Brew it to the tea
The rains have lashed the city, and how! Now is the time to curl up with a cuppa and your favourite paperback. Beyond the usual Masala Chai or Darjeeling classic today, tea aficionados are spoilt for choice, from Moon teas to Malaysian Iced Tariks, as Soma Das and Dhara Vora found out
With coffee shops sprouting at every nook and corner in the city and as the monsoon settles in, tea continues to make its presence felt. Mumbaikars’ love affair with the hot beverage is fascinating as much as it’s a necessity.
At Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, teas are divided into five categories i.e. Classic Line Black teas, Green Teas, Flavoured Green Teas, Herbal and Fruit Infusions and Flavoured Black and Oolong Teas. Their products are sourced from across the globe, and blends are prepared at their US outlet by Tea Master David De Candia, and sourced directly from the US.
“Our teas do well here and contribute to 9%-10% of our total beverage sale. Our clientele comprise all age groups but mainly those between 20-40 years, as well as the youth. Popular picks include Genmaicha Green, Tropical Passion, Vanilla Ceylon, Ginseng Peppermint, Moroccan Mint and Jasmine Dragon Phoenix,” says Chef Amit Maheshwari, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Snigdha Manchanda, tea sommelier and founder of online brand Tea Trunk, says that people choose an alternative brew only because of the poor quality of tea available or the fewer choices. “Soon, we will launch Mumbai’s first tea room capturing tea cultures of the world. We hope Tea Trails is going to change the tea scene in the city,” she adds.
City eatery Lemon Grass also boasts of a dedicated tea menu with offerings such as sugar-free Green Iced Tea with lemon, pandan extract and honey and Iced Tarik (Malaysian style sweetened condensed milk tea), Cinnamon Tea with cinnamon chips, Coco-Choco (black tea with dried coconut and chocolate chips), Mokalbari Assam Malty Black tea and Temple of Heaven Green Tea.
Mitesh Rangras, partner, Lemon Grass, says that being an Asian-themed restaurant they wanted to focus on teas as the preferred beverage at the restaurant. “We source our teas from various importers across the city and also from our world travels. As a beverage, tea does well, especially in the rains. Most hot tea drinkers are between 24 to 40,” admits Rangras.
Nostalgia in a teacup
Though post-renovation, Tea Centre doesn’t bring back memories of Kolkata’s tea houses, it’s still worth a visit. Started by the Tea Board over 50 years ago, Tea Centre offers a variety of options from Masala Chai to flavoured ice teas. It might also be a good idea to enjoy a full breakfast (ordered by ringing a metal bell placed on your table) with a cuppa and a walk down Marine Drive.
At Resham Bhavan, 78, Veer Nariman Road, near Ambassador Hotel, Churchgate.
Like its cuisine, Kashmir’s teas spell wonders with their balance and infusion of several natural flavours. Try the Kashmiri Kahwa tea and travel to the lakes of this paradise through cups of heaven.
At Poush, Andheri and Kasarvadavali, Thane (W).
Over the moon with tea
Snigdha Manchanda loved collecting hundreds of world teas, which she stored in her dad’s old trunk. A few years ago, this took her to a professional tea school in Sri Lanka, where she studied under the guidance of a Japanese tea master. “I visited tea gardens, tasted 100 cups of tea a day and profiled over 2,000 varieties. Inspired, I wanted to share my knowledge and in 2011, Tea Trunk was born,” she says.
She has hosted tea tastings and tea appreciation workshops and recently, crafted six tea blends including Ginger Root, East Himalayan Black Tea and Moon White Tea. To source them, Manchanda travels to tea estates across Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri. Their products use rose petals, ginger root, and lemon peels with no artificial fragrance or added colour.
Log on to www.teatrunk.com
Sip on wellness
Tea Culture of the World offers hand-picked and least-processed tea leaves from far away parts of the globe. The brand makes available Green Black Oolong and Flower teas from areas famed for growing these varieties.
Their range includes Rose Tea, which has anti-ageing properties, Blooming Tea (the brewing process involves watching a flower bloom) which provides healthy qualities found in green tea, Chrysanthemum Tea which soothes the eyes, Colyx Tea, a green tea good for fever, hot flushes, cold and bronchitis, Puer Tea which can counteract the effect of alcohol, Red Tea which lowers the risk of heart attack, White Tea which has anti-cancer properties and Tieguayin Tea which helps prevent the onset of diabetes. “We source our teas from China, Egypt, South Africa and India and we freeze dried fruits which are used for making blended teas from Germany,” says Dr Rupali Ambegaonkar, CEO, Iron Buddha Company.
Log on to www.teacultureoftheworld.com
Call 25914192 for home delivery
Chai Diaries is a tea label launched in New York recently and retails in India as well. They have a 3-tea-in-one gifting option as well. Their range of teas includes Apple Cider, Berry Blast, Blood Orange, Cherry Sencha and Chocolate Chai among others. Some interesting versions include Organic Wedding Chai and White Champagne Raspberry.
Log on to http://mychaidiaries.com/
Basilur Sri Lanka-based tea brand Basilur, is your go to option when you wish to gift someone tea. Packed in vintage-looking tin cans which make for keep-sakes, Basilur offers some rather interesting options such as Cream Fantasy, which is a mix of Chinese green tea, sweet berries and tasty cream with a light base of flower petals.
At Several multi-brand food outlets such as Foodhall and Natures Basket and www.basilurteaindia.com
Like India, Japan is known for its tea culture, with almost religious importance given to following each step of serving tea. Go for this Japan-inspired tea set by The Home Label, if you are bored of your boring old chai glasses.
Log on to www.thehomelabel.com
Omved offers a wide range of organic teas crafted for different physical ailments. If you suffer from acidity and indigestion, try Paachan Tisane or if you wish for good health of your liver, kidneys, pancreas and gall bladder, try Nirmaya Tisane.
At Omved stores across the city and at omvedstore.in
For `250 onwards