What’s the fuss about a cup of tea, you would ask? Apparently a lot! Ask those who can’t get out of bed or go through the day without that perfect cuppa. And remember the words of British author Jasper Forde, “There is no problem on Earth that can’t be ameliorated by a hot bath and a cup of tea.” When you crave it next, head to these tea boutiques, cafes and lounges that’ll give you the necessary tea fix.
The Mad Teapot
This quaint cafe inside The Wishing Chair boutique store looks straight out of Enid Blyton’s book ‘The Wishing Chair’. It’s like a typical English tea house, with colourful teapots, mugs and wooden tables.
The dishes (all vegetarian) have names of the characters in the book, so go ahead and relive your childhood as you ask for The Enchanted Forest Salad, Silky’s Toasties, Moonface Madness, or the Happy Stomach Tea. The range of teas is interesting – try the Autumn Tea with Rose Petals and Lemon Balm, Chili Chai or the Black Tea with 12 Secret Spices Chai Masala. If that doesn’t excite you, the colourful and cheerful decor will surely do.
Where: 86A, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi; LG-35, South Point Mall Phase 5, Sector 53, DLF Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
A small book shelf, a few board games and musical instruments on the wall – this cosy cafe in Malviya Nagar won’t let you get bored for even a minute, and is an ideal spot for a relaxed tea break. It offers more than 20 kinds of tea, from blends like Darjeeling Organic, Blue Mountain Nilgiri, Chocolate to Fruit Tea, some served in kullars. When it comes to ice teas, choose from eight different types. Pastas, pizzas, wraps, cakes and sandwiches are all there for when hunger pangs strike.
Where: Plot No. 7, Shivalik Road, Malviya Nagar
They take tea so seriously that they refer to coffee as ‘Chai’s cousin’. What stands out in the menu is the Pudina Chai, Haryanvi Chai and Nawabi Kesariya. They offer a range of pastas, pizzas and tea munchies. The Gurgaon outlets in Galleria and Good Earth offer free wifi as well, making it a perfect place to work from.
Where: various locations in Gurgaon and Sector 132 in Noida
They got it absolutely correct with their tagline ‘India runs on Chai’. It’s basic, it’s simple and it’s got the tea right. From the regular Dum Chai that reminds you of the tea you wake up to each morning, Ginger, Masala to Lemon, each flavour, made from fresh igredients, evokes nostalga. Basic snacks like vada pao, samosa and patties go well with it.
Where: various locations in Delhi NCR
Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge
Bored of your regular tea and want a twist? How about some ice cream along with it? Yes it’s as crazy as it sounds. This interesting cafe offers ‘Tea with ice cream’. All we can say is, try it at your own risk. Apart from this they serve 45 varieties of tea including ice teas, flavoured ones and organic teas.
Where: Delhi NCR
The Tea Place by Manjushree
You know how serious this place is about their tea when the beverage menu runs into several pages while the food menu is limited to just one. The delicate China cups, the tea timer, a variety of exotic teas and scones remind you of a typical English tea house. Take your pick from black teas, China black teas, Darjeeling, white, green and oolong teas. It’s one the few places in the city that offers afternoon English high tea.
Where: 8, Ground Floor, MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket
It can’t get bigger than this. Chaayos lets you experiment with tea and customise it in more than 12,000 ways. So whether you want it with less milk or no sugar or with a hint of green chilli, all you have to do is tell them. Their interesting concoctions include Hari Mirch Chai and Aam Papad Chai. Munch on a sandwich or a grab a wrap with your cuppa.
Where: Various locations in Delhi NCR
Just for Chai
Feeling sleepy? How about some Neend Udd Jaawat Chai that’s made with special spices to wake you up from that deep slumber? This cosy cafe, done up with simple cane furniture can confuse you with its variety. They’ve got popular teas from across the country including Full Cutting Chai, Gud Chai from UP, Kashmiri Kahwa and Irani Chai. Pakoras are the perfect accompaniment with this humble beverage.
Where: 1185, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
The list would be incomplete if we don’t have this legendary cafe tucked away in Oxford Bookstore. It’s like leaving out the Eiffel Tower while talking of sightseeing in Paris. One look at the huge tea menu of more than 150 varieties can get you dizzy. From Ayurvedic Teas, Cultural Tea preparations from around the world, Diet Teas, Bollywood Masala Mix Cha with lots of masala, milk and sugar, Truck Driver 100 Mile Ki Cha, Mother and Child Teas, Flowering, Organic, Fruit, to all sorts of Nilgiri, Sikkim, Darjeeling and Oolong teas. Phew! When it comes to munchies, select from cheese toasties, samosas, onion pakoras, classic English tea sandwiches, wraps, rolls, pies and tea cakes.
Where: N-81, Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place
A steel tiffin carrier full of namkeens (matthi, cheese fan, channa jor garam, peanuts, chakli), Butter chicken Somosa, Shakarkandi Chaat, Kanda Bhajia, Chocolate Toast drizzled with Cadbury Silk instead of Nutella along you’re your cutting chai? If this sounds exciting then head straight to Mister Chai at Shangri-La hotel for your next cup of tea and choose from a range of Black, Herbal, Green, Oolong and Regional Teas.
Where: Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, 19, Ashoka Road