There is beer in Germany. There is Scotch in Scotland and there is tea in England and China and many other countries. There is Tea in India too. Unlike European countries, where perhaps beer is considered to be the drink of baptism, in our subcontinent a cup of tea/coffee takes up the same role . In Kolkata the ‘Bangali Bhadralok’ has always been very selective, to an extent finicky about their cup of tea. They are strong loyalists to their particular stores from where they make it a long drawn affair to get different blends mixed and packed. The newer generation is definitely not as conversant in the ‘blending business’, however it is not that they do not appreciate their good cup of tea. A proof of this lies in the success of the number of fancy, top end tea joints/ lounges in the city where one can pick up some of the rarest, some premium and some innovative tea blends.
- The Dolly’s – One of the best Tea blenders of her times, Mrs Dolly Roy runs a small outlet in the nook of Dakshinapan market complex for last 28 years. Her speciality lies not in just offering some 50 kinds of tea preparations, but also in making available some rarest of tea blends for sale.Her tiny den with its rustic ambience, is a perfect station for a short chai break and ponder over issues of life with friends and foes. Most often the place is filled up and you may need to wait for your turn.
- The Tea Lounge (The Lalit Great Eastern) – Located in the heart of the city, the lounge has newly opened to cater to the tea loving city. Apart from a vintage ambience, this place offers you an exotic tea experience with a menu ‘box’ which enables you to actually feel the tea and take your pick. You can choose from over thirty varieties of tea from the finest tea estates. Two of distinct offerings here are the silver-tips tea which is a rare and unusual variety of tea and the Great Eastern Darjeeling tea from the Goomtee Tea Estate in Kurseong made exclusively for the hotel chain. A food menu comprising European as well as Bengali snacks completes the tea experience and is totally worth the price paid.
- Flury’s – This iconic tea room with nearing 90 years of presence in Kolkata is now an important landmark in the foodscape of the city. Famous for its Darjeeling Tea and its breakfast menu, a lazy English breakfast looking through the large window panes into busy Park Street and people passing by is an experience which never dies its charm. If you are a cake and pastry lover along with your tea, you can’t miss out on this place.
- The Tea Trove – An unusual yet cozy ambience is what strikes you the most as you enter this place. This place offers you a large variety of hot and cold teas and an equally exhaustive list of food items to choose from. Apart from its speciality with numerous of tea flavours, this place is also a favourite for its hookah and board-games that make it a perfect hang-out place.
- 8th Day Cafe – This place is as good with its tea offerings, as it is with its coffee. In addition to the good food, the friendly staff and a playful ambience do good to lift your spirits. The tea menu comprises of some authentic and traditional tea types ensuring you a relaxing stint here. The Golden Tips blend comes across as an unusual offering, but the others are equally enticing and soothing.
This article was originally published in Eazydiner