suitable for high tea events or kitty parties, this place celebrates the grandeur of chai. With a wide-ranged menu of assorted tea, the place has on offer a 170 varied flavours that include fruity, minty, peach, chocolate, and citric among others. Not just that, there is a huge variety of teas to choose from too.
A time-crunched office-goer that would still prefer having his oolong at a café than a cutting at the nukkad? Tea trails is tailor made for you then. With most items on the menu that belong to the category of a quick service café fare, this one best caters to office-goers in a hurry. After a successful stint at Vivianna Mall, Thane, the brand opened up another outlet at BKC. A simple, easy-to-navigate menu of 45- 50 variants of teas with various blends has you sip on the chai and out in a jiffy. Choose from the flavoured blacks, white, greens, Oolong to Bisanes, Bubble tea and chai here. If tea alone does not do you good enough, there’s too much of titbits to keep you going. With salads, cookies, pizzas, tarts, cheesecakes and sandwiches on offer, you are going to be completely spoilt for choice.
Tea and Tea
Doilies, dainty tea pots, scones and finger sandwiches, you’ll have to leave these and other associations with tea rooms at home when you come to sip and snack at Juhu’s tea lounge Tea & Tea. The cosy 14-seater is more like a sophisticated take on a tapri. White ceramic tea pots adorn the walls and give it the much necessary cute touch. Its short menu features such tapri-esque bites and beverages as the tweaked vada pao, khari biscuit, kachori, Maggi, brun maska, and masala chai (served with Parle G biscuits no less). Find your bliss at the bottom of the tea pot with a good book and hours of sipping hot brew.
If most tea lounges don’t have your kind of tea, then XVII is your bet. With all kinds of tea on offer, the place opened up not more than a week ago at Bandra. And if your companion would rather eat than sip on some tea, then there’s quick bites an desserts too. And if you are wanting to know more about the place so mysteriously named, we’d rather have you go there than tell you about it. Find your bliss at the bottom of the tea pot with a good book and hours of sipping hot brew.
Tapri Tea Lounge
Only a few months old, this menu at this café at Sion boasts of a wide variety of spiced, speciality, exotic and imported teas. The Genmaicha with its serene flavour calls for a reverent sit down experience as does the Roohibos and the Peppermint Blast Tea. The snacks are pared down to the basics as accompaniments to the gorgeous brews. Make the trip to this power packed outlet, which is open seven days a week.
Koolar and Co.
No tea centric thought can be complete without the mention of the Special Tea at a typical Irani café, Mumbai’s oldest tea houses. With a typical decor that of large tiled floors, high ceilings with old fans, lots of wooden furniture and cabinets, menu’s placed under the glass top of every table, very open with several entrances, owner/s at the counter, Koolar and Co. at Matunga makes you feel just-at-home. An old favourite here is the Iranian Black tea. The Special Tea is exactly that — special, creamy and thick sweet. To perfectly complement the tea there is the classic irani café fare. Try the kheema pav we say.
Know of any more tea cafes that could be added to the list. Let us know in the comments below.