India is world renowned for being the birthplace of tea. Before the western world began its unquenchable quest for tea, China was a major importer of fine Darjeeling teas grown on spectacular Indian plantations. In recent years, India has become a trendy hot spot for tea connoisseurs ready to sip delectable Chai, Supa, Ceylon, Assam, Darjeeling, Kahwa, and relaxing herbals. Next time you are in India try out these local tea cafes for your next delicious brew:
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Fancy a cup of Infinitea? This tiny little cafe serves up a surprisingly vast array of exquisite teas ranging from Stupa to Tanwan Rose. Infinitea is the first tea bar to start a chain of tea cafes that have now opened up all over India. Infinitea also specialises in authentic rare brews like Enigma on the Rocks, Kahwa, Kashmiri, Peony Rosette, and Pearl of the Mountain. They serve nearly 30 different kinds of iced teas alone and hundreds of international teas. Wi-Fi is available in most branches, so you can even bring your laptop with you and browse the web as you drink. The family that started Infinitea hopes to bring a world of tea flavours to discerning palettes and tea connoisseurs throughout India.
2. Brew Tea
Founded by an IIM alumnus and tea connoisseur in 2013, and located in Indira Nagar, Bangalore, Brew Tea is a quiet little cafe that has been serving loose leaf teas for several generations. The founders of the café have been involved in the growing, manufacturing, and trading of tea for years, and they source their teas from all over the world to give their clients a range of tea and local cuisine experiences. Prepare to choose from a delicious range of teas including Kulhad Chai and loose-leaf green teas. Or simply step in for lunch or dinner and enjoy pakodas, momos, burgers, pastas, and more.
3. Dolly’s Tea Shop
Tucked away in a corner of the Dakshinapan Shopping Centre in Dhakuria, Kolkata (Calcutta), Dolly’s Tea Shop is a secret little dive set up by Dolly Roy, the first female tea taster and auctioneer in India. Dolly shares her passion for exquisite teas in this quiet, cosy little café, and she sells over 20 varieties of tea for enjoyment in the cafe or for sale by the kilo, including many fruit infused blends and rare sought after teas. The cafe also serves a few local dishes and is a nice little spot to dine on a lazy afternoon.
4. The Sea Lounge
Located in the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai, the Sea Lounge isn’t a quiet little cafe, but rather an exquisite piece of Indian history renowned for its English High Tea, which is served between 3:30 and 5:30pm every day. The old world charm and picturesque view of the Gateway of India, coupled with its rich history and architecture makes this a highlight tourist spot for more discerning tea connoisseurs. The Sea Lounge makes the visit to the Taj Hotel worth the trip if you plan to tour India.